Iranian paper starts a Nazi Holocaust-denial cartoon contest.
So in case you haven't heard, an Iranian paper is running a contest to see who can draw the best cartoon attacking the Nazi Holocaust. First Muslims were offended by the stupid Danes who published pointlessly inflammatory cartoons, and now the Iranians are trying to offend Westerners by doing the exact same thing! Who will win this stupidity contest?
It's hard to say, really. The Danes' attempt insulted about a billion innocent people and led to riots and bad blood between the West and the Muslim world. The intention was to prove that we in the West value freedom of speech, which is something that we in the West already knew and didn't need proof of.
On the other hand, these Iranians who are seeking to create deliberately offensive cartoons about the Nazi Holocaust seem to think that we in the West are going to have a similar reaction, reeling with empathetic outrage, then understanding why the Danes shouldn't have done what they did. These Iranians are going to be shocked when their efforts are met with a profound indifference. As a Westerner, I can tell you that we're quite used to deniers of the Nazi Holocaust, since we've been hearing their point of view for about sixty years, and you know what? We Westerners have gotten used to the notion that the Nazi Holocaust deniers are crazy, and that they say nothing worth listening to. Such is the peril of free speech: you have the right to say anything you want, but you don't have the right to be taken seriously, or the right to be listened to. That's for others to decide. If that weren't true, I'd be enjoying a hell of a lot more traffic to my blog, and people would be paying for me to post these vignettes.
It remains regrettable that this Danish paper published the cartoons, and that they were reprinted by the Norwegian paper and the French paper and the German paper and by all the other papers that are pointlessly reprinting the cartoons, fanning the flames and making things worse. I hope the Iranian paper does print their Nazi Holocaust denying cartoons, and I hope the European and American media reprint them. With any luck, the ensuing Western indifference will put all this to bed, and not simply cause all the West's Muslim haters to screech, "See? I told you so!" I realize I might be hoping for too much here: I don't expect the Muslim rioters to grasp why freedom of speech is valued in the West any more that I expect these Western dolts to grasp exactly how offensive an image of the Prophet Muhammad is. But a few people will probably learn something from this coming ridiculous exchange, and there's some value in that.