Before I touch on the views of other bloggers, I'd like to say my piece on the competition that Iran held. I have a couple main thoughts:
- Cartoons are non-violent protests
-I honestly believe that words and art affect our environment, it is one of the reasons that I don't like racist jokes, because I firmly believe that it makes us more susceptible to racism
-A great deal of rhetoric justifying the existence of the state of Israel is based on the holocaust
Progressive Muslima News seems to share some of my views on the subject, that many of the cartoons are powerful, yet the fact that they debate the existence of the holocaust is not only uncomfortable, but ridiculous.
Jack makes a really good point about the basis of the competition, he explains that, despite the fact that the offensive cartoons about Mohammed that spawned the idea were Danish and non-Jewish in origin, the competition is holocaust and Israel centric. He says that "Ahmadinejad is doing several things. He is testing the water. He wants to see what kind of reaction his actions receive. He is trying to establish new facts that he can use to try to demonize and dehumanize Israel with." This seems to be borne out by this quote, taken from JihadWatch that "The exhibit curator, Masoud Shojai, said the contest will be an annual event. 'Actually, we will continue until the destruction of Israel.'" Sydney Nestel quotes the same comment, but adds that "Is there any doubt left that the Iranian government and much of the Iranian establishment is anti-Semitic and proud of it?" No, I don't think that there is.
Last, but not least, Jewish Issues Watchdog has a long, and comprehensive post on the meaning and reprecussions of this competition.
I am more than a little bit concerned about this world in which my children will grow up.