By Manijeh Rezapoor

Iran counters Charlie Hebdo’s insult to Prophet Muhammad (S) with Holocaust cartoon exhibit

September 5, 2020 - 18:37

TEHRAN – Iran’s Art Bureau plans to organize an international cartoon exhibition on the Holocaust in response to the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s republication of cartoons insulting Prophet Muhammad (S).

Speaking to the Tehran Times on Saturday, Masud Shojaei-Tabatabai, the director of the bureau’s Visual Arts Office, said, “I believe Charlie Hebdo is totally in the service of the Zionist regime and actually intends to meet the goals of the Zionists, which is the main reason behind republishing the same cartoons about the Prophet of kindness Muhammad (S).”

Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday republished the cartoons to mark the start of the terrorism trial of the people accused as accomplices in the attack. The magazine posted the cartoons online on Tuesday and they appeared in print on Wednesday.

“I believe they are trying to promote Islamophobia by republishing these cartoons that are against Prophet Muhammad (S),” asserted Shojaei-Tabatabai who is a prominent cartoonist.

“Creating and promoting hatred, and hurting the hearts of millions of Muslims across the world, is a vain action and this is far from logic,” he said.

“I also think the French government does not take any serious actions against the magazine as they say they believe in freedom of speech, and the Zionist regime tries to do fishing in the troubled waters as well,” he said.

Shojaei-Tabatabai said that the previous acts by the magazine were not taken into account when they organized several cartoon exhibits, and this time there are also plans to hold an international cartoon exhibit under the probable title of “The Atonement of the Holocaust”.

“The reason lies behind the fact that they are justifying why the Palestinian nation must pay for the Holocaust. Palestinians have been under oppression for years and they are still paying the price for the Holocaust,” he said.

“And we are trying to find a strong response to this by means of this exhibit,” he concluded.

Shojaei-Tabatabai was an organizer of two previous editions of the International Holocaust Cartoon Contest in Iran. 

He also organized the international cartoon exhibition “I Can’t Breathe” during June to highlight protests against racism in the U.S.

In addition, he organized the International Trumpism Cartoon and Caricature Contest in 2017 and 2019 to criticize U.S. capitalism and hegemony around the world.  

Tehran on Thursday strongly condemned Charlie Hebdo, saying any insult to the prophet of Islam and other divine prophets is not acceptable at all.

Photo: Former secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Saeid Jalili (L) and Art Bureau’s Visual Arts Office director Masud Shojaei-Tabatabai visit the cartoon exhibition “Keep Calm, I Am the Queen” at Abolfazl Aali Gallery in Tehran on June 11, 2019. (Mehr/Shahab Qayyumi)


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