Iran Sponsors International Cartoon Competition on the 'Zionist Caliphate'

The contest follows an Iranian Holocaust cartoon contest last month.

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An Iranian woman walks past a mural in downtown Tehran, Iran, April 30, 2016.
An Iranian woman walks past a mural in downtown Tehran, Iran, April 30, 2016.Credit: Ebrahim Norooz, AP

An Iranian cultural institute is now inviting submissions for an international caricature contest on the "Zionist Caliphate," the semi-official Fars news agency reported Tuesday.

The competition, sponsored by the Iranian Cultural-Art Masaf Institute, follows an Iranian Holocaust cartoon competition held in May and is being organized around two genres. The "theme section" focuses on "Zionism, terrorism and racism" as well as "ISIL terrorism and genocide in the name of religion and to the benefit of the Zionists," Fars reported. ISIL is another name for ISIS, the Islamic State organization.

Somewhat inexplicably, the second genre, the "portrait section," not only focuses on the founder of the Zionist movement, Theodor Herzl, but also Queen Elizabeth II of Britain.

The top cash award in the completion is $5,000. A website with details of the contest describes its organizers, a group called Cartoons Clan, as "a group of cartoonists and caricaturists from all over the world who have gathered together to fight against any kind of racism and terrorism. In our point of view, Zionism is the worst kind of racism and is the enemy of the world’s big religions."

"We invite the freelance and independent artists from all over the world to accompany us in our fight against racism and terrorism. A sacred fight by the means of pens and pencils," Cartoons Clan added.

Fars reported that the Holocaust cartoon contest last month attracted 864 works from artists from 50 countries. The top cash award in the Holocaust cartoon competition was $12,000, the Associated Press reported. The United Nations cultural agency, UNESCO, condemned the Holocaust-themed contest. “Such an initiative, which aims at a mockery of the genocide of the Jewish people, a tragic page of humanity’s history, can only foster hatred and incite to violence, racism and anger,” Irina Bokova, the director general of UNESCO said.

With reporting from JTA.