The question has been posed about what my position is on the holocaust cartoon competition being run by the Iranian newspaper, Hamshahri, and whether I would consider publishing the cartoons. My position on this one is unlikely to make me many friends. I will defend the right of a newspaper to publish a cartoon, regardless of how offensive it might be. If a bunch of anti-Semites in Tehran decide they want to deny a basic fact of history, then it is their right to do so. Naive as a might be, I have enough faith in the integrity of the horrific stories of the holocaust that I believe they can withstand a fringe of raving loonies.
As to publishing them, in the interests of free speech and public debate, I would. If I could get a copy of them. Thus far, it has proven a little tricky. I've found a few of them through this site here, although it's not clear if those are actual entries, or just generic examples of holocaust denying cartoons. Perhaps I should cut out the middle man and just look here.
UPDATE, 19/2 1:15am: I don't normally take the bait when it comes to comments, but there are a few things worth clearing up.
Firstly, thanks to Cameron for his sanctimonious lectures in the past few posts on the need for cultural sensitivity and the need to abstain from causing religious and racial offence. This is the same Cameron who gave me a farewell present prior to my Korean trip of a guide to greyhound dogs, which he oh-so-tactfully referred to as a 'Korean restaurant menu'. Bad taste, but kinda funny, Cameron - just like the Mohammad cartoons.
Secondly, PB wants me to apologise for/clarify my insinuation that Leunig is a holocaust-denier. The comment I made in the post was coy and playful, and should be interpreted that way. Having said that, Leunig does get agonisingly close to being a denier, if you look as him drawing an equivalence between the slaughter of six million and the Israeli anti-terror policies (the "'Work makes free' and 'War makes peace'" cartoon that set the ball rolling). I hardly think Leunig deserves any sort of apology.
UPDATE, 20/2 1:30pm: Okay folks, seems like there's a bit of terminology confusion here. The phrase 'holocaust denier' does not simply refer to only those who outright deny that there was any atrocity in Nazi Germany. Instead it covers a much broader scope of views, including those which seek to downplay it, recontextualise it, reassign blame etc. Have a look at the Wikipedia entry. To my mind, an attempt to draw a parallel between the actions of Nazi Germany and the actions of the Israeli government (as the Leunig cartoon does) gets close to a form of denial, namely of the scale of the holocaust and the intentions of the perpetrators. Having said that, I didn't label Leunig as a denier, merely attempted some black humour. I know: hilarious.