Iran has reacted to Denmark’s publishing of the cartoons in turn. The largest state newspaper Hamshahiri which holds conservative views has announced that it will hold a competition to find the most amusing cartoon based on the theme of the Holocaust.
The rules of the competition will be published in a number of newspapers which are printed on Tuesday. The twelve people that send in the best cartoons will each receive gold rings from unnamed private individuals. It was decided that twelve prizes would be awarded since this is the number of cartoons portraying the Prophet Mohammed which were published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.
The graphic editor of the Iranian newspaper Farid Mortazawi said, “Western newspapers which printed these sacrilegious cartoons defend themselves by speaking of freedom of speech and self-expression. Therefore we shall see if they really follow these principles and will print the cartoons about the Holocaust.”
Yesterday a wave of protests by Muslims swept through Iran in connection with the publication of the cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed. Protestors tried to storm the building of the Danish Embassy in Tehran. Demonstrators threw petrol bombs and stones, broke windows and set fire to flags, chanted slogans against European countries, the USA and Israel. In the end the Iranian police managed to dispel the disturbances with tear gas. The mass demonstrations became more peaceful and had stopped by Tuesday morning. Police got the situation under control and eventually the protestors all dispersed. Interfax has said that according to official data given by the Iranians the embassy suffered only minor damage.
The conflict has arisen due to the publication in European newspapers of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed. The cartoons were first printed last September in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten and have lead to mass protests by Muslims who have sacked and set fire to the embassies of European countries. The dispute is now even threatening to escalate and become a new source of conflict for civilization as a whole.
The fact that the embassies in Iran have connected the West’s decision to forbid Iran from making an atomic bomb and the cartoon scandal has played a significant role in the worsening of the situation.
Iran considers that the West in taking such action aims to insult and belittle the Muslim people and they have declared that the Islamic world will triumph.
The current objective of Iran is to cover up the controversy over their nuclear program with the “cartoon” scandal and they are attempting to bring the attention of the whole Muslim world to the huge conflict. Tehran is trying to call upon all Muslims to stage mass protests against the hostility shown towards Iran .
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Russia has spoken about the ongoing scandal and announced that the indignation felt by Iran is entirely predictable. However in some countries this reaction has led to unacceptable acts of vandalism towards foreign embassies.
One state official, a leading figure in the Russian Federation, has disregarded state law and has taken his own measures in connection with the instigators of the scandal.
Translated by Michael Simpson