Iran launches anti-Isis cartoon competition 'to expose true nature of Islamic State'

Organisers says artists have 'duty to raise public awareness' of group

Adam Withnall
Tuesday 26 May 2015 12:39
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A caricature of Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, which is being displayed in Tehran
A caricature of Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, which is being displayed in Tehran

Iran has launched an anti-Isis cartoon competition, inviting submissions from around the world which mock the militant group and the atrocities it has committed.

Organisers said selected works would be displayed at four cultural centres across Tehran, and that a winner would be announced on 31 May.

According to the state-run IRNA news agency, artists were briefed by Iran’s House of Cartoon to focus on “the crimes committed by the Islamic State (Isis)”.

Mohammad Habibi, the executive secretary of the contest, said 280 works had been selected from 800 submissions, including entries from over 40 countries such as Brazil, Australia and Indonesia.

Mr Habibi told the Tehran Times that some foreign cartoonists were attending the contest, but that they had been forced to travel under pseudonyms due to security concerns.

He told Iran’s Press TV: “Nowadays everyone around the world knows about the parasite by the name of Isis and what crimes they have committed against humanity and art and culture. Artists now have the duty to raise public awareness about this group by participating in such events.”

One contestant, graphic artist Massoud Shoajaei Tabatabaii, told Press TV the contest was being held “in order to reveal the true nature of Daesh” (the Persian name for Isis). He said: “Daesh tries to associate itself with Islam but in essence it has no idea about Islam.”

Funded by the local government in Tehran, the House of Cartoon last held a competition on the theme of Holocaust denial following the depiction of the Prophet Mohamed in the French magazine Charlie Hebdo earlier this year.

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