Cartoons and Extremism
The outrage sparked by the Danish cartoon affair - the publication of images of the Prophet Muhammad in the European press - was a sharp reminder of the potency of the cartoon in the modern media. It is one of the most popular and effective means of communication. By exaggerating and exasperating, cartoons by their very nature lack neutrality, and the cartoon is an important weapon in the Middle Eastern crisis. In response to the Danish cartoon affair, an Iranian newspaper announced a competition for cartoons about the Holocaust, even though it had nothing to do with Israel or the Jewish people. Antisemitic cartoons have long been rife in the Arab-Muslim media. The September 2001 Durban Conference against Racism, intended to denounce and combat racism in all its forms, also featured the distribution of antisemitic cartoons by an Arab organization, yet this elicited no reaction from Western NGOs at the conference. This event set the author on a trail that revealed thousands of such drawings. In the name of anti-Zionism, Jews are depicted as sadistic and bloodthirsty monsters, solely interested in money and power. This return to anti-Jewish hatred is of a new order, in line with current trends - an Arab-Muslim form unexpectedly metamorphosed from the antisemitism traditionally linked with the Christian West. By reproducing more than 400 of these cartoons, taken from both Arab and Western media, this book denounces the use of hatred in the media and hopes to raise the alarm.