Whether the pen is mightier than the sword may be open for debate, but one country is taking no chances and using both weapons in the fight against Islamic State militants.
Iran, which has provided military aid to the Iraqi and Syrian governments in their battles against the Islamist extremist faction, hosted a just-completed cartoon contest with a very pointed goal: using caricature to mock the militants.
The event, dubbed the Daesh International Cartoon and Caricature Contest (after a pejorative Arabic acronym for Islamic State), was designed to expose the group's "true nature," according to Masoud Shojaei Tabatabaei, head of the House of Cartoon, an Iranian organization aligned with ruling hard-liners that organized the event.
"Daesh tries to associate itself with Islam, but in essence it has no idea about Islam," Tabatabaei said in an interview with Iran's Press TV last week.
Since first announced in February, organizers say, the contest has drawn more than 1,000 works by artists from more than 40 nations, the entries coming from as far as Brazil, Malaysia and Australia.
Judges pared the submissions to 270 for exhibition. Winners Aref Nazari and Ali Reza Pakdel each received a $1,500 cash prize.
The destruction of Islamic State, which has cut a bloody path of destruction across large portions of Iraq and Syria, is a rare foreign policy goal embraced by both Tehran and Washington, although the two adversaries vehemently deny any cooperation in their respective anti-militant campaigns.........
over 1000 anti - #ISIS cartoons submitted in cartoon competition organized in #Iran @CNNWorld http://t.co/XJQoTOl4zD— Mona Alami (@monaalami) June 2, 2015
Iran launches anti-Isis cartoon competition 'to expose true nature of Islamic State'
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...........