Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

Exploiting the Holocaust and hanging homosexuals in Iran

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Yesterday, the Jewish world was commemorating the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Ha'Shoah). Iran, however, decided to mark the day a little differently.

The Iranian regime is notorious for its persistent denial of the Holocaust -- for example, a huge controversy erupted in Germany last month when an interview with the Iranian President was aired on public television in which he denied the Holocaust. (For more on Iran's efforts to sponsor Holocaust denial internationally, see the story by German researcher Matthias Küntzel in the March edition of the AIR).

It therefore comes as little surprise that Israeli media has been reporting on cartoons played on Iranian State TV, which depict Nazi propaganda-esque Jewish caricatures fabricating the Holocaust, then exploiting the story for profit. The use of tropes taken directly from the ideology that inspired the Holocaust makes these particularly offensive.

Meanwhile, the Guardian's Saeed Kamali Dehghan has reported recent statements, made by Iranian clerical judge Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi-Amoli, blaming homosexuality for AIDS and referring to homosexuals as lower than animals.

"If a society commits a new sin, it will face a new punishment," he said while interpreting Qur'anic verses about [the] prophet Lot whose tribe Isalmic scholars say was punished by God for sodomy. "Problems like Aids did not exist before."

Citing the Qur'an, Javadi-Amoli said politicians who pass laws in favour of homosexuals are lower than animals. "Even animals ... dogs and pigs don't engage in this disgusting act [homosexuality] but yet they [western politicians] pass laws in favour of them in their parliaments."

In Iran, homosexuality is a crime that is punishable by death.

Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

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