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Iran paper’s contest draws first submission

TEHRAN, Iran – An Iranian newspaper’s contest for cartoons about the Holocaust, launched Monday in response to a series of caricatures about the Prophet Muhammad, has already drawn at least one entry, the paper said.

Hamshahri, one of Iran’s top five newspapers, said its contest was a test of the Western world’s readiness to print cartoons about the Nazi slaughter of 6 million Jews in World War II. The first entry in the Iranian contest depicts a man smoking a cigarette and wearing a blue and white striped prison uniform, with a tall wall and guard tower in the background.

The man, with a mustache and several days’ growth of beard, is wearing a white kaffiyeh and is holding his right hand over his forehead and eyes.

On his chest is a red Muslim crescent with a letter “P.” Below that is the number 7256, the significance of which was not immediately clear, although Israel is said to be holding about 8,000 Palestinian prisoners.

The Brazilian artist listed as the author of the cartoon could not immediately be reached to confirm the entry was his.

“We don’t intend retaliation over the drawings of the prophet. We just want to show that freedom is restricted in the West,” said Davood Kazemi, executive manager of the contest and cartoon editor at the paper since 1992.