January's deadly Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris and the Copenhagen shooting earlier this year that took place at a debate attended by Swedish artist Lars Vilks, known for depictions of the prophet Muhammad, seem to have not deterred Iranian officials from taunting terrorists and Islamic extremism. In fact, some in the country seem intent on escalating the situation with the launch of an anti-terrorist cartoon competition to lampoon the so-called Islamic State (IS) militant group.
Cartoonists from the around the world have been invited by Iran's House of Cartoon, which is sponsored by the municipality of Tehran, to send in their art work based on the theme "crimes committed by the Islamic State," according to Iran's state-run IRNA news agency.
There has been no shortage of submissions so far, contest organizer Mohammad Habibi told the Tehran Times. At least 800 cartoons from 40 different countries were received. The committee has selected 280 from the stack.
Among them are cartoons depicting the violence carried out by the militant group since it began seizing large areas of land in Iraq and Syria in June.
A bearded IS fighter taking a bath in a pool of blood in the shape of Iraq is among the submissions. Another cartoon portrays a fighter holding evil, knife-wielding babies — a reference to the group's efforts to indoctrinate young children, known as "cubs of the caliphate" — into its violent form of extremism.
Other drawings connect the US and Israel to the situation on the ground in Iraq and Syria, suggesting the rise of IS is directly attributable to the failed policies of those countries in the Middle East.
"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," Habibi told Iran's Press TV. "Artists now have the duty to raise public awareness about this group by participating in such events."
The contest's closing ceremony and awards will be held in Tehran on May 31.
All images via cartoon contest website.