If you didn’t think Iran could plunge any lower as a nation-state, you were wrong.

Iran’s semi-official, best-selling newspaper, Hamshahri, actually published by the city government of Tehran, is running a contest for the best cartoons poking fun at the Holocaust.

While this may be shocking to some, it is actually what we should expect from the mad mullahs of Iran.

This is not, as the newspaper editors have suggested, merely a way for Iranians to protest the Danish cartoons about Muhammad. This is not just a way for the Iranians and the radical Islamic world to attempt to portray themselves as victims. This is not just a tit-for-tat exercise.

This is a reflection of the Iranian mullahs’ Nazi sympathies. This is a way for them to show the entire Islamic world that they still believe in Hitler’s “final solution.” This is just the latest manifestation of 70 years of anti-Jewish history in Iran – and a lot longer in the Islamic world.

In fact, do you know how the nation of Iran got its name?

For thousands of years, the country we now know as Iran was known as Persia.

But in 1935, the shah of Iran, the father of the man deposed in 1979, was a Nazi sympathizer. He hated the Jews. So he decided to show his true stripes by renaming his country Iran, which literally means “land of the Aryans.”

Later, that same shah welcomed Haj Mohammad Amin al-Husseini, the exiled grand mufti of Jerusalem, into the country. The mufti was on the run because of his pro-Nazi work and his efforts in attempting to bring the Jewish Holocaust to the Middle East. Al-Husseini would later go on to inspire and tutor Yasser Arafat in the art of Jew-killing. Arafat referred to al-Husseini as “uncle.”

The Nazi shah may have received good notices from Berlin, but London was none too thrilled with his pro-Nazi position. And, unfortunately for him and fortunately for the rest of the world, Hitler did not conquer the world. The shah was deposed by the British and replaced with his son.

But the name “Iran” stuck. And it illustrates the visceral, underlying anti-Semitism that has shown itself throughout history in the Islamic world.

Today, we have Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president. He sees visions of the coming “mahdi” – the Islamic savior who will wrest control of the world from the infidels. He threatens Israel with destruction. He denies the Holocaust. He threatens the West. He builds nuclear bombs.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

This cartoon gimmick is hardly Iran’s attempt to exercise its right to “freedom of expression” in the world.

This is not some obscure newspaper in the Islamic world. This is the semi-official line of the mullah government in Tehran. If this effort did not have the approval of the ruling authorities, it would not be published in the police state of Iran.

Iran is making it clear that it still wants to see Hitler’s “final solution” for the Jews realized.

It’s a bid to claim Iran’s position in the vanguard of the Islamic world revolution.

One of the editors of the Iranian newspaper was quoted as saying: “The Western paper printed these sacrilegious cartoons [about Muhammad] on the pretext of freedom of expression, so let’s see if they mean what they say and also print these Holocaust cartoons.”

Perhaps the sandal should be on the other foot.

So far, this outrageous insult to Jews, Christians and every one else in the world who hates Nazism, fascism, totalitarianism and genocide, has not resulted in lethal riots, as the publishing of the Muhammad cartoons did. They have not resulted in embassies being stormed and torched. They have not resulted in Jews and Christians resorting to terrorism and suicide bombings.

In fact, I’d say they illustrate the real differences between religions of peace and law and godliness and the false and hateful prophets of radical Islamism.

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