Iranian bloggers stirred over cockroach cartoon

About a week ago, a Chicago newspaper, The Colombus Dispatch, published a cartoon that depicts Iran as a sewer with cockroaches crawling out of it. The cartoon has created intense discussion among Iranian bloggers, especially those living in North America.

Iranians as cockroaches

Iranian Truth says, it is no small thing:

“In fact, this trend of dehumanization is apparent in almost every epic of genocide, massacre, war, and atrocity including the Cambodian genocide massacres, the the massacres of Serbs and Bosnians in the Yugoslav wars, the Armenian genocide, and the Holocaust.”

The blogger has also senta letter of protest to Dispatch editors.

Racist cartoons in Iran

Kamangir does not share the same sense of outrage. He says, “Following the issue about the cartoon in The Columbus Dispatch, I did quick research on cartoons published in the [Iranian] state-run newspaper Kayhan whose head is appointed by the Supreme Leader. The result? See it for yourself.”

The blogger says:

“Some people in the Iranian blogosphere have felt insulted after The Columbus Dispatch published a cartoon “resembling Iran to a sewer with cockroaches coming out of it”. The issue has also attracted NIAC’s [National Iranian-American Council] attention, “By publishing this racist cartoon, the editors of the Dispatch have insulted and propagated hate against the Iranian American community”. Guys! Cool down! No one is saying you are a cockroach. Someone has practiced his freedom to say that Iran is acting like a source of trouble for the Middle East. Does anyone think this sentence is wrong?”

Us and them

Nik Ahangkosar, a blogger and a popular cartoonist, says [Fa]: “Freedom of expression does not mean that we can publish whatever we want.” The blogger says we need to protect the feelings of all ethnic groups, and adds that freedom is a relative concept that depends on our place, beliefs, tradition, rules and many other elements.

Iranwrites writes:

“What is the use even if we mange to force the Columbus Dispatch to apologize? Would it be the end? Unfortunately, we are the cause of it ourselves. As long as we identify ourselves as Iranians we are one with whatever is Iranian, Ahmadinejad and Khameneii included. Don’t you hear Ahmadinejad’s speeches everyday? Don’t you get angry and disgusted? Do you think he portrays us much better than those cartoons? I don’t think any of us wants to admit he is one of us, an Iranian. But he is, and the whole world sees it that way, no matter how hard we try to separate ourselves from him. For sure, these Americans won’t see us differently, and they don’t have to. If we need to be respected collectively, we should be respectable collectively and need to act respectfully, all us Iranians.”


  • what is all the heck about cartoon or no cartoon, Christians watch as Jesus is depicted as a sinner with Mary Magdalene yet not routes and killinngs nor request for apology.We should all learn that the supporters of all these cartoons and their publishers are not the ones to die, but the poor innocent ones who will be fooled to go out protest. it is the same evrywhere. let the cartoon be, let the publishers be, since you know you are not cockroach, they will get tired, when you dont react. but when you react they will write more. cant you see, and when you react more people will protest and others will go to war and others will supply war equipments while others will be richer.

  • Maybe the cartoonist meant it as an offense to Iran, but it could be interpreted that the cockroaches are the US military after they invade Iran, and the sewer is what they have made of the country, as they did Iraq.

  • reza

    no doubt the cartoon is offensive, it is an insult directed to the people of iran , to humanity and civilization, the cartoonist is an irresponsible idiot whose intention is to create wall among civilization, people like him should be barred from contributing anything to national dailies.

  • Hector

    To nnamdi :

    The heck is that -believe it or not – the USA are once again geared to destroy a country like they did in Iraq, and in Vietnam before.

    This kind of deshumanizing cartoon is exactly in the same trend of those who were published in nazi Germany before WW2 – by dehumanizing people, you are putting the US audience in the correct mindset to accept slaughter once again.

    Whatever offending the cartoons about Christ may be, they are never originating from Muslims countries, nor being published in an atmosphere of war against all Christians.

    Freedom of speech is okay – but this kind of inflammatory propaganda is just criminal – in the sense that they make the public ready to accept bombing a country for no reason.

    Iran is in any case in its borders. The real alien cockroaches, soldiers and mercenaries, are those who travelled 10 000 miles to wreak havoc and massacre in this region not for a single real reason but money and profit.

  • Joshua

    Ummm, money and profit are REAL reasons as much as people don’t want to believe it, even if it may not be the right reasons. The majority of all people are cockroaches, and this article almost proves that. Are people really so sensitive that a simple cartoon places thier beliefs in peril? Are people really so stupid that a simple cartoon would passively cause them to accept a war which they don’t understand? Yes, because we are cockroaches. My beliefs are trampled every day by ordinary people and I don’t cry and protest about it, mainly because of what nnamdi already said above.
    What amazes me is the ability for Iran to play the hypocrite to its own people. Every time they are offended by something in the West, they retaliate by doing the exact same thing. Children, all these people act like little children. The only people creating a “wall” are those that are offended by everything, not those who have a cynical sense of humor.

  • […] bloggers are in heated discussion about it (personally speaking, it seems fairly inflammatory, but hardly worthy of more than brief outrage.) […]

  • rayhan

    Artists, whose imagination cannot go beyond the sewer, must feel right at home drawing for the discredited, propagandist, corporate owned mass media, if it can be called that, that claims to inform Americans but in fact lies, misleads and misinforms to serve its true masters: the greedy, warmongering, anti-human clique of capitalists and fascists bent on destroying the planet and it’s inhabitants for their short-sighted grab for riches at all costs.

  • […] Nicht schön und auch nicht besonders witzig. Entsprechend die empörten Reaktionen, die Hamid Tehrani zusammengetragen hat. Interessant ist auch die Diskussion zu dem […]

  • Fridolin von Spaun

    i will say this again, the artist is a jew.
    sarkozy and kouchner are jews masquerading as
    frenchies. alas, is the moderator also one?

  • anna

    The cockroache, I believe, is a more honourable and dignified creature than the human-beings who try to use it to to demean other human-beings, even though they themselves see it as far beneath them and even far beneath the people they hypocritically try to demean.

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