(HH:I seriously could not dare to make this up. Iran is going all out for the Insane Country of the Year Award. Be prepared to laugh til you cry when you see the students diligently taking notes.)
On February 19, 2006, Iranian TV channel 4 covered a film seminar that included a lecture by Professor Hasan Bolkhari.(1) In addition to being a member of the Film Council of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), Bolkhari is a cultural advisor to the Iranian Education Ministry,(2) and active on behalf of interfaith issues.(3)
The following are excerpts from Bokhari’s lecture.
Hasan Bolkhari: There is a cartoon that children like. They like it very much, and so do adults – Tom and Jerry.
Some say that this creation by Walt Disney will be remembered forever. The Jewish Walt Disney Company gained international fame with this cartoon. It is still shown throughout the world. This cartoon maintains its status because of the cute antics of the cat and mouse – especially the mouse.
Some say that the main reason for making this very appealing cartoon was to erase a certain derogatory term that was prevalent in Europe.
If you study European history, you will see who was the main power to hoard money and wealth, in the 19th century. In most cases, it is the Jews. Perhaps that was one of the reasons which caused Hitler to begin the anti-Semitic trend, and then the extensive propaganda about the crematoria began… Some of this is true. We do not deny all of it.
Watch Schindler’s List. Every Jew was forced to wear a yellow star on his clothing. The Jews were degraded and termed “dirty mice.” Tom and Jerry was made in order to change the Europeans’ perception of mice. One of terms used was “dirty mice.”
I’d like to tell you that… It should be noted that mice are very cunning…and dirty.
No ethnic group or people operates in such a clandestine manner as the Jews.
Read the history of the Jews in Europe. This ultimately led to Hitler’s hatred and resentment. As it turns out, Hitler had behind-the-scene connections with the Protocols [of the Elders of Zion].
Tom and Jerry was made in order to display the exact opposite image. If you happen to watch this cartoon tomorrow, bear in mind the points I have just raised, and watch it from this perspective. The mouse is very clever and smart. Everything he does is so cute. He kicks the poor cat’s ass. Yet this cruelty does not make you despise the mouse. He looks so nice, and he is so clever… This is exactly why some say it was meant to erase this image of mice from the minds of European children, and to show that the mouse is not dirty and has these traits.
Unfortunately, we have many such cases in Hollywood shows.
Endnotes: (1) According to the site of the 2005 Iranian Short Film Festival (http://www.shortfilmfest-ir.com/2005/jury/jury_spritual_2005_page-3.htm ), Hasan Bolkhari (b. 1962) holds a Ph.D in Islamic Philosophy and, among other things, teaches philosophy of art at Tabatabaei and Al-Zahra Universities in Iran and is a prolific author of literary and scientific works. According to the site, he is also counselor and member of the Film Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) and a member of the IRIB’s Approval Group – TV Films and Serials. (2) According to a BBC report (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/middle_east/822312.stm ), Bolkhari is a cultural advisor to the Iranian Education Ministry; according to the IRIB’s English-language Radio Islam, he is an Iranian mass media expert (http://www.irib.ir/worldservice/englishRADIO/ISLAM/muslims.htm ). (3) According to the World Catholic Association for Communication, he was the Iranian member of the interfaith jury of the recent 24th Fajr International Film Festival (http://www.wmaker.net/signis_en/index.php?action=article&id_article=294434 ). According to the site, “the Interfaith Jury was set up in 2003 to promote inter-religious dialogue between Christians and Muslims.” The jury also included a U.K. and a Belgian juror.