Iran using pencils as weapons against ISIS

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(CNN) – In the face of recent attacks upon political cartoonists, it would be no surprise if the art form’s popularity would stall. However, instead a new cartoon contest is sweeping the globe and has cartoonists flying in to the contest’s unlikely host; Iran.

As Tehran’s ‘House of Cartoon’ stages a competition based on the theme: “Crimes committed by the Islamic State.” Now, we have to keep in mind this is also the organization that hosted the grotesque contest for cartoons of holocaust denial.

But the theme of the anti-ISIS competition is indeed getting entries from artists around the world. Many depict the group’s tactic of destroying ancient culture, like the one by a cartoonist from Germany.

While this Iranian cartoonist shows ISIS fighters leaving their brains and hearts at the door when they join. And of course, as cartoonists themselves, some show ISIS attacks on the pencil as petty and futile.

As the artists fly in for the awards ceremony in Tehran, they know the risk they take by speaking out against ISIS. Some are traveling under false names to protect their identities

All those taking part seem to be pushing one message above all: That the pencil is indeed mightier than the sword.

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