Apr 19, 2010

A Jihad on South Park

For those of you who thought last week's episode of South Park was tame, think again. The fact that South Park even chose not to show Mohammed has sparked a controversy within radical Islamic sects. The web site Revolutionmuslim.com, which has been under investigation before for supporting violence (according to CNN), posted warnings about potential violence against creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone for even threatening to show the prophet Mohammed in the 200th episode.

As is quoted on the site (through CNN):

We have to warn Matt and Trey that what they are doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh for airing this show. This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them.

The awful irony of arguing over whether or not Mohammed should be shown in an episode of South Park is that it has already happened. If you take a look at season five of the series, you will see an episode called 'Super Best Friends', which features Buddha, Krishna, and Mohammed as well. Fully visible. No Censorship bar. Nothing. In fact, if one were so inclined, he or she could got to the South Park web site and watch the entire episode right now (here is the page). In essence, this is already a moot point, but the humorless extremists on Revolutionmuslim are not very attuned to humor and irony, as it should be blatantly obvious.

Everyone is waiting for mainstream Muslims to condemn the actions taken against Theo Van Goh, who was murdered for a critical film regarding abuses suffered by Muslim women, and for this most recent threat of violence against Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Parker and Stone themselves are largely unafraid of repercussions, if their interview with BoingBoingVideo is any indication:

(Trey Parker) It would be so hypocritical against our own thoughts if we say, "Okay, well let's not make fun of them because they may hurt us...That's messed up to have that kind of thought process. Okay, well, we'll rip on the Catholics because they won't hurt us, but we won't rip on them because they might hurt us. That is not the way it works. (from from YouTube)

To be upset and appalled by the way your religion is portrayed on South Park is acceptable. That is one of the beautiful aspects of American culture, to realize that someone out there disagrees and has the right to disagree. The rights of free speech do not protect one's feelings, however. You may be astounded at the audacity of an artist willing to show Mohammed's face, but faith does not create an asylum for violence. To advocate violence for a satirical cartoon show - for any show, for that matter - only works to stretch the limitations of what is to be considered one freely practicing one's faith.

BoingBoing Interview w/ Trey Parker and Matt Stone
CNN - Radical Islam Web Site Takes on 'South Park'

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