There sure have been a lot of changes in this country over the past couple of years. We have nationalized banks, nationalized car companies, nationalized health insurance and pretty soon it looks like nationalized stock trading as well. We have an administration that has significantly altered the USA's approach to the Middle East...in a way that they now regularly make demands of sovereign, democratic allies while giving hostile, terrorist entities a free pass. The America we live in today is a vastly different place than it was just two years ago.
And now we have entered the realm of speech as well.
If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
One week ago, the creators of South Park aired their 200th episode. In the episode they attempted to poke fun at the ridiculous idea that you can make fun of every topic, every human being, every leader, every celebrity, every religious figure...everyone except for the Prophet Muhammad.
South Park's relationship with the Prophet goes back a while...he actually appeared in an episode from nine years ago that involved many major religious figures or gods (think Jesus, Moses, Krishna) teaming up in as Power Rangers-style super heroes and fighting crime. Then, in a rather brilliant statement on censorship and Muhammad, the created a storyline where al Qaeda threatens to attack the United States if an image of Muhammad is aired on Family Guy. In the end, the terrorist "retaliation" turns out to be one of the most insane segments of television ever aired, as Jesus, George W. Bush and several stereotypical Americans are shown performing some pretty disgusting acts.
WARNING: THE FINAL MINUTE OF THIS IS PRETTY GRAPHIC AND DUE TO ITS CONTENT SHOULD NOT BE VIEWED BY ANYONE
Personally, I thought it was a very funny and poignant statement on how absurd we'd gotten in this country when one religious figure (as well as the president and the American flag) can be the subject of some (literal) toilet humor while another one isn't even allowed to be shown at all.
At the time, the scene with Muhammad did not air. Instead the screen went dark and said that Comedy Central (the channel that airs South Park) refused to allow an image of Muhammad on their network. At the time it aired - which was in the wake of the Muslim cartoon riots - it looked like an elaborate joke. Unfortunately though, it wasn't...Comedy Central gave into intimidation. Furthermore, it appears at this time that they've forced South Park to take down the streaming access to the original "Super Best Friends" episode from 2001 that had the Muhammad character.
Well, last week South Park was at it again. This time, to get around the censorship issue, they decided to hide Muhammad in a giant bear costume. Unfortunately for our old lunatic friends from revolutionmuslim.com this wasn't good enough and they responded with the following statement:
"We have to warn [South Park creators) Matt (Stone) and Trey (Parker) that what they are doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh for airing this show,"
Theo Van Gogh for those keeping score at home, was murdered by an Islamic extremist for speaking out against the awful treatment of women in majority-Muslim countries. Essentially, the Revolution Muslim people were telling Parker and Stone that if they followed through with showing Muhammad in the next episode, bad things would be visited upon them, Allah-willing. To further drive the point home, they included an address where you could find the duo.
Also for those keeping score at home, this is the second time this site has had to deal with these Revolution Muslim fanatics. These are the same people that applauded Nidal Malik al-Hasan as a hero for blowing away his friends and co-workers during the Fort Hood terrorist attack.
So, all eyes were on South Park this week to see what would happen. Would Comedy Central again give in and try to appease a bunch of radical Muslims?
Unfortunately, when this week's episode aired, not only was Muhammad's image not shown but any mention of the word "Muhammad" was bleeped out. And at the end of the episode, an entire speech from one of the characters about the situation was also bleeped out.
What has happened to us? How isn't the entire country in a massive uproar today? This is not a matter of South Park being "Islamophobic" or somehow targeting Muslims...their entire M.O. is to satirize anything and everything in society. Religious figures, political figures, celebrities, silly fads and social issues of every possible type have been targeted over the show's 14-season run. Even MUHAMMAD HIMSELF was playfully mocked before the pre-9/11 fear-fest that has descended upon the world.
In fact, here in no particular order is a non-comprehensive list of the topics South Park has mocked in the past that have not resulted in barely-veiled death threats:
Jesus. Moses. Mormons. Scientologists. George W. Bush. Bill Clinton. John McCain. Barack Obama. Saddam Hussein. The devil. God. Heaven. Hell. The war in Iraq. Osama Bin-Laden. The anti-war protesters. The pro-war protesters. Rednecks. Mormons. Tom Cruise. Rosie O'Donnell. Movies that deal with time travel. 80's movies. Action movies. Japanese people. Pokemon. Catholics. Santa Claus. The Pope. The Catholic League. Jews. Judaism. Jewish mothers. Black people. Former cast member Isaac Hayes. Women. Men. Old people. Gay people. Straight people. Metrosexual people. Republicans. Democrats. Mexicans. Americans. Canadians. Orphans. Paris Hilton. Girls who like Paris Hilton. Mel Gibson. Child molestation. Chinese people. Young people. Michael Richards. Gary Condit. Steroids. The Special Olympics. Religious fanatics. Ethiopians. Sally Struthers. And on. And on. And on...
But Muhammad isn't allowed to be even just be shown on-screen??
What is going on here?! Honestly...how can we let this happen to our country and our society? How can we let one group, just one group dictate to us what we are and aren't allowed to talk about? Where is the outrage? Where are the liberals? Where is the ACLU? Moderate Muslims? Congress? The President? Anyone???
Several months ago, I wrote about Michael Savage being banned in Britain also as a result of some controversial things he has said and as far as I know, to this day still no one of any real importance has come to his defense. Here is another example, this time of Americans being censored IN AMERICA due to THREATS of VIOLENCE by OTHER AMERICANS.
This too adds a whole different dimension to the issue - the Revolution Muslim guys are AMERICANS. They live and operate in the New York area where they frequently terrorize locals (especially people who they perceive as moderate Muslims) with their rantings and ravings against the United States, Israel, Jews, Christians, unbelievers, Obama...you know, maybe they have more in common with South Park than they think...
...or maybe not. This is what we are tolerating everyday on our streets. This is what is dictating our television shows to us now. Are we really going to live like this? Are we really letting this happen?
It is entirely unacceptable and we cannot allow it to continue. But I've already weighed in several times on where this censorship road is taking us...there are only so many ways to say that this is a disgrace without being repetitive.
So here's what I'm going to do - and I encourage everyone else to do the same:
That's an image of Muhammad from the 2001 episode of South Park.
Here it is again.
"The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man. Every citizen may, accordingly, speak, write, and print with freedom, but shall be responsible for such abuses of this freedom as shall be defined by law."
--Declaration of the Rights of Man, Article 11
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
--The First Amendment to the United States Constitution
This is AMERICA for God's sake. We cannot let a bunch of fringe religious fanatics dictate our lives to us.