Earlier this week, an Islamist extremist group sent a death threat to the creators of South Park for depicting Mohammed in a bear costume. Although the actual image of the Islamic prophet was supposed to be revealed in this week’s episode, Comedy Central decided to censor the episode to the point of incomprehension.
This censorship goes beyond issues of the First Amendment. In the past, South Park has made fun of Jews, blacks, Hispanics, homosexuals, [fundamentalist] Christians, atheists, Scientologists, Democrats, the pro-lifers from the Terri Schiavo case, rednecks, the list goes on. Although South Park’s satire can be crude at times, it is safe to say that when it comes to criticizing others, South Park is unquestionably equal opportunity. The question I now pose is the following: have we come across the uncriticizable? Even with a death threat, why should a dozen Muslims located in a bourough in New York City dictate to the rest of America what is appropriate material?! I know that showing an image of Mohammed is a psychological boo-boo for a Muslim, but if you don’t want to see the image of Mohammed portrayed on South Park, here’s what you do: you turn off your television set! You don’t send death threats, especially if you’re a part of the supposed “religion of peace.”
I know that Muslim culture isn’t used to such things as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, or human rights. We don’t live in the Middle East or Northern Africa. This is America, and in this country, we have a government that protects our rights enumerated in the Constitution. This acquiescence to Muslim complaints is a symptom of the political correctness which is already strangling Europe, and is starting to make its way over to the States.
Theo van Gogh produced a film titled Submission, which criticized the treatment of women in the Islamic world. How did the “practitioners of peace” react? They murdered him. When the Danish cartoons depicting Mohammed came out, the Muslim world violently protested. Two Danish embassies were burned and over a hundred people died in the process. Death by cartoon, what can one say?
Why should we be scared of Muslim backlash? Where is the civility in lashing out simply because one becomes offended? We live in such a hyper-sensitive society that people are offended by the simplest thing. For instance, let’s say someone is being rude. You can’t criticize them because you should “just accept them for who they are.” But in this country, if you end up criticizing them, you’re the one labeled as the intolerant boob. Not only is the "American perception" of what is proper is out of whack, but we let Muslims manipulate our sense of tolerance and diversity to get away with it.
If you don’t like a form of media, don’t use it. If it really offends you, get a bunch of friends together to boycott it to put a crimp on their finances. But death threats? Really? Talking about uncouth! As soon as we cave into one group because something is offensive, then we have to start stifling everybody’s free speech, and that is totalitarianism.