...Comedy Central caves to the demands of Terrorist Wannabes.
It's not even that the terrorists have won, it's that wannabe terrorists have won.
A group called Revolution Muslim, which by most accounts seems less a terrorist cell than, metaphorically speaking, a couple of guys living in their parents' basements, managed to scare Comedy Central this week into censoring South Park for mocking their religion, or rather, the ban in some quarters of depictions of the prophet Muhammed.
The Anti-Defamation League, which has tracked the New York-based Revolution Muslim, says the group has no more than about a dozen members, is known mainly for spouting anti-Semitism, handing out pamphlets on the sidewalks of New York and picketing mosques that it thinks aren't radical enough. The founders are converts to Islam, including one who previously was Jewish and associated with a group called, no joke, Jews for Allah.
I missed both episodes, but caught the Jawa Report on the first part that was aired, which saw South Park celebrate its 200th episode. In it, they resuscitated some of the best of what they had done previously, including the depiction of Mohammed before the outrage over the Danish cartoons.
The episode, so far as I can tell from clips that now have been cut and redacted more than your basic National Security Agency document, was making a point about the depiction taboo by putting Muhammed inside a bear mascot suit to protect him from being depicted.
As it turned out, it wasn't even Muhammed underneath the suit, but Revolution Muslim nonetheless was outraged and warned that South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone would "wind up like Theo Van Gogh," the Dutch filmmaker murdered in 2004 by an Islamic radical over a movie that accused the religion of condoning violence against women.
Comedy Central responded to the website warning by bleeping out even the word "Muhammed" in the following episode and — off-the-charts irony alert! — the entire speech that one character makes about fear and intolerance.
So to recap: A cartoon was censored not for depicting Muhammed but merely talking about depicting Muhammed and then even that talk was censored. This has to go down as one of the strangest freedom-of-speech cases ever — when Kyle is silenced, we all are silenced.
But such is the state of the world today that, a) some of the sharpest political commentary comes from Comedy Central courtesy of Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and, yes, South Park, and b) now even Comedy Central has wimped out.
And to a fringe group that a Muslim advocacy organization, Council on American-Islamic Relations, quickly denounced as extremist and lacking in any credibility. Would that other mainstream groups similarly speak out against the fringers in their own midsts when they threaten violence.
The Jawa Report had a great analysis of the first part when the controversy began brewing as an Islamist nutjob named Zach posted a death threat via Twitter:
All the more ironic given that this was a response to the latest episode of South Park in which Mohammad is portrayed as having a super power which celebrities want.
What is Muhammad's super power? No one can criticize him.
Something celebrities would die -- or kill -- for.
But they weren't making fun of Muhammad. They were making fun of Muslims like Zach who are the only group of religious zealots who threaten violence every time they are offended.
Which makes this whole thing perfectly ironic.
And it's not just Zach, but his buddies on the forums and over at Facebook who are pissed off at South Park for once again pointing out that they are a bunch of thin-skinned dirtbags.
Rusty's updated the post with more threats by Islamist buddies of Zach (separate from Revolution Muslim). Also, another follow up post.
Here are Matt and Trey discussing the episode before it aired:
All this makes me want to see the missed episodes baaaaaaaaadly.
And (hat tip to Steve Schippert) May 20th is "Everybody draw Mohammed Day":
After Comedy Central cut a portion of a South Park episode following a death threat from a radical Muslim group, Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris wanted to counter the fear. She has declared May 20th "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day."
Norris told KIRO Radio's Dave Ross that cartoonists are meant to challenge the lines of political correctness. "That's a cartoonist's job, to be non-PC."
You can find more on all of this by going to the Revolution Muslim website, including links to other news articles. (They seem to have a backup blogspot.com, too). I'm sure they'll be thrilled to note FA linking to them and respecting their point of view.
Remember: May 20th. You don't have to be a professional artist to draw Mohammed, so maybe readers would care to submit their cartoon depictions?
For me, this isn't about disrespecting the faith of 1.5 billion. It's about not having my freedom suppressed and my actions dictated by intolerant, thin-skinned lunatics.
Comedy Central definitely didn't censor the South Park episode out of deference and respect for Islam. They did it out of fear and intimidation. They caved to terror-threats...made not by rioting mobs but by a handful of wannabe wahabbi nutjobs.
Here's the Super Best Friends ep with commentary where Mohammed makes his physical appearance (without fanfare death threats, pre-Danish cartoons):
You can watch the 200th episode at Flopping Aces.
Cross-posted at Flopping Aces
It seems the cartoonist, Molly Norris, never intended this to go viral:
The cartoonist, Molly Norris, was overwhelmed by the response — so overwhelmed, in fact, that she canceled the plan. Here the message from her website:
I am NOT involved in "Everybody Draw Mohammd Day!" I made a cartoon that went viral and I am not going with it. Many other folks have used my cartoon to start sites, etc. Please go to them as I am a private person who draws stuff
Norris said she never meant disrespect, but simply wanted to bring attention to media censorship. She was outraged after South Park received death threats over their planned depiction of Muhammad, and even more outraged when Comedy Central pulled the plug.
I make cartoons about current, cultural events. I made a cartoon of a 'poster' entitled "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!" with a nonexistent group's name -- Citizens Against Citizens Against Humor -- drawn on the cartoon also. I did not intend for my cartoon to go viral. I did not intend to be the focus of any 'group'. I practice the first amendment by drawing what I wish. This particular cartoon of a 'poster' seems to have struck a gigantic nerve, something I was totally unprepared for. I am going back to the drawing table now!