So the Prophet Muhammed didn’t appear in a bear suit after all? I didn’t catch last night’s South Park episode, but apparently the word “Prophet Muhammed” were bleeped out, and instead of Muhammed in a bear suit, viewers saw Santa Claus.
Muhammed the Bear’s (peace be upon him) non-appearance came after South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone received a veiled (no pun intended) threat from radical Muslims. The Revolution Muslim blog, based in New York City, warned that “it is likely the creators of South Park will indeed end up like Theo Van Gogh”, the Dutch filmmaker who was assassinated by Muslim extremists after producing a film that showed nude women with Quranic verses projected on on their bodies.
“How do you think Obama would feel if the flag of Al-Qa’ida was stamped on his coffee mug and there was nothing he could do about it? The issue of the honor of our Prophet (peace be upon him) is an issue of honor for this entire nation. Perhaps honor is a dead value in the West, but it will never die in the hearts of this Ummah (nation).”
How do I think Obama would feel about an Al Qaeda flag on his coffee mug? I think he’d toss out the mug, but he wouldn’t assassinate the manufacturer. What’s scary about these people is that they truly believe that murder is the appropriate response to speech they find offensive. Curious, isn’t it, that fundamentalists like Revolution Muslim complain that free speech “is interpreted as the right to promote pornography, homosexuality, slander, and libel against even that which is considered sacred.” And yet for the sake of a joke, these fanatics give themselves the right to rescind the most sacred value of all – human life.
Perhaps South Park’s creators were frightened. Perhaps they thought that the publicity alone was a successful strike against religious censorship. I have no right to ask Trey Parker and Matt Stone to risk their lives. People have been murdered for less than they have done. But I hope they continue to be the bulls in the religious china shop. Fundamentalists don’t fear death. They fear laughter.