After being on the air since 1997 it is clear that South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are not afraid to tackle any subject. For years I have appreciated their courage and spent many episodes in side-splitting laughter. However, after thinking about the legitimate threat that real radical fundamentalists present to the free world I began to fear for South Park’s irreplaceable front men for the first time since the show’s inception.
Seeing how extremists handle a harmless satire only heightens my respect for people who literally speak out against violence at the hand of Muslim radicals. Men like David Horowitz and Robert Spencer are brave enough to open a dialogue only to get animosity and death wishes in return. Over the years South Park’s creators have also proven their courage by utilizing Muslims and Mohammed in their cartoon even though such an act has led to death in the past.
South Park celebrated their 200th episode last week by exploring the idea of having the celebrities previously lampooned by the show file a lawsuit against the small mountain town. They will only drop the case if the town presents Mohammed to them but they are afraid to show him in public due to fear of jihad. The episode is funny but unfortunately for some there is a no tolerance policy for joking about the Muslim prophet.
Here is a video of Parker and Stone discussing the episode where they make their intentions clear. They did not mean to directly mock the Muslim faith but instead wanted to prove a double standard when it comes to showing the Prophet on television:
While the two appear unafraid of any threat posed to them, I hope they realize their brilliant commentary is grounds for death in some circles. Many of us remember the senseless murder of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh by the hand of a Muslim radical. If it can happen to him it can certainly happen to some of our favorite cartoon satirists. Though the threat is real, it is important that we have people who are not afraid to stand up against it.
“Revolutionmuslim.com, based in New York, was the subject of a CNN investigation last year for its radical rhetoric supporting “jihad” against the West and praising al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Its organizers insist they act within the law and seek to protect Islam.”
The website utilizes our freedom of speech in America but its creators will not tolerate when Parker and Stone express their right to do so. Below is the chilling Revolutionmuslim.com video. The pictures are synced with a sermon from Anwar al-Awlaki who is an American born radical preacher who is now in hiding.
The video on this website makes it clear that people will be (and should be) killed if they speak out against Islam. We are told that Parker and Stone will end up like the late Theo Van Gogh. The speaker asserts, “We executed him because he defamed me with his poetry.”
After showing a picture of Van Gogh, the speaker continued, “If any of you try to defame me through your words this is the way we will deal with you. There is nothing between us and you except the sword.” The next image is of Van Gogh stabbed to death on the ground with text that reads, “Theo Van Gogh after he was sent to hell.”
There is not much that rattles me, however, this kind of rhetoric is truly terrifying. The video ends with a warning to the show’s creators that “the dust will never settle.” While it is Parker and Stone’s job to keep us laughing, it is good to see that they show no signs of being intimidated by thugs.
Although we have Horowitz and Spencer standing strong on the academic side of these threats, it is essential that we also have entertainment like South Park that also refuses to back down from intimidation.