Free speech issues and portrayals of Islam needlessly stirred a hornet’s nest recently when “South Park” depicted the Prophet Mohammed disguised in a bear suit in the 200th episode of the popular Comedy Central TV show.
But what many people don’t realize is that the show’s creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, already used an image of Mohammed on “South Park” without any strife whatsoever in a July 2001 episode called “Super Best Friends.” …
To generate some press coverage and needless dispute, two extremist buffoons at a radical website called “Revolution Muslim” directed a thinly veiled threat against the show’s creators for depicting Mohammed in the recent episode. Much of the American mainstream media ended up giving a national platform to these unknown knuckleheads, which only helped to tarnish the reputation of Muslims in America further.
Sadly, it seems to be far sexier for the media to report the message of two extremists rather than the tempered and tolerant message of the majority of millions of American Muslims.
This is also important because actual Islamophobia – and other forms of bigotry and racism – badly needs to be combated by our society. That fight certainly does not revolve around a bunch of Comedy Centralcartoon characters named Eric Cartman or Mr. Hanky.
Instead of conjuring up fake controversies involving the equal opportunity offenders of “South Park,” we should focus on professional political polemicists, such as Ann Coulter, who has publicly stated that we should “kill their [Muslim] leaders and convert them to Christianity” – or the Rev. Pat Robertson of “The 700 Club,” who once told The Associated Press that neither American Muslims nor Hindus should be allowed to serve as U.S. federal judges.
These right-wing professional fear-mongers have nurtured, facilitated and expanded the growth of Islamophobia after the tragedy of the September 11, 2001, attacks to the point where Muslim is almost a slur in America….
Sadly, instead of dealing with the real cases of racism, bigotry and xenophobia regularly injected into our public airwaves by some of our political leaders and opinion makers, we have allowed ourselves to get sucked into a faux controversy involving two no-name idiots with a radical website taking on four pre-pubescent, fictitious cartoon characters from South Park, Colorado.
The two men behind “Revolution Muslim” are, however, not exactly unknown – they have a track record when it comes to this sort of provocation. And some have suggested that they are more than just knuckleheads. Ibrahim Cooper of CAIR has observed of Revolution Muslim that “most Muslims suspect they were set up only to make Muslims look bad. We just have very deep suspicions. They say such outrageous, irresponsible things that it almost seems like they’re doing it to smear Islam.”