Friday, April 23, 2010

Comedy Central Wimps Out

Comedy Central has censored one episode of South Park and removed another one from its streaming archives entirely after an radical Islamic web-site claimed that the creators of the series would end up like Theo Van Gogh.  Van Gogh, a distant relative of the painter, was killed by an Islamist upset by his film Submission that was, how shall I put it delicately, extremely critical of Islam.,0,5940860.story

Although the web-site did not make a threat pe se and the owner of the site is not a major Muslim leader or scholar, Comedy Central quailing before even that gives hooligans of all stripes incentive to make threats to get their way and is a setback for freedom of speech. 

After all, if some nobody can make a semi-threat and cause one of America's most important TV networks to cower before it, it stands to reason that some more impressive fellow who makes a real threat will be more likely to be obeyed.

One of my friends from college posted a screengrab of Mohammed from the episode that was removed (by Comedy Central) as his Facebook photo as a protest of the Islamists' threats and Comedy Central's cowardly reaction to them.  I've done the same with mine.  If many thousands of people do this, that should send the message to those who think it is appropriate to threaten violence against critics of their religion, political ideology, etc. that their bully tactics will not work.

This is not an insult to Muslims in general--if I recall correctly, in the episode removed from the live streaming service, Mohammed and other religious figures form a superhero team to fight against a thinly-disguised version of the Church of Scientology.  It is a response to the thuggish attitude certain people have.

Freedom of speech forever.

1 comment: