Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:April 22nd, 2010 12:17 EST
south park

South Park Episode Is Altered After Threats From Muslim Group

By Robert Paul Reyes

 

"An episode of `South Park` that continued a story line involving the Prophet Muhammad was shown Wednesday night on Comedy Central with audio bleeps and image blocks reading `CENSORED` after a Muslim group warned the show`s creators they could face violence for depicting that holy Islamic prophet. Revolution Muslim, a group based in New York, wrote on its Web site that the `South Park` creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker `will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh` for an episode shown last week in which a character said to be the Prophet Muhammad was seen wearing a bear costume. Mr. Van Gogh was slain in Amsterdam in 2004 after making a film that discussed the abuse of Muslim women in some Islamic societies.

south parkA new episode of `South Park` on Wednesday night attempted to revisit this character, but with the name and depiction of the character blocked out. It was unclear how much of the bleeping was Mr. Stone and Mr. Parker`s decision." read more

Freedom of speech is a constitutional right enjoyed and appreciated by all Americans, but especially by entertainers, journalists and bloggers.

My ability to expressly myself freely as a newspaper columnist and an Internet writer didn`t come cheaply, millions of patriots sacrificed their lives to guarantee us this precious liberty.

It is incumbent upon all Americans, but especially for members of the press not to let anybody or any organization stifle our free speech.

In my 12 years publishing essays in newspapers and on the Internet I have received hundreds of threatening emails, but I will never allow my critics to intimidate me into self-censoring my articles.

Our freedom of speech is constantly undermined by fascists in our own country and by Islamist abroad, and we must be willing to risk our lives to protect it.

Muslim clerics aren`t content to enslave their own followers; they seek to intimidate Westerners from telling the truth about Islam. Unfortunately, too many Americans have given in to the bullying tactics of Jihadists, how often do we hear seemingly intelligent Americans refer to Islam as the "religion of peace."

Describing Islam as the "religion of peace" makes as much sense as labeling neo-Nazi groups as movements of "inclusivity and tolerance." You don`t have to be a rocket scientist or a history major to know that Islam was founded in blood, and that is has spread throughout the world by the sword.

Shame on Comedy Central management for giving in to threats, they have set a precedent that will result in others following their cowardly example.

I don`t know if the decision to censor was out of the hands of the creators of the show, so I will reserve judgment of them at this time.

To those who argue that Islam is a religion of peace, no different than Judaism or Christianity, I say: Hogwash! Jesus Christ is depicted a wimpy hippie in a recurring role in South Park, but you don`t hear about evangelicals or Catholics threatening to kill Matt Stone or Trey Parker.

Shame on the Comedy Central for their cowardice, and kudos for Web sites like Newsblaze and The SOP that allow their writers to express themselves freely as long as they don`t resort to profanity or libel.

Follow Robert Paul Reyes on Twitter: http://twitter.com/robertpaulreyes