South Park Controversy

2010-04-23 14:07:29 by sirjeffofshort
Updated

For those of you who haven't heard, there is a good amount of controversy over the last two episodes of South Park and their use of the prophet Muhamed as a character.

If you don't know the details i won't go into it here but HERE is a good article explaining most of what you need to know. The short version is that some extremist groups issued threats against Trey Parker & Matt Stone and Comedy Central has since been editing and censoring South Park episodes to avoid angering the groups further.

As of now neither of the last two episodes are in re-runs or even available online at southparkstudios.com and I just noticed that they had also pulled the older episode "Super Best Friends," from streaming on the site, which depicted Muhamed without being censored before the situation became taboo.

So, what do you think? Should Parker and Stone be allowed their rights to creative expression, or should they willingly censor themselves to cater to the threats of some of these groups?

*Please note any outright hate speech in response will be removed. I will accept any opinion if it is well formed and stated, but I don't want to open a forum for hate speech.*


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ClockworkpixelClockworkpixel

2010-04-23 14:21:30

it's creative i don't see whats wrong with it people portray jesus and other gods all the time showing the there not saying the prophet muhamed is wrong their just showing him. if that was jesus then every one would laugh but because it's muhamed it's wrong i don't see why people can't just have a sense of humor about their own culture and every one get along. i mean it's south part they could of made it alot worse if they wanted to.

sirjeffofshort responds:

I agree. My main thought is that South Park wasn't even looking to insult or harm the Islamic religion, they were looking to make a point on some groups use of violent threats to censor the rest of the world and how giving in to that will only produce more of the same.


KinseiKinsei

2010-04-23 14:25:26

well I feel that if they want to continue uncensored, I think they should. But that would have to be there choice. If Comedy Central wanted to avoid the trouble they know that they can just refuse to air the show. So if it is a mutual agreement between The creators and Comedy Central then I'm fine with it.

On the terms of an extremest group threatening the well being of others, that I do not think is right of them to do. I'm ok with them complaining about it, but I don't feel they should threaten any one over it.

sirjeffofshort responds:

Right. So far as my understanding goes based on a statement Parker and Stone made, it was Comedy Central's decision to censor the show (I don't know if you saw it but boy was it censored). It's true Comedy Central could pull any episodes or even the show, but that would put them at odds (moreso than they already are) with their highest grossing show for like 14 years running.

Free speech is definitely a two way street though, and if Trey and Stone are allowed to do as they will with the show then those offended should obviously be allowed to express their concerns. I agree though that it seems silly that people can't express themselves properly and rather tend to have to resort to threats of violence.


Evil-DogEvil-Dog

2010-04-23 14:30:40

Worst religion ever. They're a bunch of babies ready to die for fairy tales. It's quite sad

sirjeffofshort responds:

I know this borders on the type of thing I said I was going to take down, but rather I just want to state for the record that it is only EXTREME groups issuing threats.

Statements from other islamic and muslim groups have actually said that they respect that the "South Park" struggle stems from a need for creative expression and not from a want to harm or insult their faith.


dudeofdudelanddudeofdudeland

2010-04-23 14:58:18

Okay, so people thinks Muhammed is so religious so he can't be shown ANYWHERE, if you ask me, I think it's a little stupid. Even though they don't show him they get threattoned to death.
I'm on Tray Parkers and Matt Stones side!

sirjeffofshort responds:

I think a lot of people over here (in america) would think the same, but there is another side to the story. I do agree though that if it is okay to show or make fun of any religious figure it should be okay to touch upon any. I also think that in this day and age we should be beyond using violence to attempt to get someone to conform to the rules of your religion.


GreyGreySilverGreyGreySilver

2010-04-23 15:17:32

Wow, this is tough to say. Even though America has a freedom of speech, but the muslim countries do not. So, because they do not mock of say anything bad about Muhamed since it is a sin to say anything bad about Muhamed, they are being very sensitive about their idol. Its just like teasing a kid at school, then the kid goes to school with a gun to threaten everyone.

But on the Muslim's side, Parker and Stone do go to far sometimes, and they have also been warned before.

Its hard to say why they awre doing it too! I mean, South Park didnt do anything really to make fun of the god anyways. They said he had a lot of power, and thats it.

sirjeffofshort responds:

Really well put, and I was hoping someone would at least point out the argument from the non south park side of the table.


skaraiskarai

2010-04-23 15:21:48

Show sucks anyway

sirjeffofshort responds:

It's still a subject that can potentially affect all media, and therefore one appropriate for discussion.


darklight500darklight500

2010-04-23 15:33:01

This is in fact quite a touchy subject. Not only because of Muhamed and the extremists, but their ABILITY to actually carry out these threats with action. This story has 2 sides in my opinion. The larger most obvious one is free speech and the extremists, but the smaller but even important thing is the debate of Freedom VS Safety.

Anyone who wants and knows how to make a bomb can make them with the most basic tools available. Society counts on part law enforcements, part social cohesion and part morality to inhibit such actions. But obviously, extremists don't take part in these three areas as we experience as normal, rather they follow their own set of rules and behaviour that makes actions such as these and their consequences more common practice.

Society as we know it isn't equipped for this kind of behaviour. Not until every corner is monitored, every purchase tracked, every person brainwashed and thought police invented will it be possible to 100% prevent this.

But are we even humans at that stage? Won't safety in such measures mean the end of humanity and all its freedoms we have come to enjoy? When is there enough safety to be safe from these threats that we can live in peace? Can we actually live in peace when our every action would be monitored?

Freedom and safety are two very peculiar things. There's 2 ways you can see it; They can go hand in hand or, they can't be seen together at all. Both have the need for sacrifices to be made and there's no "Best of both worlds" scenario. Not in a way I can see it happening in the traditional sense.

sirjeffofshort responds:

So many questions with no easy answers. Really well stated comment. I do think the first step to finding that "best of both worlds" scenario (if it is at all attainable) is to open a dialogue between people who are willing to see the standpoint of both sides and respect the ideals and feelings of all parties involved, and to educate the people who may be less open minded so they may see that each issue has two sides and each may be equally valid.


CascadiaCascadia

2010-04-23 15:44:13

I saw those episodes. Never really liked the show, but I support free speech in that they should be able to reference Muhammed without being controversial. The religion is just terrible because they pick up on small insignificant things like this and take offence to it.

sirjeffofshort responds:

Right. I wouldn't say it's the religions fault so much as a number of people who remain so touchy about their beliefs that they have a knee jerk reaction whenever the subject is brought up rather than taking the time to educate themselves and research what is happening on the other side of the story.

It is very likely that the people issuing the threats never even saw the episode of South Park and simply jumped to the conclusion that their faith was being mocked, which as far as I know was not the ultimate intent of the show.


PengusPengus

2010-04-23 16:08:11

Wow this is great. The whole point of Muhammad in those episodes was to make fun of all the people that get all upset when they show him, which is exactly whats happening now! In the episode they had the towns people being afraid about having him shown. This is too funny to be true. I think people are way to stupid. Its not the real Muhammad they put in a bear suit!

sirjeffofshort responds:

Yeah, I did think that was a very clever reveal (that it wasn't even Muhammad in the bear suit) accompanied by the quote "If we were trying not to show the prophet Muhammad why the F would we put him in a bear suit?".

It's also good to point out (as you did) that they aren't making fun of Muhammad and in fact when they were allowed to depict him they depicted him as a super hero with the power of flame and the ultimate goal of uniting people of all religions and creeds. Something to think about indeed.


blackbassblackbass

2010-04-23 16:10:20

i saw it some times ago and it's true that there a lot of people who can't see caricaatures with an open mind and i think that they delete it to avoidd contreversy...
after all if you saw and i think you did what they do in danmark just for 1 of them u can't know what they next move will be so i think they did it that way to avoid being targeted
(hope u'll anderstand what i'm saying)

sirjeffofshort responds:

Right, but it is also important to understand how hurtful certain caricatures can be when intended, which the Dutch cartoons were clearly meant to be.

The South Park cartoons weren't meant to be harmfull as the Dutch cartoons were, so it's a really good point to make that it can be dangerous to lump the idea of all caricatures together. Some are meant to he hateful and harmful, while others are merely artistic expression.


DesknightDesknight

2010-04-23 16:30:53

Extremist groups just feel happy that they're a part of some bigger than life thing and dont want anyone to give them crap about it. Actually I think I just found a loophole in from the point of view of the extremeists. Mohammed is just a prophet not god, and if South Park made fun of Alla then they probably wont do crap about it, thats contrary to their own religion as they would be worshipping a man over god.
Finally all I have to say is that its an AMERICAN Tv show, maybe Comedy Central should just not show South Park in those countries or if the extreme group is in America then for them to leave to said country because they cant really do anything lawful at that point. Its sorta like the situation where Resident Evil 5 was getting crap from black people when the game had you shoot every race before 5.

sirjeffofshort responds:

Interesting loophole idea. Not sure how well it would go over with them, but interesting none the less haha.

The group issuing the threats was based out of New York, so keeping the show out of certain countries may help the situation but not eliminate it all together.

LIke with the resident evil 5 controversy, the issue of creative expression versus racial sensitivity does seem to be a hot topic with no easy answers.


JonBroJonBro

2010-04-23 16:44:28

Seriously? This actually happened?

This exact predicament was issued about Family Guy FIVE YEARS AGO in the two-part South Park episode "Cartoon Wars."

They shouldn't have to censor anything, unless they're straight-up threatening followers of an entire religion. If anyone doesn't like or is offended by the show, they don't have to watch it. It's just another form of expression.

sirjeffofshort responds:

Yeah, it really seems to be the one thing they just might be over their heads on.

I do think the "if you don't like it don't watch it" argument is somewhat founded, although I think with these groups its less about being offended themselves and more about not wanting the imagery out there for anyone to see, which anyone who has released anything on the internet knows you just can't police the world from saying bad things about anything.


FullMetal918FullMetal918

2010-04-23 16:45:15

What pisses me off the most is that the westboro church can go to soldiers funerals and call them fags and laugh and cheer,,and if thats the 2nd amendment and they can get away with it then why cant we make a parody cartoon??America was founded on the beliefsof justice,freedom and the hey its cool attitude.no laws were broken,just some mad little newfags because they think they are above the law....anyways I think its a load,no hate on the westboro or anything just using it as a point

sirjeffofshort responds:

Yeah, it's really hard to define what constitutes free speech here.

The big difference though is that it's not the government stepping in and saying they (Parker and Stone) can't say these things, it's the network that airs the show censoring itself to avoid violent retaliation. There are those (including Parker and Stone from what I have heard) that believe the network should have the guts to stand firm in the face of the threats otherwise it just sends the message that violence is the way to get what you want.

That of course is something to be worked out between South Park Studios and Comedy Central, however the real question to ask yourself is that if someone was threatening you with murder and had the means to do it, would you willingly censor yourself to cater to their demands? It's a tough call any way you slice it.


othersideoftheportalothersideoftheportal

2010-04-23 17:16:45

This whole controversy is stupid. They have freedom of speech they should be alowed to express themselves.They make fun of every religoun and alot more subjects and they should be alowed to if they want to, Im christian and I find it personally fine of South park. The whole message of the show can aplly to this! Of course even the speech in the show was bleeped out. Its not even as if they really made fun of him. They even had jesus looking at porn and Buddah snorting cocaine but its all funny!if they just dont think its fine that they only get upset about there own religoun and also i dont think putting a dead pic of Van Ghogh is just a warning. Its wrong of those muslims in my opinion.(The website) And at the mist of all this it ruined 3 good south park episodes >.>

sirjeffofshort responds:

I agree that they should be allowed to say what they want, and the only thing standing between them and their free expression is their contractual obligations to comedy central.

To me there is little leeway in their saying the posting was not a threat. If not a direct threat is was certainly threatening in nature.

They do certainly lampoon everyone equally so I don't think it is arguable that South Park in general is being hateful or trying to harm any one particular group, but as stated above the real question is about self censorship in the face of violent threats.

I honestly can't say for certain that I would be able to stand strong in the face of such threats.


darklight500darklight500

2010-04-23 17:23:57

As I see it, the problem is not with the common extremist people but with their leader(s). They're the fear mongering, powerful and charasmatic people that hold those groups together and brainwash their followers with continuous propaganda from very young ages. Deal with it from the root, and the group will crumble significantly.

Look at it this way: Trying to negotiate with them is like breaking an egg by putting pressure around it with your hand; it will take a lot of effort to make an impression. Targeting the leaders and you're using a knife to deal a hard blow and crack the egg.

sirjeffofshort responds:

An astute observation as to the structuring of militant and extremist groups. I don't think it would be right (and I'm not sure you were suggesting it or not) to meet the leaders of such groups with violence as, although the tactic may work it only serves to create more anger and hatred in its place, however I do agree that the structuring of those groups is such that the leaders are where the problem lies, and that simply arguing or discussing with its followers is as useful as arguing the issue with a wall.


speeddemon212speeddemon212

2010-04-23 17:44:37

You know what is ironic about this controversy is that they did an episode on this exact topic already. Im surprised that they haven't learned from it already. I think that comedy central should of left it alone because of the first amendment we have the right to say whatever we want and do what ever we want!

sirjeffofshort responds:

I totally agree and those were definitely more along the lines of my initial thoughts, but when I thought about it further I realized that it would really be a tough decision to make when you're responsible for the well being of so many employees.


BioTankBioTank

2010-04-23 17:45:24

I think revolutionmuslim is being childish about this. Super best friends was released a long time ago, the only thing south park might have actually made fun of Muhamed in the last episodes was that they couldn't show him, and I support free speech, in all its forms, I just rely on the golden rule, if you dont want to see it, dont watch it, thier are other channels...

sirjeffofshort responds:

I agree, the whole thing does hinge on the fact that these extremists are being very irrational and jumping to conclusions without all of the facts, but I guess you can't expect the whole world to act with level headed maturity.


FrozenFireFrozenFire

2010-04-23 17:56:09

Any person who gets butthurt enough over entertainment which mocks them or someone they care about to actually kill because of it is just giving more reason to mock their idol. I mean really, if the writers of South Park were killed.. A LOT of fucking people will pretty much despise the Muhammad following for NOT being able to take a joke. It's not that hard, close your eyes and ears.. let it go.

sirjeffofshort responds:

There are actually even some people out there who think the "revolution muslim" group was made to actually make their faith look bad by perpetuating harmful stereotypes and hate speech. An interesting thought.

It's totally true though that when you act with such hate you often do more harm for your cause than good.


sirjeffofshortsirjeffofshort

2010-04-23 18:25:07

a good video if anyone wants the Daily Show take on the situation...

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu -april-22-2010/south-park-death-threa ts


Manly-ChickenManly-Chicken

2010-04-23 18:33:49

Heck yeah! I believe that people should have the right to parody things. It's the first law in the constiution! I also didn't see the episode thinking they would be on southparkstudios. :(

sirjeffofshort responds:

I know. It will be real interesting to see what happens when this season goes to DVD, f the episode will be included or not. I'm becoming fearful that it may end up becoming a lost episode.


NickabockaglorySpoonNickabockaglorySpoon

2010-04-23 18:55:35

I'm very passionate about this and it really annoys me. It's almost like people are going out of their way to be offended. Just don't watch it, easy as that. There is nothing in the world including a personal attack that would "offend" me enough to get seriously angry. If anything good comes out of this it will be that people will stand up to this crap.

sirjeffofshort responds:

It really would take everyone standing together to end such a thing, and then there is no guarantee that it would end peacefully and I think that is what scares most people, being one of the sacrifices made to end such a struggle.


BasVBasV

2010-04-23 19:08:20

If this gets pulled, then they might as well pull it all. Each south park episode will anger someone somewhere. This whole muhammed thing is rediculous. At the very beginning when that danish cartoonist made a cartoon and the extremists threatened him, everyone should have gone and make muhammed cartoons. That way, we would have all said - fuck you, here, we can show muhammed cartoons, and if you don't like it, don't read our newspapers!

What we're all doing now - meeting their demands by not showing images, is letting them win. We're negotiating with terrorists and you shouldn't do that.

Maybe the worst part of the whole extremist thing here is that most people actually hate muslims and the muslim faith for it. Those extremists are just creating hate against their own religion.

sirjeffofshort responds:

That seems to be the argument of the south park guys as well, if you make one thing off limits there could be no end. It's hard to say what the best way to go about it would be, but it certainly is an interesting thought to think of the world standing together agains such extremist groups.

Most people in the muslim faith even recognize how bad these groups make them look and try their best to distance themselves.


CantflyRyanCantflyRyan

2010-04-23 19:08:46

I've always had a small hatred towards unnecessary censorship, but with something like this happening to one of the most creative shows still on TV , it actually managed to irritate me a decent amount. What I find hilarious is that the Super Best Friends episode would air all the time before this episode and it showed Muhammad fully uncensored, and once an episode comes along where they disguise him in order to avoid issues, the extremists throw a fit and demand that it should be pulled down. It just comes across to me as being really insecure about their own religion if those groups have to try that hard to find some issues involving their prophet.

Also though, I guess I'd rather have this thing blow over peacefully rather than drag it on more than it needs to be, and hopefully we'll be able to see the episodes uncensored in the future. I'd much rather have them be alive and well to make more South Park anyways.

sirjeffofshort responds:

I agree. The best we can hope for is a peaceful resolution and for things to resume as normal. Perhaps pressing the issue at the moment isn't the best idea for the south park crew, but it may be a long battle for free speech that they end up fighting throughout their careers.


ManpacManpac

2010-04-23 19:17:08

The irony is that MUSLIMS are the ones that aren't allowed to show the picture of Muhammad, NOT ANYONE ELSE. They a forcing down they're boot. What makes me sick is christians have taken countless insults, and we've turned the other cheek, despite south park making fun of jesus and God countless times. Yet when people threaten violence, then they change? This send a message to other that might be bad. That message is, if you don't want you religion to be made fun of, you have to become feared.

sirjeffofshort responds:

It really is a dangerous message to send, and there are a number of people pointing that out. Any behavior that is rewarded gets repeated so giving in to the demands of those threatening violence, even on a small issue, could have compounded ramifications down the line.


BlackMolotovBlackMolotov

2010-04-23 19:17:44

i believe they should just air the episodes but just keep on the censorship of Muhamed.

sirjeffofshort responds:

That is a very fair compromise, and seems to be what is happening now. The issue that brings up (at least from the standpoint of Stone and Parker) is that by giving in to the extremists at all may make them feel that they can continue to issue harsher demands so long as they continue to make threats.


SlintasSlintas

2010-04-23 19:34:11

I actually thought they would show him in episode 201, but to my surprise they even bleeped his name. Quite sad that they have to do that :(

sirjeffofshort responds:

I know, I wasn't really sure what to expect going in to the latest episode, I thought they might actually go so far as to show him as well, but it ended up being so much the opposite.


KevinKevin

2010-04-23 20:08:16

1st Amendment should universal.

sirjeffofshort responds:

Totally, and in a way it still is on this issue. It's actually comedy central and the artists contract with them self imposing the censorship so they still have the RIGHT to free speech, but are willingly (or contractually) giving it up.


CantflyRyanCantflyRyan

2010-04-23 21:00:15

On a side note, look what happened to their site:
http://www.revolutionislam.com/
lmao

sirjeffofshort responds:

I saw that. The proprietors of the site are claiming it is down due to traffic deriving from the controversy, but I still think it's a distinct possibility that it was forcefully removed for the purposes of investigation.


NoodleNoodle

2010-04-23 21:31:46

I find it funny that the premise for the Cartoon Wars 2 episode thing, was about how Family Guy was going to infuriate the Muslims with their portrayal of Muhammed, then it all blew over as nothing siginificant in those episodes.

Then when Parker and Stone actually do it, it started a real life controversy that rivals that of their fictional uproar.

sirjeffofshort responds:

art mirroring life mirroring art mirroring life haha. It is kinda funny how spot on they were on the subject even like four or five years ago.


16BitWarrior16BitWarrior

2010-04-23 21:56:05

I think the show sucks now, back in the day when it was just having adventures of some random topic is alot better then flaming the newest thing on the media, they should remove the newest 2 episodes and maybe even give up the show

sirjeffofshort responds:

Regardless of anyones opinion on the show, it is still an important issue. The ramifications could possibly extend to all forms of media to the point where there could be no more World War II shooters because extremist Nazi sympathizers have threatened violence against the industry (I guess you could replace that scenario with any realism shooter and extremist group). I know it seems like a stretch, but who knows how far it could go.


KajenxKajenx

2010-04-23 22:47:43

It's really no question in my mind. Comedy Central was wrong to censor the show. Insult comedy can't discriminate.

It's a free speech issue at the core, and western civilization should not be threatened by extremists. The ironic thing is, the show was making fun of people who censor themselves to appease extremism, not Muhammad; and then it went ahead and did the same thing.

sirjeffofshort responds:

Right, it's really funny how out of context things had been taken in the episode. It was supposed to be about free speech and there was no insult meant to the muslims or their religion, but it was immediately taken that way anyways.


SilverUchihaSilverUchiha

2010-04-23 23:12:11

Wow... just ... wow. First the issue with Chef's VA and the Scientology jokes... now this...

First terrorist-extremist-psychos make air-travel worse by making security a bitch. Now they're ruining South Park. Why can't they get that South Park has made fun of just about everyone (or they plan to)? Bunch of extremist-religious-idiots if you ask me.

sirjeffofshort responds:

Yeah, since the south park guys never really seem to stand aside for such touchy subjects it's something that's likely to happen again, but this one seems to have really hit home for a lot of people.


SoulofNowhereSoulofNowhere

2010-04-23 23:14:42

Religious community's have been a shelter for a lot of people throughout the history of human kind. When someone feels that there religion and therefore that shelter is under fire, they feel they have to defend it; even though blood. I believe that the reasons the USA is a great place is because we feel that everyone is able to speak and create what they want to as long as It doesn't harm another living thing. It makes me sad when someone can take a peaceful thing like Islam, and turn into a killing machine.

sirjeffofshort responds:

That really is the tragedy of the whole thing, when someone takes something like religion, which it meant to teach values and better the lives of those involved, and turn it into a reason to hate and become violent.


giant-joegiant-joe

2010-04-23 23:16:51

ive just watched this episode about 20 minutes ago and they realy take a jab at the censorship (going so far as to bleep the "ive learned something today" speech) so i think theyve taken this whole muhamed situation very toung in cheek however they have shown him before so I cant see a problem with showing him now its as if the extremists missed that episode completely (although i suppose its probably not a religious fanatics cup of tea) but if they censor their own episode i dont have a problem however with all the outside pressure from comedy central extremist muslim fundamentalists and other religious groups I find it hard to believe this isnt unjust censorship and they should be alowed to make their program with out interference or censorship from anyone also if anyone has not seen this episode xepisodes still has it up

sirjeffofshort responds:

That's what I thought at first too, however the censorship was not self imposed by the creators and the speech at the end was supposed to be about standing up for what you believe in even in the face of violent threats, but that got bleeped by comedy central too, even though it didn't mention Muhammad or the muslim religion at all.


00ND0000ND00

2010-04-23 23:19:23

Sorry but this is hilarious. Some idiots justifing their threats and possible murder because of a religion and why? Just because he was shown in an episode of a freaking cartoon. Also, it seems kind of wierd how every single on of those groups are forgetting the southpark episode in which America (Cartman) was made the terrorist by trying to find the "bomb" which he assumed was there because the boy was muslim showing that not all muslims are even close to the image people have due to the media. They pretty much fucked all republicans up the ass for the sake of those people.... and now they threaten them. This world just amusses me

sirjeffofshort responds:

Really good analysis of a previous episode. It's true that they 'rip on' american values just as much (if not more) as any other race or religion. Nothing is safe from their satirical eye, at least until now.


SinisterMarmaladeSinisterMarmalade

2010-04-24 01:01:30

Besides, didn't they already do a satire of this exact situation in the two part episode "Cartoon Wars?" I think enough was said then and there.

sirjeffofshort responds:

They did, and that wasn't supposed to be the focus of the episode, but it quickly became the focus once people started issuing threats.


fluffkomixfluffkomix

2010-04-24 01:25:02

you said 'the' twice

"being censored before the the situation became taboo."

sirjeffofshort responds:

oops, haha, I've done a lot of typing today. I'll go track that one down and fix it.


Sabishii-KouenSabishii-Kouen

2010-04-24 01:32:56

I say, to hell with the muslims. Most Christians don't freak out whenever Jesus or whatever is depicted in fiction. This is AMERICA. We're allowed by the constitution freedom of speech. We shouldn't be afraid that the Government, or some religious group doesn't like what we're saying. I don't even watch South Park, but I applaud what they want to do. It's just satire. The Muslims need to learn to have a sense of humor. They take everything so seriously as if it's life and death. Learn to laugh a little. Unfortunately, the Islamic culture doesn't adapt well to the modern world, they don't have a sense of humor or an open mind. They're stuck in the stone age while most (not all) people of other religions at least TRY to evolve with culture. (My opinion is that deep religion tends to hold people back from evolving, closing your mind, this coming from an Atheist).

In short, learn to laugh at yourself. And don't fear making fun of religion. There aren't going to be mass Muslim riots in America over depicting Muhammad in an adult cartoon. The Muslim presence here in the US isn't large enough to make a difference. In Europe, it's a different story. But here, we have the constitution protecting us and freedom of speech, and the government to back that up.

sirjeffofshort responds:

True, I will point out again that there are a number of muslims that do actually (at least from a theoretical standpoint) stand by Parker and Stone and their right to free speech as their depictions come out of a need to express themselves rather than to hurt their faith.

Good observations on the dangers of religious extreems though. It's true that with all the good that some things can bring (and regardless of whether anyone believes any one religion is right, they do all have the potential to bring a lot of good to the world) they can bring a lot of harm as well if they are taken to extreems.


Don-SanchezDon-Sanchez

2010-04-24 02:56:34

Whats wrong with censoring oneself? We all do it when we omit certain information when talking to others or when we don't talk about a touchy subject unless the floor is opened. I doubt that anything would have happened to them if there was no censor. Even if the group was just angry and sent no threats, what would be wrong with censoring it? What, risk being called a coward? oh noooooez.
But is it silly? chya. Its a direct infringement on creative freedom and free speech. Defaulting under these guys is an insult. But everyone's got to be nice to one another :))))))))))) >XE

sirjeffofshort responds:

Good point. There really is no shame in censoring yourself in the face of such threats (or any other time for that matter). One of the things we (or at least most of us) are taught as children is when to just keep our mouth shut. I honestly couldn't say that I wouldn't censor myself given death threats either. Your final statement pretty much sums it all up.


darklight500darklight500

2010-04-24 03:20:49

To the guy above me: When you omit "information" in a conversation it is because you choose to do so. Censoring doesn't let you choose, it forces you to not say something, even if you want to.

Right now, there is no way to be "nice" to eachother without infringing on our freedom of speech and voicing our opinion, which is a very important part of our society today.

sirjeffofshort responds:

That is a real catch 22 of the whole thing. In order to be nice to everyone we really would have to willingly silence our rights, be comfortable in the knowledge that we have the right to say and do such things, but also remain respectful of the way they would feel to others.

I think the big difference in that scenario is that people are doing it out of kindness and respect rather than out of violence, fear and hatred. It is really a two way street as well, perhaps the Danish cartoonist should have respected how harmful their cartoons were to the muslim people and in the same respect the muslim extremists should have respected that Trey and Matt were in no way trying to hurt anyone and just fighting for their right to creative expression.


supersatan3supersatan3

2010-04-24 04:13:00

The way I see it, if we allow Extremists to dictate what we can and cannot show on television, then they won. By censoring and pulling the episodes deemed offensive, Viacom and Comedy Central are sending a message to the Extremists that we as a people can be coerced by threats of violence. Viacom, However, is a for-profit corporation, and therefore has other interests than defending freedom of speech(unless of course it interferes with their profit margin).
If something were to happen to the creators of South Park, then they would be martyred, much like Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, or even Jesus Christ. I am not saying Matt and Trey are as accomplished as the aforementioned individuals, but anyone who had graduated from middle school should know that when you kill someone who presented no physical danger to you, then they automatically Villianize themselves while making that they killed the noblest of heros.

sirjeffofshort responds:

Yeah, it's odd sometimes how these extremists can't see how badly they are portraying not only themselves but the others who believe in the same things. Really even just with their threats they've made Trey and Matt into heroes of free speech.


tokillarockingbirdtokillarockingbird

2010-04-24 06:13:33

Muslims need to be able to take a joke. If they don't want Muhammad to be shown in anything they should copyright him.

Free speech FTW.

sirjeffofshort responds:

Haha, an extremely interesting solution to the entire situation. I guess using the system to their advantage would be much more viable than issuing death threats in the public eye.


GuidodinhoGuidodinho

2010-04-24 07:49:16

I think that the muslim extremists should think of the point made in the episode first before threatening the creators. I mean, if i'd be a muslim i don't think i would like it. And the points that are being made in south park aren't exactly presented in the most friendly way possible. But they DO make a point and it makes sence. Gives you something to think about, it's just presented in the way south park does. It's meant to be entertainment after all.

And most important, i think people shouldn't take their relegion too seriously, and not only the muslims. I mean, if you start threatening or even killing people because of your relegion, aren't you doing the exact opposite of what you're supposed to do as a religious person? O_o

Religion can be a good thing. But you should use your religion for your life. You shouldn't use your life for your religion. If you know what i mean ;)

sirjeffofshort responds:

Your last point is very well made indeed. Not that your other points fall flat, but I think those are smart words to live by.


SnakeHankSnakeHank

2010-04-24 10:44:56

The US's policy has always been to never negotiate with terrorists, and we're not. we're letting them own us. By obeying their every demand because of possible violence, they control us. ANd shouldn't our government have been able to catch these bastards that managed to work themselves onto OUR SOIL without so much as a slap on the wrist?

sirjeffofshort responds:

I think that's South Park's standpoint exactly as well. So long as you give them their way in the face of their threats, the situation will only get worse.

As far as the people who made these particular threats, word is that it is being closely investigated by the NYPD and that the FBI is at least aware of the whole situation. Exactly what that means I have no idea haha.


SidorioSidorio

2010-04-24 11:32:07

I was more upset for Pip.

sirjeffofshort responds:

I know, that totally took me by surprise. With everything else going on in the episode I was like "Wait, did that just happen?"


HazerdhatHazerdhat

2010-04-24 13:27:37

I look forward to a day without religion. I do not care what you believe in, but when it leads to threats thrown out because your "prophet" is shown then it is obviously a problem. The whole reason why Islam does not want people to show muhamed is because they want people worshiping god instead of him, we do not even know what he looks like. So why would we worship him? In my opinion I think religion is brainwashing to control the mass population and to gain power and money thats why this all seems really stupid to me, but you dont have to share my views.

sirjeffofshort responds:

The fact that you say "you don't have to share my views," makes your views completely viable and respectable in my opinion.

I personally think that no matter what people think of religion, or what people believe to be true, the bottom line is that when treated properly it can do a lot of good. It can help people come back from dark times in their lives and bring together communities to do great things.

It's when you start to draw lines between beliefs, force the rules and structures of your beliefs and use them as a reason to hate rather than a reason to care that things get dangerous.


Slntpsych1Slntpsych1

2010-04-24 14:51:33

I think everyone needs to calm down and remember that this is a satirical show. Its their job to make fun of people and be controversial. People just need to take it with a grain of salt.

sirjeffofshort responds:

It is true that they lampoon everyone equally. It's hard to take into consideration when they are challenging something you believe strongly or even (in the case of many hollywood elite) you personally, but they have always stuck to their philosophy of "everyone and everything is fair game," and I honestly don't see that stopping even in light of these recent developments.


MAM259MAM259

2010-04-24 15:07:02

So your on who's side? I say that their taking it too far. What do you think?

sirjeffofshort responds:

I'm honestly on both sides. To explain I would say that I totally believe in Stone and Parker's rights to free speech and as an entertainer I would hate the idea of having my creative output limited in any way. I also completely agree with their views that giving in to violent threats will only make the situation worse and is definitely not the proper reason to censor ones self.

I do however think that people in the public eye do have a certain amount of responsibility to respect the people their messages may be reaching. By that I don't mean that everyone in the public eye should avoid lampooning that which they don't see as right, or that they should try to be P.C. all the time, but they should simply be aware of what they are saying and putting out to their public. I don't think it's right to broadcast outright hateful thoughts or ideas. Although I do think that all people should have the right to think and say such things, I hope for a future where people have the respect and kindness to refrain from such unnecessary sentiments.

That said, I do not think the South Park crew was irresponsible in their message, they were right on target in trying to say that we as a whole society shouldn't give in to people just because they are making violent threats. I do however think that some of the Danish cartoons that started the whole controversy a few years ago were an outright abuse of free speech, and although they did not deserve to be met with threats of violence, they were irresponsible in the way that they were only meant to hurt and insult.

I guess in the end I believe that it is actually an issue of respect and responsibility on both sides. Those producing the offensive material should have had better knowledge of who and what they were portraying, and those offended should have gone about making their point in a clear and responsible manor.


kissuo3okissuo3o

2010-04-24 22:39:32

I for one watch 200 and 201. And you know what! I don't think they should of beeped out Muhamed! I mean they made Buddha snort crack! They made Jesus a prevert! They made Moses a little retarded! They made a mean joke about everyone BUT Muhamed! Also, Muhamed never was in that bear costume! So they were offended for nothing!! I mean this is a really dumb thing to make death threats for! Also, they beeped the speech that Kyle, Jesus, and Santa made about not being afriad to be who you are and not to be intimidated! ...

sirjeffofshort responds:

I know. The censorship really seemed like an over reaction on the part of Comedy Central. I really want to see if the original version ever gets released in any form.


DarkJade05DarkJade05

2010-04-27 05:56:17

If find it strange how these extremists insult their own religion with outbursts like these. In Qoran, it teaches more love thy neighbor than kill infidels. With these groups, they take the small passages that say all those who seek to destroy Allah should be removed, and twist it with anger for whichever reason they see fit to twist them with. I won't claim I know this as a fact, just information I had picked up over slight research on the subject.

The right to speak one's mind is something that should never be taken away, from anyone. So who are we to say that these groups shouldn't be allowed to threaten based on that fact alone? The only time it is an issue is when they actually act upon their words. Then their actions impede on other human rights, like the right to live.

Yeah not all of the things I see on the show I would like to see, but I don't demand to have them take out mormon jokes because I might be offended<-- Me being mormon. I understand their right to do so(and it is actually pretty funny).

Can't we all just... get along? Group hug anyone? :D

-Marnee