Friday, April 23, 2010

South Park Censored Again

The American cartoon South Park last night tried to air another episode which depicted the Muslim prophet Mohammed, but the episode was censored by Cartoon Network after a jihadist website threatened violence against the network and South Park's two creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Parker and Stone seemed to be very disappointed by this censorship, but stated they "be back next week with a whole new show about something completely different and we'll see what happens to it." 

As always, I can't help but see this episode from an I/P conflict point of view. A lot of HPers claim that American support for Israel is "putting our troops in danger", which is probably true. But their suggested course of action is to end support for Israel, as if when that happened the presence of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan would then be considered A-OK by radical jihadist groups. And here's why the slippery slope starts, and South Park's censorship is another step on that slope. If we change our actions because we fear violence, either for ourselves or for our soldiers overseas, what is the result? It's certainly not an increased moderation of those violent groups. Human nature 101: if you have a goal, and you use a certain tactic to get what you want, you will keep using that same tactic. It doesn't matter if you're a bully trying to get lunch money from a kindergartner, an abusive father who wants his kid to stop crying, or a radical political group. If violence works when nothing else does, you will keep using it. 

So the question we Americans need to ask ourselves is, where do we draw the line? At what point are we willing to put ourselves in danger because we don't want to accept these radical groups' demands? Is it when they demand we stop supporting Israel (which I think most Americans, if they felt their lives were actually in danger, would accept)? When a TV show is censored, violating free speech? Or the most extreme example, when we are all forced to convert to Islam or die? Obviously, that extreme example won't come in reality for a long time, if ever, but it's the degrees in between that should make us stop and think about what in life is worth risking our lives for. 


  1. Claiming that American support for Israel is "putting our troops in danger" is a very dangerous thing to say - please read Alan Dershowitz's latest posting at HufPo. Please consider revising your comment. Thanks. Califlefty.

  2. Well, after reading Dershowitz's article, I still think my statement is accurate. Islamic terrorists hate Israel's existence, they hate America's existence and they hate the US-Israel relationship. Therefore, I don't think it is completely inaccurate to say that the US-Israel relationship causes anti-American sentiment, and therefore violence. I just don't think that's a good reason to stop supporting Israel.