Eerie Flashbacks of Slain Filmmaker Theo Van Gogh: Freedom of Speech Results in American-Muslim Threatening “South Park” Creators
As James Vicini reports in his article (Reuters) “Man behind ‘South Park’ threat arrested,” the television writers/creators Trey Stone and Matt Parker were threatened for their use of the Islamic prophet Mohammad. During a recent episode, a largely invisible parody of Mohammad finally appeared on the screen wearing a bear suit and a large smile. Unlike many religions’ celebrity usage of their holy men (women are largely absent), like Jesus Christ Superstar, many of the Muslim community often find any depiction, or negative connotation, of Mohammad to be offensive. Though it would be difficult to find any negative connotation in the “South Park” showing of the man, he was clearly depicted (though largely covered) in the American TV cartoon/comedy.
Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh met similar backlash (as he attempted to represent violence toward women in some Islamic sects) for his film, “Submission,” in which he depicted a Muslim wife who was beaten by a violent husband. For his ten-minute movie, a Muslim murdered him in 2004, in Amsterdam. Twenty-year-old US citizen Zachary Chesser was arrested for attempting to fly to Somalia to join an al Quaeda terrorist faction; he had recently made Internet postings warning the "South Park" creators that they would die like Van Gogh.
The madness has not abated. Instead it has grown. The apathetic and quiet middle ground followers of organized religions (such as but not limited to Catholicism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity) have lost tremendous ground to the ignorant, outspoken and too often convincing extremists who have the high and the low ends and are pinching down upon all of the others. Each faith argues that they alone are the right one. Each faith despises and often outwardly lashes out at non-believers, infidels and rationalists.
As Bill Maher points out in his film, “Religulous,” it should not be difficult to ensure a person’s freedom of speech by saying that no one should have to die or be threatened because of something they wrote. People write horrendously stupid things every second of every day, but some can get away with this, some get paid for this (Glenn Beck) and some get threatened or killed for…what? Killed for what? A point of view? A thought? A parody? An inside look into…religion’s good, bad and ugly?
Even a disrespectful writer should not die for saying what they believe, or saying what is on their mind, or saying just how silly a bear suit makes the world.
- by R.J. Huneke
World 2 Philosoph (W2P)
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