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South Park to Cartoon Mohammed

Superbf_1 While the world cowers before the wrath of Islam, there's one place that shows no sign of fear: South Park.

Not only did Trey Parker and Matt Stone change Chef's name from Jarome Chef Mackaroy to Abdul Mohammed Jabar Rauf Kareem Ali (in Episode 408, "Chef Goes Nanners") when he converts to Islam, but South Park has also shown an image of the prophet Mohammed on the show. That's because, according to their website, he's a long-term member of the Super Best Friends: "Buddah, with the powers of invisibility. Mohammed, the Muslim prophet with the powers of flame. Krishna, the Hindu Deity. Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet, Lao Tsu the founder of Taoism and Sea Man, with the ability to breathe underwater and link mentally with fish."

This Wednesday April 12th,  in the wake of South Park's conflicts with Scientology, these equal-opportunity lampooners of serious religion are upping the ante, writes The Officer's Club:

South Park has come under fire for lampooning religions in the past, the most recent example being their trashing of scientology (an episode which cost them one of the show's main characters, Chef, voiced by scientologist Isaac Hayes). Comedy Central later banned reruns of the offending episode.

Chunky South Park-ite Eric Cartman responded to the network's censorship in this evening's episode, explaining to his friend Kyle how pulling an episode can signal the end of a show:

It's simple television economics Kyle, all it takes to kill a show forever is to get one episode pulled. If we convince the network to pull this episode for the sake of Muslims, the Catholics can demand that a show that they don't like get pulled, then people with disabilities can demand that a show that they don't like get pulled, and so on and so on, until Family Guy is no more. The same thing happened to Laverne and Shirley.

Sometimes it takes an unlikely hero like South Park to step up and put things into perspective. If there is such a thing as "The Cartoon Wars," then animated sitcoms like South Park are on the front lines.

From what I could gather from the cliffhanger ending, South Park creators Matt Parker and Trey Stone have forced Comedy Central to stand at the same crossroads that hundreds of newspapers and periodicals across America stood at not a month ago. Next week they will guest star Mohammed in all of his animated glory, and they have let Muslims know in advance that it's a-coming.

Comedy Central has a choice. They can either stand by their longtime stars in Parker and Stone, or succumb to cheap threats from petty thugs. Should Comedy Central make a decision endorsed by the First Amendment, I will be glued to my tv next Wednesday at 10pm.



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