Friday, April 23, 2010

Letter to South Park Creators

Dear South Park Creators,

Peace be upon those who follow the true path.

Recently, you broadcast an episode where the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) of Islam was portrayed as a bear. I found that portrayal very offensive.

The bear was fat.

From all accounts, Muhammad was physically a very fit and handsome man; some of his wives - he had more than one - are on record to say he had a six-pack. Unlike, say, 30% of Americans, who are obese, according to National Institutes of Health[1]. Yet, you portray the average American as a healthy cartoon. So I also find your episode very discriminatory.

Moreover, your cartoon immediately drew comments from some "Muslim" organizations that would otherwise not garner any attention (somewhat like John McCain nowadays - is he still around?). They threatened you with violence. I also find that offensive.

To me, using the Quran to justify terrorism is more offensive than any cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

I also want to understand (and perhaps do a Ph.D - an online ad on your webpage tells me I could stay home and earn my degree in 4 months) why you hate Muhammad so.

Do you mock Muhammad because he preached against child infanticide? I noticed that you seem to kill Kenny McCormick in almost every episode. If you were Muslim you could not do that (even though Muslims have cheaper funeral costs - something to consider).

By the way, Wikipedia says [2] Muhammad gave women in Islam rights long denied to women until as late as 1965 - yet South Park hardly has any female characters. You might also want to look into that.

Why am I writing this letter to you? Well, honestly, I hope some webpages like this post and link to it, and perhaps quote the part I so helpfully bolded. It will improve my "ratings".

Is that why you made that episode? It makes sense now, as you were so quick after the threat to put out a modified "censored" episode. Almost like you expected it. It's not easy to produce work that fast. Trust me, I know. They allow facebook at my work place, just like yours.

However, I am honest. Unlike you, because you actually portrayed the Prophet before. And no one seemed to care. That must hurt.

I invite you to study more about the Prophet Muhammad and his religion of Islam. Wikipedia is a start, but if you want more information you have to visit a mosque. Say to them you drew the Prophet Muhammad and you want more information about him.

They will still greet you with "Salaam" or "Peace be upon you".

Regards,

Mezba

References:
  1. http://www.professorshouse.com/family/health/percent-obese-americans.aspx
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_Islam#Early_reforms_under_Islam

23 comments:

Organica said...

Spot on!

Aisha said...

I heard about this sometime ago but I dont know why this stuff just doesn't get me horribly upset. I guess because (1) I think that faith, religion, God our prophet are all bigger than this. Whatever these people do they will answer for it in the hereafter (2) We live in a secular society where people make fun of Jesus who while our prophet is their GOD and he is made fun of (including in shows like South Park) on a regular basis.

Muslim Girl said...

Ugh. I saw that news report too and what annoyed me the most was the response from the "Muslim" organization. Where do these come from anyway? For all that we know, it could be a bunch of young immature Muslim fanatics who have responded in a just as immature way, and now all of a sudden they are speaking on behalf of all Muslims and represent *every* Muslim's reaction (or so the news claims).

Great letter, though :) You write your "Muslim Stupidity" topics really well lol!

mezba said...

Organica, I learnt about the story from your facebook link and couldn't believe the hullabaloo created - especially as South Park has done the portrayal before!

Aisha, if they can't revere their own religion how do we expect them to revere ours? Exactly.

While I am offended, they also have a right to offend. And I have a right to react peacefully. I can
- not watch South Park
- boycott economically
- etc.

I will not react violently - a fact that seems lost on some offended "muslims".

Muslim Girl, those "muslim" organizations are just waiting for something like this and South Park successfully baited them. In showbiz, as they say, no news is bad news. They got tons of publicity!

To me, I don't even find South Park that funny. I never watch it and only if I go to someone's house and they have it on TV do I sometimes see it. When offended, I just leave!

To me, all this is - is a good opportunity for dawah!

Suroor said...

What is South Park??

Excellent letter, btw! Love it.

Anonymous said...

lol@ "The bear was fat." :D

I didn't know he had six-pack! :D

It's all for the ratings.I'm sure of it.Perhaps the 'muslim' organization is one of their handiwork? Sometimes it's part of business strategy.
I like the lettter too.
Lat

Bee Amma said...

I agree with Aisha, i just don't get upset about this at all. They regularly make fun of Jesus on their shows as well. BTW why doesn't that offend us? Hazrat Isa was our prophet too. I find the reaction of the muslim community more offensive to be honest...

Musa said...

http://willyloman.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/the-radical-muslim-group-the-threatened-south-park-creators-was-run-by-joseph-cohen-a-former-israeli-radical-who-used-to-live-in-a-settlement-in-the-west-bank/

Small Blue Thing said...

Assalaamu alaikum,

I've happened to know this blog thanks to Organica, whom I asked about the South Park controversy. I must say I'm writing from Spain, reverted muslim chick, and not-a-hardcore South Park fan _but fan anyway.

This said, I must say South Park's line is based on offenses. As you pointed out, a little boy has been bizarrely killed every week until a couple of years ago. Christmas in South Park is represented not by Santa but a Giant Poo presenting toys to children, and there is a big jewish woman hating everybody and provoking a war against Canada.

Why I watch? As a professional writer, South Park pulls me to my boundaries and makes me to confront them. Sometimes I gross, sometimes I laugh at what is a weird representation of myself _as European, as a woman, as [sigh] obesse, as a feminist.

This doesn't mean I don't find the episode offensive for muslims _I've been able only to see the pictures of the bear, I guess related to the 2008 African "Muhammad bear" incident, isn't it?

My point is, as Aisha commented before, we live in a secular society and free speech is granted wether we like it or not.

But furthermore, for those making an equivalence to the Danish cartoons, this has nothing to do with it. Danish cartoons were said to satirize Prophet (pbuh) but they didn't, they pointed at arab and muslim inmigrants as potential killers. And although bizarre, gross humor is not a crime, hate speech should be, and they confronted a trial before the disturbs started.

So, and please forgive me for such a long first comment, I think I'll still watch South Park because I've yelled at my TV in former episodes _but it's ok if someone thinks it's time to say never again.

But I am concerned about some muslim reactions here in Europe: it seems ok to threaten Matt Grey and Park Stone not because they are offensive, but because they're americans, and you know, all americans are islamophobe racists willing to terminate arabs, and all americans are paid by Israel to make the rest of the world watch their movies and drink coke and... you know, the usual eurocrap.

And this, my brothers and sisters in Europe's reaction last friday, concerns me more than a bunch of blackmailing weirdos.

My salams and thanks for the post.

Sumera said...

Fab! Loved it :D

Anonymous said...

Well...

As it turns out, Mohammed was not in the bear suit. Stan and Kyle said that it was Mohammed, but it turned out they were lying to protect Mohammed. Santa Claus (who is fat) was in the suit.

Still offended?

The first time that South Park showed Mohammed, they show him in a very positive light as a fighter for justice.

As a matter of fact, they've _never_ made fun of Mohammed himself.

Still offended?

The topic that they are delving into is how Americans are restricting our own free speech because of threats of violence and acts of violence perpetrated by violent Muslim extremists.

And that is an issue we should discuss. We should not give into the fear.

We should remain _equally_ willing and free to make fun of Mohammed as we are free to make fun of Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, etc.

That's the point that they're making.

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

BRILLAINT!

Love it!

Do you mind if I link this on my blog?

mezba said...

Suroor, it's a show - supposedly funny - full of satire where they poke fun of everything.

Lat, oh he did have a sixpack - according to what we learned in RIS - one of his wives described his chest like a folded shirt (the Arab equivalent in those days of a six pack). Plus it is generally well known he was a sports type person (wrestling etc.) so he must have been in top physical shape.

Bee Amma, I guess we have to get a t-shirt that Muslims Love Jesus also! welcome to my blog.

Musa, and the conspiracy thickens! Thanks for publishing this. I am always amazed at the credence given to so-called Muslim organizations that we Muslims never even heard of.

Small Blue Thing, welcome to my blog. South Park is the least of Muslims' concerns, I feel. I too have a soft spot when authors and creative people push buttons, but truth be said, I never found South Park very funny. To me, they almost seemed arrogant. I hold Simpsons, for example, in higher regard than South Park.

Sumera, thanks!

Anonymous, 9.13,

We should remain _equally_ willing and free to make fun of Mohammed as we are free to make fun of Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, etc.

And I should be free to be offended at whatever I find offensive. Their right of free speech does not exclude my right to being offended!

What I am saying is, there is a proper reaction to being offended, and I find the violent threats etc. to be much more offensive than the original offense.

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam, sure and thanks! Please go ahead and link away.

*ratings go up*

:-)

lovetodaydream said...

I love your letter! I am not muslim anymore, but still is not nice when people make fun of muslims (or of any religion for that matter).

Your comment about the bear being fat reminded me of Ahmed's comment about his lego pic lol.

Anonymous said...

as salaam alaikum wr wb

it was offensive because the bear was fat? The bear was NOT muhammad - it was a bear suit, and it wasnt even Muhammad in the bear suit!

Moreover, they never mocked Muhammad, whereas they regularly mock other respected figures including other prophets of ours. In fact they have never mocked Islam or Muhammad.

Also they never censored their episode, their network did - to the south park creators dismay.

if Muslims want to be taken seriously they need to know the facts before making ignorant statements.

dude, u cite silly statistics about obesity and wikipedia, but u have all the facts regarding the 'controversial episode' all wrong.

In fact, the south park creators NEVER showed muhammad (saw) in a negative manner.

What hurts me more is so many people have cited and praised this letter, which is essentially slander against the south park creators.

And this is all just giving them more publicity - which only benefits them.

And Allah knows best.

Small Blue Thing said...

Salaam again!

I've waited to have watched the episode, and yes, I felt kinda pissed of when, back in the Justice League Quarters, Jesus (pbuh) said "muslims will be offended and take revenge if Mo shows up". It was more like 'C'MON, NOT YOU, AND NOT AGAIN!!!' I mean, ALL muslims?

Anyway, after watching, I can say it IS offensive... in the way South Park works. If you don't buy it, this episode won't like you. If you do _as I do sometimes, well, I'm sorry, but I find it quite islamophile.

Yes.

In fact, I wish the main plot was made first by muslim artists, because it rocks! Know what I mean? Muhammad is being chased by two bunch of fanatics who want him only for themselves, either to blame or take advantage of him. And that's what is happening to Islam today. Wahabi muslims and white supremacists seem to be the only ones legitimate to speak in the name of Islam. They feed each other with similar crap and the rest of the world, specially msulims, suffer the consequences. And that is the real offense.

In fact, seing Buddha on cocaine offended me more than the rest of the episode.

Hope to keep in touch.

Aafke said...

South park makes fun of all religions, and in this case It was to me that they made fun of muslims wanting to kill cartoonists or teachers whose pupils name a teddy bear Mohammed.

I don't watch it but my brother sometimes sends me an episode which he considers good, I had to agree on the one about scientology, which is an evil organisation whose only goal is to beeld people dry until they are destitute and then drop them or kill them. And all under the guise of being a religion.
For that episode alone (which insulted many scientologists) I support South Park.

And I loved your post.

Small Blue Thing said...

Well, just to make it clear because I thought the same prior to watch the episode _the bear suit has nothing to do with the teddy bear incident. Or maybe it has, but Bears is the local hockey team's name in South Park, so what the kids show is the mascot suite.

Maybe they took the inspiration in the teddy bear incident, but Bears were there before.

Emu said...

Well said. VERY well said.

Zerin said...

been catching up with your posts after quite a few hectic months. it's just as entertaining as i remember it to be :-)
btw you might like reading this blog post on the south park episode too - faily spot on

'So, You Want to Draw Muhammad?'
http://aristotleslackey.wordpress.com/2010/04/

mezba said...

I can't believe I didn't reply to these comments. Sorry!

Lovetodaydream: Apparently to some people freedom to offend = freedom to speech. And then they get upset as to why we are offended? It's my right to be!

I don't like it when groups who don't follow Jesus make fun of him as well. There are some art exhibitions showing Jesus and Mary in poor taste promoted by people with a lifestyle so deviant, yet they claim it in the name of art and the government funds them too.

Anon, wasalam. And why are you upset that I am upset? And the bear was Santa Claus. Well we all know who he REALLY was. Once more, they get a white guy to play the role of an ethnic guy.

In fact, the south park creators NEVER showed muhammad (saw) in a negative manner.

What hurts me more is so many people have cited and praised this letter, which is essentially slander against the south park creators.


Um, no. I have seen some other super friends episodes. They do make fun of him. And why is his power fire? While it's true that they make fun of EVERY body, they also make fun of the Prophet.

Small Blue,

I've waited to have watched the episode, and yes, I felt kinda pissed of when, back in the Justice League Quarters, Jesus (pbuh) said "muslims will be offended and take revenge if Mo shows up". It was more like 'C'MON, NOT YOU, AND NOT AGAIN!!!' I mean, ALL muslims?

Exactly. The idea that we are an offensive people is offensive. Maybe true, but offensive stil. But in this case, other than a fringe group who no one knew of before, no one paid any attention except the media.

Also, what did this so-called "Islamic" group do? Did they ever help any homeless? Feed the poor? Cloth the naked? So on?

Aafke, that teddy bear incident was so weird and I would say out of place but I know better. Sudan should worry about other things.

Here is a list the Muslims and their states SHOULD be doing. From the example of the Prophet himself.

http://mezba.blogspot.com/2007/04/prophets-challenge.html

The fact that they don't is most offensive.

Emu, thanks.

Zerin, thanks for the link. Commented there.

Small Blue Thing said...

And furthermore... Since WHEN muslims are a people or an ethnicity?

mezba said...

Small Blue, since it leads to good TV ratings!