Terrorism is an attempt to coerce behavior. We think of terrorism as violent acts—bombings, shootings, beheadings, etc. But terrorism can exist in the absence of acts of violence. The subsidence of violence may simply mean the terrorists have won. When terrorists can coerce their enemies because they fear acts of violence, then the terrorists no longer need to fly airplanes into buildings or strap C4 to their bodies and immolate themselves in subways. When just the possibility of violence is enough to cow their enemies into submission, they have succeeded.
By this standard, Muslim terrorists already have won in the United States and many other developed countries.
The latest examples, of course, are the recent episodes of South Park where Comedy Central censored not only caricatures of Muhammad, but any reference to him. This is the same network that had no qualms about South Park going after Scientologists, Mormons, Catholics, Jews, and atheists. One South Park episode featured Jesus shitting on George Bush and the American flag. Apparently this was OK with the suits at CC. But poking fun at Muhammad? No, no, you can’t do that on television.
The only possible reason they are avoiding Muhammad is the fear of violence, in this case from a group that calls itself Revolution Muslim. It was started by a suburban kid named Zachary Adam Chesser who has taken the name Abu Talhah Al-Amrikee. Revolution Muslim has 12 members.
The website of Revolution Muslim warned South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker they would “probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh,” the Dutch film-maker who was shot and stabbed to death in 2004 by an Islamist angered by his film about Muslim women.
Stone and Parker did not seem particularly concerned even though Revolution Muslim published their home addresses. But at Comedy Central, they censored the current South Park material, pulled a 10-year-old show that referred to Muhammad, and beefed up security at Comedy Central headquarters.
Comedy Central’s corporate cowardice is not unique:
- A German opera house temporarily suspended performances of Mozart’s opera “Idomeneo” because it included a scene featuring Muhammad’s severed head.
- Fox’s Family Guy censored an episode in which a caricature of Muhammad made an appearance.
- When a Danish newspaper ran cartoons containing depictions of Muhammad, virtually no US media outlet, including the major television networks and newspapers, would show the cartoons even though there was nothing patently prurient or offensive about them.
- Random House has canceled publication of a novel about Muhammad’s third wife.
And this is my favorite:
Yale University Press refuses to publish the controversial Danish cartoons of Muhammad in a book about the controversial Danish cartoons of Muhammad.
Our First Amendment rights have been trampled by terrorists who didn’t even fire a shot.