Fatwa Envy

The main story thrust of the recent two-part South Park episode that sent Muslims into a hate-frenzy and induced Comedy Central’s genitalia to wither and die, was an attempt by celebrities — chief among them Tom Cruise — to kidnap Muhammed and somehow use his powers of avoiding mockery for themselves. To duplicate the mystical “censorship field” power (called “goo” in the episode) that Muhammed has apparently spontaneously developed over the past few decades. Suddenly, and very recently, nobody can make fun of him — or even merely depict him as a human being — on pain of death after religious fatwas are handed down from the Islamic clergy demanding retribution.

Don’t worry though, Islam doesn’t have a monopoly on religious zealots that are beyond-the-pale crazy. Their kissing cousin faith, the Christians, have a particularly hideous little toad of their own who apparently wants Muhammed’s goo as well: Bill Donahue. He has an obvious and very unbecoming case of fatwa envy over Comedy Central’s considering making a cartoon series about Jesus Christ, as a regular guy who “moves to New York to escape his father’s enormous shadow”.

“It’s not certain what is more despicable: the nonstop Christian bashing featured on the network, or Comedy Central’s decision to censor all depictions of Muhammad,” said William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights, on Thursday.

It’s not certain to me, Bill, when you first started thinking your particular flavor of delusion trumps free speech, but it’s fairly obvious that you’re learning the wrong lesson from zealots threatening death over a perfectly harmless cartoon. The lesson should be “free speech is fundamental to free society”, not “they get to do it, so we should be able to cow people into doing our bidding out of fear of death too!”

Hat tip to Greg Laden.

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