From the news:
A derogatory article about Durga (a Hindu goddess) was published in the British newspaper- The Guardian. It has angered some Hindus. A Hindu website, the Hindutva Jagaran, has said this may lead to some blood being spilled. Protection is being arranged for editors and the publishers of The Guardian.
This piece makes it look as if the radical website that issued the threat is real and is newsworthy. The piece does not make it clear whether that is the case.
Anyway, the “news” above is fake.
It is to show what is wrong with the news coverage of the South Park episode. It begins with the report that allegedly a Muslim Website issued “death threat” to the South Park folks.
Fox news stops its coverage there, as expected. CNN continues and quotes my dear friend Aziz. That’s better, but as poll after poll has shown, Aziz’s view is far more representative than are the radical voices. Why report the radical voices first? It gives them undue attention, and a false sense of importance. In other words, it gives them motivation to seek more attention by actually committing a crime.
To get a representative voice, they could have approached CAIR, or ISNA or even their local Masjid. If the “revolution Muslim” reference is the only one covered, then that seems to be an important one. (I have never even come across this website before except through RT once. Never through my Muslim friends.) Of course that’s what Fox want to show. But what’s wrong with the others?
Fox news seemed to revel at the episode. God forbid, if one of the writers get killed, they get a double bonus. South Park is something they don’t like. Islam too.
It is true that most Muslims believe that the Prophet (SAW) should not be drawn, but drawing him will cause more annoyance than offense or anger. The reason Muslims were offended and angered by the Danish cartoon is not because it drew the Prophet (may peace and blessings be upon him), but rather because it portrayed him as a terrorist.
When the Muslims conquered Mecca, they forgave the persecuting Quraish. They destroyed all the idols that were there in the Kaaba, which was built (or rebuilt) by Abraham (AwS). However, there was a picture of prophet Jesus (AwS) and his mother Mary (may Allah be pleased with her), which the prophet carefully put away.
Muslims love and respect all the other prophets, including Abraham, Moses and Jesus (AwS). Whenever they are ridiculed, we are hurt too. The difference is, as Jesus (AwS) is “shared” between us and the Christians, so we do not feel we (Muslims) are being picked on.
The episode of South Park in my opinion was not trying to offend. It was trying to engage/incorporate the Muslim faith into the dialogue the way they know how. That’s the problem. Americans do not understand other cultures, not even European ones, and do not attempt to understand them. They expect them to ‘know what we are talkin’ about.‘
It just does not work that way. You can’t converse in Bengali with a Chinese.
Personally, I did find the show a bit offensive. One, because it showed the Prophet (SAW) clad in a stupid teddy bear costume. Two, it made innumerate references relating Muhammad (SAW), Muslims and violence. (Three) nor is Muhammad (SAW) immune from criticism. Even Muslims believe that he was a fallible human. We just believe that overall he was an excellent person- an example for all humanity to learn from. We are open to sincere criticism, but we do not like him ridiculed.
So, in short, I am a somewhat offended by, and a bit dissatisfied with the show, but in no way angry with it. I urge my fellow Muslims to engage the larger society- including the media, and use this opportunity to create some positive atmosphere. I urge the media to talk to representative Muslim organizations, and emphasize that they are such, before talking about fringe groups.