- The Washington Times - Friday, April 14, 2006

Religion is a near-weekly target on Comedy Central’s long-running cartoon hit “South Park.” So it was no surprise that the show’s creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, would see the prophet Muhammad cartoon fiasco as easy prey for the profanity-spewing kids who inhabit the fictional town of South Park.

The skewering began in earnest last week in Part I of “Cartoon Wars,” where the inhabitants of South Park barricade themselves in their homes out of fear of a Muslim backlash for a fictional Fox Network’s decision to air an image of Muhammad. The episode ends leaving viewers to wonder if the Fox Network will follow through.

On Wednesday, Part II began with the Fox president deciding not to air the image. This angers Kyle, one of the “South Park” kids, who scolds the president: “You can’t do what he wants just because he’s the one threatening you with violence… Yes, people can get hurt. That’s how terrorism works. But if you give in to that… you’re allowing terrorism to work.”

Kyle’s lecture convinces the president to air the image of Muhammad. Only here’s the twist: At the moment when viewers are about to see Muhammad, a black screen appears with the words, “Comedy Central has refused to broadcast an image of Mohammed on their [sic] network.” Comedy Central confirmed Thursday that its decision not to allow “South Park” to air the Muhammad image was made weeks ago.

But Messrs. Parker and Stone didn’t stop there. Later on in the episode, “al Qaeda” retaliates by airing a cartoon showing a disturbing image of Jesus defecating on an American flag. Kyle of “South Park” told the Fox president, “If you don’t show Muhammad, then you’ve made a distinction between what is OK to make fun of and what isn’t. Either it’s all OK or none of it is.”

Art, yet again, imitates life.

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