Expert says Comedy Central censorship signals ’slow-motion surrender’ in the West

Alex Pappas
The Daily Caller

Comedy Central has come under fire for censoring a recent episode (Comedy Central)

Comedy Central has come under fire for censoring a recent episode (Comedy Central)

Comedy Central censored any mention of the word “Muhammad” in a recent “South Park” episode following threats from a radical Islam group, and one terrorism policy expert says the network’s decision is part of a trend of America surrendering its freedom of speech in the face of intimidation.

Clifford May, who presides over the Foundation for Defense of Democracies terrorism policy institute, said “it would be nice” to see artists and film directors “really stand up for freedom” and that “it’s really disappointing when they don’t.”

“What we are seeing, if this continues, is a slow-motion surrender in the West, and that’s a pretty terrible thing,” said May, when asked to comment on the censoring of words in the show. “South Park” in the past has not shied away from depicting religious leaders engaged in outrageous behavior.

Radical New York group Revolution Muslim took to their Web site after last week’s “South Park” episode, which portrayed the prophet Muhammad in a bear costume. Revolution Muslim posted the names and work addresses of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the show’s producers, on its Web site and warned that they could end up dead like a Dutch filmmaker who was killed by a Muslim extremist for his portrayal of the prophet.

In this week’s episode, every mention of Muhammad was bleeped out.

“We should be very concerned about intimidation leading to self-censorship. We are seeing this increasingly,” May said. He pointed to the Ayatollah of Iran’s issuance of a fatwa against Westerners in 1989 and to the death of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, who was killed by an Islamic extremist for his portrayal of Muhammad.

Company spokesman Steve Albani would only confirm to The Daily Caller that “Comedy Central did add additional bleeps to the episode that was delivered by South Park,” but he would not elaborate.

The article continues at The Daily Caller

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