In a recent episode, the Comedy Central show, South Park aired an episode where the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was shown in a bear costume. Apparently, this is the second time that South Park has depicted the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) on their show. Unfortunately, what is as disturbing as the episode itself, is the media's portrayal of the issue.
CNN's Anderson Cooper's Blog Article on the subject reads: "Evening Buzz: Radical Islamic Website Warns 'South Park' Creators. It's sad that even when Muslims are victim to defamatory and insulting comments, the media still depicts them as the bad guy. Instead of the media focusing on the unnecessary and rude comments made by the South Park creators, the media focused on the reaction Muslims had towards such acts. Apparently, Anderson Cooper has no problem fighting for the freedom to insult Muslims, but he does have a problem with Muslims getting upset about it.
Instead of focusing on the content of the South Park episode, Cooper focused on a blog post by Revolution Muslim, a blog based in New York, which decried the South Park episode, and created a video discussing what happened to certain people who insulted the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) during the Prophet's lifetime. And that's the rub. Anderson Cooper needs to be even-handed. If he's OK with South Park insulting Islam, then he should be OK with Muslims insulting South Park. Why isn't the article entitled "Radical Show Insults World's Second-Largest Religion"? Cooper is showing a clear bias in which he is encouraging the insulting of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) while refusing stand by Muslims whose speech is also protected by the 1st Amendment.
A quick note on how Muslims should react to such hate speech perpetrated by shows like South Park. Often, Muslims get upset and sometimes some may become violent more to show off how angry they are than because they actually care that much. It seems that the ones who really love the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) would follow his sunnah and act the way he would act. Once, for example, the Blessed Prophet had a neighbor who threw garbage on the Prophet's doorstep every day. Once, when the Prophet Muhammad saw that no one had thrown garbage doorstep, he inquired about the neighbor and learned he was sick. The Prophet Muhammad then visited the neighbor and nursed him back to health. Once the neighbor became better, he embraced Islam. Muslims reading this can think of many other stories but for the sake of brevity, I'll stop here. The point is, that if Muslims want people to see the Prophet Muhammad as the peaceful, caring and loving man that he was, Muslims should also act in that fashion. Death threats and the like don't really help the situation.