I wanted to post a note regarding this non-troversy generated by South Park, in which a character representing Mohammed is shown wearing a bear suit. The network censored the cartoon after protests from Muslims.
Although I am disappointed with this response, and think they should have backed Stone and Parker, I am more inclined to blame our pervasive culture of cowardice and self-sacrifice, and its effect on government policy.
The culture of cowardice I refer to is one in which people are afraid to identify things as they are, but instead subvert their own rational judgment for the sake of irrational opinions, such as the idea that there may be no representations of Mohammed. Bowing to religious political correctness (whatever that may mean on any given day) is cowardice, not sensitivity.
Furthermore, Islamic totalitarians have become emboldened by the stance of appeasement our government has taken for decades, placing private citizens in a more difficult position than they should be in.
Government sets the tone for how a country's citizens are treated, and the message ours sends is: we are cowardly fools who will not take the actions necessary to protect ourselves*.
Consider this fictional scenario. Imagine you lived in a remote protected fort surrounded by violent hordes. Over the years, those in charge of the fort have had countless opportunities to crush the violent groups outside, but have failed to do so. Now emboldened, the hordes surround the fort, pointing weapons at you, and you have to decide whether you want to mock them. That is essentially the position that Stone, Parker, and the rest of us now find ourselves in.
The perverse irony is that in objective terms, America is one of the most powerful nations on Earth, yet in moral terms we are like that fort, because we have not asserted our moral right to life, and we have surrendered our judgment to religious irrationalism.
(Think about that, and the doctrine of turning the other cheek, when you decide whether you want to vote for a Christian fundamentalist political candidate.)
Essentially, the problem is that our government does not back us up, and does not properly defend our individual rights abroad.
This in turn leads to countless problems such as the South Park episode, as well as other, wider-reaching matters such as invading the wrong countries (Iraq and Afghanistan).
The political origin of the Islamic totalitarian problem dates back to the Iran hostage crisis, when we let a bunch of students in a pipsqueak nation tell us what to do. The situation in which we find ourselves is the product of the decades of appeasement in which we disregarded our own rational judgment and our own rights for the alleged rights of those who wish to do us harm.
Islamic terrorism does not originate from caves in Afghanistan or psychotics carrying bombs in their underwear. It originates from Tehran, and other places that preach the ideas that produce it.
Until we end such state support, and Islamic terrorists fear the name "America", none of us will be safe.
For further reading on this issue, I recommend browsing the Ayn Rand Center's section on Islamic totalitarianism.
*I exlude the exemplary performance of our military from this criticism, although I do fault the military leadership for participating in the government's orgy of self-sacrifice, such as by defining suicidal rules of engagement and sometimes appearing afraid to conduct a real, all-out war against the enemy.