Keith Ellison defends Muslim complaints about "South Park"

If you're Jewish and you don't like the way your people are portrayed on TV, you can complain. If you're Latino and you don't like the way Latinos are depicted on TV, you can complain.

So what's the big deal when Muslims take offense at something on a TV show and complain?

Well, when the show is the cultural phenomenon "South Park," and the complaint involves the threat from a radical group of physical harm, some folks get a little touchy.

But Rep. Keith Ellison, in an interview with the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, said Americans and others with a suspicious eye towards members of his Muslim faith ought to take a deep breath.

Regarding [the satirical cartoon] South Park, I think that the Muslim community reaction to this South Park episode was well within the bounds of civil discourse. There might have been some extremists who did some extreme things, but for America's citizens to call up and complain about how their community is depicted in a television broadcast - it's par for the course. You have members of the Latino community, and even the Jewish community, who have historically been portrayed in less than favorable light, and they complained about it. What's wrong about that? You certainly didn't see anything that is approaching what happened in Europe when the [Prophet Muhammad] cartoons were published. You saw people complaining, and it was well within the bounds of civil discourse.

It was a wide ranging interview, touching on the (never-ending) Iraq war, criticism and support for Israel and the possibility of a U.S. attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. Check it out here.

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