People always used to express their point of view, and one of the best ways to do it is satire. This comes from the ancient times, for there are examples of satirical writings even in ancient Egypt, which proves that people always resorted to satirical expression of their point of view. Thus, satire can be found in every area of human life: in everyday life, in books, in periodicals, in films, on TV, in the Internet, etc. Of course, satire can be very offensive for its object, but that is the point of satire to strike and to show that changes are necessary, as Sullivan stated satire must be “crude but powerful” (Sullivan). It is quite obvious that the most of satire is pointed at controversial things, such as politics and religion. It is necessary to point out that these two subjects are connected very often, especially when it deals with Islamic religion.
I think, Western people do not understand this religion, and which is more crucial, they don’t understand that religion is very important for Eastern people and that is why sometimes Western people cross the boundaries, and here I am not consider fanatics who kill people, to my mind, both sides have them, here I only mention the satirical representations of some definite thoughts. To show the role of satire in politics, concerning Islamic religion, it is possible to depict cartoon South Park and comedian film You Don’t Mess With Zohan. As far as South Park is concerned it is necessary to point out that it is a satirical reflection of the modern society, and, of course, some series deal with Islamic religion.
For instance, in the episode 200 the inhabitants are concerned with the Islamic rules about Muhammad depiction, or rather prohibition of this depiction. And, of course, some extremists sent threaten to the makers of the cartoon. Another example of mockery at the whole issue is film You Don’t Mess With Zohan, which reveals some of the “peculiarities” of Muslims and their “struggle”, depicting the constant rivalry between two super agents of Islamic and Jewish worlds. The film is full of satire but it is quite moderate and, to my mind, not offensive, moreover, this film shows that the whole confrontation is quite fictive, no one even remembers why it was started, and all the nations can live in peace. To my mind this is the best way of using satire with controversial issues. It is necessary to add that not only Islamic religion and culture is under satirical supervision, but even western, i.
e. Catholic, religion is being satirized as well. The film Dogma is a bright example of satire over Catholic religion, it is necessary to stress that it is quite revolutionary and offensive for those who still believes in God, since the main postulates of this religion are being satirized. The film makers were also sent some threatens from the Catholics, who were offended by such “blasphemy”.
To my mind, Dogma is far behind the acceptable boundaries, and really should be restricted in the broadcasting and sales, though it has right to exist and be watched by people who are ready to understand the film makers’ message. Thus, I would like to conclude that satire is indispensable part of human life, which is very important and valuable in terms of people development, though it is always necessary to stay in the boundaries, trying to accept traditions others.
Dugan, Dennis, dir. You Don’t Mess with the Zohan. Columbia Pictures, 2008.
Film. Parker, Trey and Stone, Matt. South Park.
Comedy Central, Animation. Smith, Kevin, dir. Dogma. Miramax Films, Lions Gate Entertainment, 1999. Film.
Sullivan, Andrew. “Your Taboo, Not Mine.” Time Magazine Online, 07 Feb. 2006.