Comedian Dennis Leary took a shot at Muslims over the Christmas holiday with a video that turns cartoon character Charlie Brown into a stereotypical bearded Islamic radical intent on killing Americans.
On his Whosay website a few days before the Christian holiday, Leary posted a parody of the classic seasonal television special A Charlie Brown Christmas that depicts various members of the Peanuts gang as Muslim terrorists.
“I’m so depressed,” Charlie Brown tells Lucy as the video begins. “I think I’m losing my faith in Christianity.”
“Have you ever considered converting to Islam?” Linus asks Charlie Brown. “I converted when I went to prison for selling hash to Andy Capp.”
In the classic cartoon, Charlie Brown tries to save a wilted Christmas tree, but in the retelling, Leary replaces that tree with a homemade bomb that fails to explode.
Linus’ monologue about the meaning of Christmas becomes a rant about the “duty of the jihadist.”
“It is the duty of the jihadist to bring terror to the enemy and create one global Islamic state,” Linus declares.
“Isn’t he the cutest radical Islamist you’ve ever seen?” asks Charlie Brown’s sister Sally, who has a crush on Linus.
“It really isn’t such a bad little bomb,” Linus says of the failed improvised explosive device.
With that, the whole gang pitches in to turn the bomb into a high-tech nuclear weapon.
“Merry fucking Christmas,” Lucy remarks as the bomb explodes. The cartoon concludes with Charlie Brown and Linus in hell wondering where their 72 virgins are.
While Leary’s parody wasn’t widely noticed in the days before Christmas, it is now getting attention from the right and the left.
“Just what the world needs,” wrote Islamophobia Watch, which documents anti-Muslim bigotry. “Another 72 virgins joke. … Some years ago Leary took a firm stand against Mel Gibson’s antisemitism. But apparently crude anti-Muslim stereotyping is fine with Leary.”
“I still can’t get over how profoundly fucked up and confusing it is,” comedian Joe Mande observed. “That said, pleeeeeease watch.”
But not everyone disagreed with Leary’s sentiment.
“Screaming ‘Islamophobia,’ ‘xenophobia,’ ‘homophobia,’ ‘bullying,’ or anything of the like, is just the cowards’ way of telling the satirist to shut up,” Big Hollywood’s John Nolte insisted. “[W]hat you have is a reenactment of what we see every time gays are in any way satirized: humorless, sanctimonious, censorious prigs demanding those groups more equal than others receive inoculation from satire,” adding, “Good for Denis Leary.”
In all fairness, Leary also posted a Christmas video mocking Christians.
Watch this video from Dennis Leary, uploaded Dec. 22, 2011.