Dec. 28, 2011 at 9:10 AM ET
An old parody of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" from Denis Leary -- whereby the title character converts to Islam -- didn’t get much attention when the politically incorrect comedian posted it online last week, but on Tuesday it was being dissected in political circles.
Under the description, “In advance of Your Merry HappyHannakwanzaxmas,” the video starts with Charlie Brown seeking Lucy’s help with his doubts about Christianity. After she dismisses Tom Cruise as a “blockhead,” Linus steps in to advise his friend to convert to Islam.
Whereas the classic TV special has Charlie Brown purchasing a Christmas tree seemingly too weak to support a single bulb, Leary’s version features him constructing a bomb that merely detonates a few puffs of smoke. Instead of Linus delivering his true-meaning-of-Christmas speech, this bearded, camouflaged version announces: “It is the duty of the Jihadist to bring terror to the enemy and create one global, Islamic state where there is no music, no alcohol and no Western Influences.”
“Isn’t he the cutest radical Islamist you’ve ever seen,” coos Charlie Brown’s sister, Sally, who has a crush on Linus. (The video is below).
The parody also features lines like “Merry F-king Christmas” and others that could cause Christians to cringe, but judging from the response thus far the only complaints are coming from Muslim activist groups or their liberal sympathizers.
Islamopohobia-Watch.com announced that “a jaw-droppingly Islamophobic video has been posted by Irish-American comedian Denis Leary,” and Gothamist.com says “we had a very tough time sitting through this particularly xenophobic one-note joke.”
Many right wingers, meanwhile, are supportive of Leary’s parody. BigHollywood.com editor John Nolte, for example, writes: “Screaming ‘Islamophobia,’ ‘xenophobia,’ ‘homophobia,’ ‘bullying’ or anything of the like, is just the cowards’ way of telling the satirist to shut up.”
Leary, the self-described "five-time Emmy award loser," tweeted the arrival of the three-minute cartoon from his Apostle production company twice last week and it hit the well-trafficked site WhoSay.com five days ago, though it seems to be getting more attention after Christmas than it did prior to the holiday. On Tuesday, WhoSay listed it among its biggest-trending videos, even though the video is actually several years old and once resided at the Comedy Central website. Versions have been on YouTubefor years.
But on Tuesday, Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.com linked it without much commentary, as did the Islamic news site Crescent Post and dozens of others that weren’t sure what to make of the suddenly hot, years-old cartoon, so they simply asked their readers to weigh in on the controversy.
Note: The video makes use of strong language.