Radical Muslim website riled by South Park
Last Updated: Thursday, April 22, 2010 | 11:02 AM ET
The Associated Press
South Park creators Trey Parker, left, and Matt Stone, seen in 2008, have often sparked controversy with episodes of their irreverent, satirical animated show. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images) A radical Muslim group has warned the creators of South Park that they could face violent retribution for depicting the Prophet Muhammad in a bear suit during the 200th episode of the animated TV show.
The website RevolutionMuslim.com has since been taken down, but a cached version shows the message to South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The article's author, Abu Talhah Al-Amrikee of New York, said the men "outright insulted" the religious leader.
In the first part of the 200th episode that screened last week, Muhammad appears in a bear suit. The show also takes an irreverent look at leaders of other religions, including a scene that shows Buddha snorting drugs.
Wednesday night's second half was labelled "Censored" and featured some changes, including the words "Prophet Muhammad" beeped out, while images of the prophet in a bear outfit were substituted with ones of Santa Claus in the same costume.
The website posted a gruesome picture of Theo van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker who was shot and stabbed to death in an Amsterdam street in 2004 by a fanatic angered by his film about Muslim women. The film was scripted by a Muslim woman who rejected the Prophet Muhammad as a guide for today's morality.
"We have to warn Matt and Trey that what they are doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo van Gogh for airing this show," Al-Amrikee wrote on the site. "This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them."
The posting listed the addresses of Comedy Central's New York office and Parker and Stone's California production office. It also linked to a Huffington Post article that described a Colorado retreat owned by the two men.
On Thursday, Comedy Central said it had aired a modified version of the original episode provided by South Park Studios, and noted it was not allowing the episode to run on its website.
Known for support of jihad, bin Laden
CNN, which first reported the posting, said the New York-based website is known for postings in support of Osama bin Laden and jihad, or holy war, against the West.
Al-Amrikee told The Associated Press in a phone call Wednesday that the posting was made to raise awareness of the issue and to see that it does not happen again. Asked if Parker and Stone should feel threatened by it, he said "they should feel threatened by what they did."
He said he was disappointed that publicity about the posting focused more on the potential danger to the producers but admitted, "I could shoulder some blame" for it.
He said he "can't answer that legally" when asked if his group favours jihad. But he praised bin Laden.
"We look up to him and admire him for the sacrifices he has given for the religion," he said.
Last week's landmark episode of the cheeky and often vulgar cartoon was intended to feature many of the personalities and groups that Parker and Stone insulted during the series' run.
Before last night's show was aired, Islamists warned its creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, they could face severe retribution for repeating the depiction of Muhammad in costume.
In 2006, Comedy Central banned the men from showing an image of Muhammad on their show. They had intended to comment on the controversy created by a Danish newspaper's publishing of caricatures of the Islamic leader.
Muslims consider any physical representation of the Prophet to be blasphemous.
Instead, South Park showed an image of Jesus Christ defecating on President George W. Bush and the American flag.
Comedy Central and the show's producers would not comment.
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