Saturday, 24 April 2010

Will the real Muhammad please stand up?

A bunch of terrorist-loving muslims have got their tea towels in a twist, after being offended by a television cartoon show. A few issued barely-disguised death threats against the creators of the Comedy Central tv show South Park, after it made fun of the so-called prophet Muhammad (aka Mohammed, aka Bobo).

The long-running animated series has poked fun at pretty much every major Hollywood celebrity, political name, and even religious figures. (Show creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are currently working on a Broadway musical comedy about Mormons, due to hit the stage in March 2011).

Now violent threats made on a radical muslim hate website have prompted Comedy Central to censor the 200th episode of the South Park show. The episode featured many of the 'celebrities' that have featured in popular storylines since 1997, including Tom Cruise, Barbra Streisand, Moses, Jesus, and Buddha.

In the episode, Muhammad is brought to the fictional Colorado town of South Park. He is initially heard speaking from inside a U-Haul trailer, before being let out into the town, dressed in a bear costume...

Islam apparently forbids the depiction of Mr Muhammad, and so a member of the Revolution Muslim website decided the episode "outright insulted" the prophet.

Mr Abu Talhah Al-Amrikee (aka Zach Chesser) posted a thinly veiled death threat, saying they "will probably wind up like Theo van Gogh for airing this show". (Dutch filmmaker van Gogh was killed by an Islamic militant in The Netherlands in 2004). A link to the address of the South Park creators was also posted.

The media-shy Muhammad did partially stop by in a 2006 South Park episode, which followed the muslim-led controversy over the satirical Danish Muhammad cartoons.

In that episode, Big Mu was hidden behind a large black box marked "CENSORED", after the Comedy Central network refused to let Matt Stone and Trey Parker show the shy prophet. (MTV Networks president Doug Herzog later admitted that Comedy Central had caved to political and commercial pressure, and given a fresh chance he'd do it differently).

In the recent 2-part 200th episode, the Mu character was again Censored, and his name was bleeped. Stone and Parker said Comedy Central also added "numerous additional audio bleeps" to the episode, after it was delivered to the network (including during an end speech "about intimidation and fear"). The network also wouldn't let the episode be streamed as normal on the its website.

Free speech campaigners have slammed the censorship by Comedy Central, and now thanks to WhaleOil it seems there's an important date for all free speech proponents to mark on the calendar. May 10, 2010 has officially been declared the First Annual "Everybody Draw Mohammad Day!"

The event has been organised... In light of the recent "veiled" (ha!) threats aimed at the creators of the television show South Park (for depicting the prophet Mohammad in a bear suit) by bloggers on Revolution Muslim's website...

* New York Times - ‘South Park’ Episode Altered After Muslim Group’s Warning
* - 'South Park' creators 'warned' by radical Muslim website: Um, holy [beep]!
* BBC News - South Park duo write Broadway musical about Mormons
* The Strangler - Everybody Draw Mohammad Day!

Posted in Labels: , , |