The creators of South Park have been threatened with murder by Islamic extremist groups in America over last week’s episode which contained a controversial portrayal of the Muslim prophet Muhammad.
On April 14th the animated series created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone produced an episode that showed the Muslim prophet Muhammad dressed in a bear suit, and since its airing has caused a wave of controversy throughout the Muslim world.
A sobering and chilling reply was sent out this week when remarks made by a New York Islamic extremist group called Revolution Muslim said “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. This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality that will likely happen to them.”
Theo van Gogh was a Dutch filmmaker who was assassinated in 2004 by an Islamic extremist for his personal take on the Muslim religion in both films and books.
The website for Revolution Muslim went further than just a veiled threat, and posted information on their site for the general population about where the creators of South Park work and live. This was accompanied by a sermon from a wanted cleric in Yemen outlining the punishments for blasphemy against the Muslim religion.
The story was also covered tonight on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, and Cooper himself said, “We live in a country which prides itself on its freedom of speech, in which we can say whatever is in our hearts, in our minds as long as it’s not threatening to someone else; as long as it’s not calling for violence against somebody else.”
“Now, you might not like South Park the cartoon, you might think it’s offensive, you might decide it’s not something you want to watch, that’s up to you. But the notion that some radical Islamic group in America would make a threat, even a veiled one, against two men’s lives because of it is chilling, and for the people making this threat, that is precisely the point; to chill discussion, to chill debate.”
Although the owners of the website Revolution Muslim claim that they are only calling on people to protest, the website clearly depicted a murder victim underneath a clip of the offending scene from South Park.
It is steadfastly believed by Revolution Muslim that the Muslim equivalant to the Bible, the Qur’an, commands them “to terrorize non believers.”
A public response by the creators of South Park has yet to be released.
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