'South Park' Episode Censored After Threat
A note on the show's website said Comedy Central had inserted "numerous additional audio bleeps throughout" the show, adding "we do not have network approval to stream our original version of the show."
The episode was the second half of a storyline that began last week with an episode depicting the Prophet Muhammad in a bear suit.
A day later, a blog post on Revolution Muslim's website warned the satirists that the episode would likely leave them in the same position as Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, who was shot to death while biking to work in Amsterdam in 2004. Van Gogh had made a short film critical of the treatment of women in Islamic society.
"We have to warn Matt [Stone] and Trey [Parker] 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 of what will likely happen to them," Abu Talhah Al-Amrikee wrote in the post.
A phone number listed for the group has been disconnected and their website has been taken down by its host, according to The Globe and Mail. But a separate blog is up and running and yesterday the group posted a lengthy clarification of its response to the South Park episode.
"We are not trying to directly incite violence, but we are trying to explain the gravity of the situation and prevent this from occurring ever again. As stated in the words of the Prophet (peace be upon him) above, if one cannot alter the situation with their hand then they must speak out against it and try to change it that way," the group writes in the post.
The subplot involving Muhammad is meant to satirize the controversy surrounding cartoons published in Europe in 2005 and 2007 depicting the prophet's image. The cartoons led to violent protests and condemnations across Europe and the Middle East. In 2006, Comedy Central banned "South Park" creators Stone and Parker from depicting Muhammad in their show.
"By placing the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in a bear suit, the creators of South Park sought to insult the sacred, and show their blatant and general disregard for religion," the blog post says. "By insulting our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) without the outright depicting of his image, the creators of South Park thought that they had found some loophole in the Muslim faith for them to mock."
In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Younes Abdullah Mohammed, one of Revolution Muslim's founders, said they were not calling for Stone's and Parker's killings outright.
"If it happens to them, they deserve it," Mohammed told The Globe and Mail, explaining that sharia law would allow the killings. "'South Park' plays a role in the hedonistic, vice-based society that keeps America ignorant."
Last year, Mohammed told CNN that there was nothing wrong with the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
"I don't think it was wrong, I think it was justified," Mohammed said. "We're commanded to terrorize the disbelievers."
In the interview, Mohammed defines "terrorize" as "making them fearful so that they think twice before they go rape your mother or kill your brother or go onto your land and try to steal your resources."