Episode 200 of South Park has provoked the wrath of a radical Muslim group which took offence at the depiction of the prophet Mohammed.
In the episode entitled 200? , Tom Cruise and a host of celebrities previously insulted by the town of South Park threaten a class action suit against unless Mohammed is brought in. Cruise tells the boys that he has always wanted to meet the
prophet, but he reveals the real reason for the demand to his co-complainants:
Mohammed has a power that makes him impervious to being made fun of. What if we could harness that power?
Now Revolutionmuslim.com, released a YouTube video featuring the words of a sermon by Anwar a-Awlaki played over images of the murdered Theo van Gogh, Salman Rushdie, Ayan Hirsi Ali, Lars Vilks, Kurt Westergaard, and South Park creators Trey Parker
and Matt Stone:
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 of what will likely happen to them
An American television network has blocked global internet broadcasts of an episode of South Park featuring the Prophet Muhammad after death threats from an Islamic group.
The 201st edition of the satirical animation was aired on Comedy Central last night but only after the channel had introduced a slew of audio and visual obfuscations in addition to the self-censorship applied by the programme's makers.
Trey Stone and Matt Parker, the cartoon's creators, were warned this week that they would be killed if they were seen to continue mocking the Prophet after an episode broadcast. It included a character representing Muhammad, who spoke from inside a
giant bear suit to prevent the illustrators having to depict him — a blasphemous act according to some Muslims.
The latest episode also featured Muhammad, but not before it was sent to Comedy Central by Stone and Parker with a black silhouette marked CENSORED in place of the bear. Every mention of the Prophet was also bleeped out.
Despite the programme-makers' alterations, Comedy Central added more bleeps and have now stopped the original episode being played on the South Park website.
The dispute comes after a little-known American group calling itself Revolution Muslim posted a message on its website warning Stone and Parker that what they are doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh for airing
this show .
Update: Lining up to take easy offence at South Park
Sr Lanka's Sunday Leader has uncovered a 'shocking' new example of the West's contempt for Buddhist culture and values.
On two recent episodes of the popular American television show South Park , the Lord Buddha is depicted as a drug addict, graphically snorting several lines of cocaine.
When contacted by The Sunday Leader, Ministry of Religious Affairs and Moral Uplift Secretary H. M. Herath expressed his indignation over the show's contents. We are going to forward this to the responsible authorities, Herath vowed. We will
take it to the Sangha and to the Buddhist Congress. This is defamation to every religion. It is a crime and hurts others' beliefs, which shouldn't be done by any person. We should respect other people's beliefs.
When asked what action the Ministry of Religious Affairs would take, Herath said that he would ban the show, and even the entire TV series from coming to Sri Lanka. However, Herath would not say whether he would attempt to prevent the sale of
South Park DVDs, which are widely available in Colombo.
The Sunday Leader has learned that Lord Buddha is a recurring character on South Park. He is portrayed as member of the Super Best Friends, along with Jesus, Lord Krishna, Lao Tzu, and other religious leaders. In the television show's 200th
episode last week, the Super Friends defend the fictional town of South Park, Colorado against a class-action lawsuit by a group of Hollywood celebrities led by Tom Cruise.
The show depicts Jesus scolding the Buddha for his drug abuse. The Buddha takes a rolled-up dollar bill and snorts several white lines of cocaine off the table. Buddha, don't do coke in front of kids! Jesus tells him.
In the most recent episode, the Buddha is again seen snorting lines of cocaine. Jesus tells him that his drug addiction is becoming a problem. The Buddha responds by pointing out that Jesus is watching internet porn. Jesus then says Internet porn
isn't the same as doing coke, fag!
The Swedish affiliate of broadcaster Comedy Central has said it will not show two controversial episodes of US satirical cartoon show South Park depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad in a bear costume, Aftonbladet reports.
Comedy Central has decided not to air these two episodes of South Park. It is a decision we've made with great reluctance. Comedy Central believes strongly in creative freedom of expression; when unique and deeply insightful creative talents like
those behind South Park are able to express themselves freely, we all benefit.
However, the safety of our employees is our unquestioned number one priority, and therefore we have decided to take these precautionary measures, the broadcaster explained in a statement released to Aftonbladet.
Spokesman Peter von Satzgerl told the Svenska Dagbladet daily that the decision came as a result of international directives from the channel's parent network in the United States.
South Park –
We'd stand beside you...
if we weren't so scared."
The trouble with terror is that it can be terrifying. Just ask Molly Norris, a cartoonist from Seattle.
As far as we know, she hasn't been explicitly threatened by Islamic extremists, but evidently she feared she might be.
Her error was to post on her website an illustration with many different household objects with speech bubbles all claiming to be the likeness of Mohammed, including a tea cup, a domino and a box of pasta. It was part of a mock campaign to dedicate
May 20 as Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!
Ms Norris pinged her cartoon to a few bloggers and talked to local radio, saying she it was a cartoonist's job to be non-PC.
Norris was therefore inspired to let her own genie out of the bottle. Within a few days there were 8,000 members of a Draw Mohammed Day! group on Facebook. A counter group, Ban Draw Mohammed Day, started up. Bloggers picked up the campaign.
Thoroughly overwhelmed by the response, and realising that the ideological battleground was no place for coffee-guzzling Seattleite, Ms Norris removed the cartoon and its campaign .
Revealing something of her reasons, her newest cartoon is a mock advertisement: Try the New Diet of Fear! ... All you have to do is tick off a few million Muslims and you'll be too afraid to eat!
Editorial Comment: A Narrow Perspective
Clearly people are a little afraid to poke fun at islam but this is a minor matter. Why should people take risks when there is a better way.
It wasn't so many years ago that society as a whole was very tolerant of religion. Even disbelievers chose not to rock the boat, feeling perhaps that belief is at least benign, but probably good for society even if it's all nonsense.
But things changed as the West came up against islam. Here was a religion that was totally unacceptable in many (but not all) of its social mores. And the tolerance bubble seems to have burst. Now society is no longer giving religion an easy ride.
It is not just about mockery, it is about reasoned debate along the lines of Dawkins, it is about criticising church leaders for covering up child abuse, it is about not standing for homophobic attitudes, it is about not standing for nonsense
arguments against condoms.
Society is rapidly withdrawing its support for the very fundamentals of all religion. And really, belief in nonsense requires an awful lot of community support.
As Reverend Ian Gregory said: “ People are fed up with religion. The bar-room talk is that it causes too much trouble in the world ”
Police in New York are investigating whether a car bomb in Times Square was targeted at the makers of South Park , the animated television series, because of a controversial depiction of Muhammad.
The device, which failed to detonate, was left near the offices of Viacom, which broadcasts the provocative cartoon on its Comedy Central network.
Last month, a posting on the U.S.-based Revolution Muslim website warned the creators of South Par k, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, that they could face violent reprisals after an episode featured Mohammed in a bear suit.
Detectives were understood to be investigating similarities between the New York bomb and two car bombs planted by Islamic terrorists outside the Tiger Tiger nightclub in London in 2007. In both cases, the devices comprised cylinders of propane gas
and cans full of gasoline intended to be ignited by electronic detonators.
A US man has pleaded guilty to supporting a Somali Islamist militant group and encouraging attacks on the writers of cartoon show South Park.
Prosecutors said Zachary Adam Chesser was 'outraged' by the cartoon's perceived mockery of Muhammad.
US investigators said Chesser was a follower of radical US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. Chesser sought twice to travel to Somalia to join al-Shabab, which the US designates as a terrorist group.
Prosecutors said Chesser also posted to an Islamist militant website the personal contact information of people who had joined an Everybody Draw Muhammad Day Facebook group.
Zachary Chesser seriously endangered the lives of innocent people who will remain at risk for many years to come, US Attorney Neil MacBride said in a statement: His solicitation of extremists to murder US citizens also caused people
throughout the country to fear speaking out - even in jest - lest they also be labelled as enemies who deserved to be killed.
In addition, Chesser pleaded guilty to urging people to plant suspicious packages in public places in order to densensitise police so a real bomb would escape notice.
Chesser pleaded guilty to two counts of communicating threats and soliciting crimes of violence, as well as to supporting an al-Qaeda linked terrorist group. The American Muslim convert faces up to 30 years in prison.
A man who admitted posting online threats against the creators of the animated TV series South Park has been jailed for 25 years.
Zachary Adam Chesser encouraged violent jihadists to attack South Park writers for an episode that depicted Mohammed in a bear suit, court documents said. Chesser also admitted that he tried to go to Somalia to join Al-Shabaab, an Islamic
militant group that the United States considers a terrorist organization.
He posted online messages that included the writers' home addresses and urged online readers to pay them a visit, the documents said.
His actions caused people throughout the country to fear speaking out -- even in jest -- to avoid being labeled as enemies who deserved to be killed, U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said: The fact that a young man from Northern Virginia could
support such violence and terror is a sobering reminder of the serious threat that homegrown jihadists pose to this country.
Chesser was born in the United States and converted to Islam in high school.
South Park Season 14 has now been released on US DVD and Blu-ray.
Unfortunately the controversial 200th and 201st episodes are still censored, just as they were seen on TV.
But it gets worse. Each episode has a mini-commentary with Trey Parker and Matt Stone talking about the episode for 2-4 minutes before signing off and the episode playing as normal.
The commentary for the 201st episode is, shall we say, unique. Parker and Stone come in talking about the circus that surrounded the episode, reiterating what a bumper card preceding the episode says regarding the episode appearing on the disc just as
it aired. Then, just as they're about to offer their thoughts on how it was handled...the commentary track bleeps. It bleeps out for a full minute and you'll honestly think you have a concussion, and that it's a ringing in your ears. Then it cuts back in
to Parker and Stone, seemingly satisfied they've said their piece, signing off. Again, I hope it's genius comedy, but it's hard to know for certain.
I figured Matt and Trey would get to say a few things on the commentary track that would allow more of their voice to be heard. Unfortunately, this is not the case and the bulk of their commentary is also bleeped out with that same annoying tone that
is spread throughout episode 201 (supposedly a speech about fear and intimidation that doesn't mention Muhammed). The beginning of the episode on DVD says the following words.
In the 14 years we've been doing South Park we have never done a show that we couldn't stand behind. We delivered our version of the show to Comedy Central and they made a determination to alter the episode. It wasn't some
meta-joke on our part. Comedy Central added the bleeps. In fact, Kyle's customary final speech was about intimidation and fear. It didn't mention Muhammad at all but it got bleeped too.
The controversial 2 part episode titled 200 and 201 have at least been included, but censored as per the latest TV version.
Originally the religious figure of Mohammed was depicted as a teddy bear when shown in episode 200. After kicking off a bit of a fuss, in the second part, 201, all shots of the character were obscured by a black silhouette marked CENSORED. Every mention of Mohammed was also bleeped out.
The two part episode in question features a typically convoluted plotline in which Tom Cruise (previously pilloried as gay and for being a scientologist) rounds up 200 other celebrities who have been targets of the show's satire in order to launch a
class-action defamation suit against the town of South Park. Cruise also wrangles Muhammad into his scheme, secretly motivated by a desire to harness the prophet's goo , which grants immunity to ridicule. Throughout, Muhammad is dressed in a bear
suit, an ironic nod to the prohibition on showing images of Islam's founding father. and the blasphemy accusation against a British teacher in Sudan who let her class of kids name a teddy bear Mohammed.
A Muslim from New York has been sentenced to 11 and a half years in prison after admitting threatening the writers of South Park over their depiction of the religious character Muhammad.
Jesse Curtis Morton alias Younus Abdullah Muhammed worked on website postings with Zachary Chesser, who was previously sentenced to 25 years in prison. In April 2010 the pair used their website to encourage extremists to attack the writers for an
episode that depicted Muhammad in a bear suit. Morton and Chesser posted the writers' addresses and encouraged readers to pay them a visit, according to court documents.
In February he pleaded guilty to making threatening communications, using the internet to put others in fear and using his position as leader of the Revolution Muslim organisation's websites to conspire to commit murder.
The US attorney Neil MacBride said:
Jesse Morton sought to inspire Muslims to engage in terrorism by providing doctrinal justification for violence against civilians in the name of Islam. His crimes not only put people's lives forever in danger, but they also chilled
free expression out of fear of retaliation by violent terrorists.
South Park's latest episode Band in China mocked Hollywood for shaping its content to please the Chinese government.
Beijing responded by deleting all clips, episodes and discussions of the Comedy Central show from all Chinese streaming services, social media and even fan pages.
On Monday afternoon, creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone issued a statement with a faux apology about the ban:
Like the NBA , we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts, the statement reads. We too love money more than freedom and democracy. Xi doesn't look like Winnie the Pooh at all. Tune into our 300th episode this
Wednesday at 10! Long live the great Communist Party of China. May the autumn's sorghum harvest be bountiful. We good now China?
The Band in CHina episode featured a pair of storylines about China. One involves Randy getting caught attempting to sell weed in China and getting sent to a work camp similar to those Beijing has been using in Xinjiang Province to hold up to a
million Chinese Muslims. While he's at the work camp, Randy runs into an imprisoned Winnie the Pooh.
A second plot follows Stan, Jimmy, Kenny and Butters forming a metal band, which becomes popular and attracts the attention of a manager who wants to make a film about them. But then the script keeps changing so that the film can safely be distributed
The Chinese censorship of South Park seems that the producers will take a big hit in income as Apple pulls out of bidding for South Park streaming rights as it seeks to appease China where Apple has significant sales.
Viacom, the owner of Comedy Central's long-running animated series South Park, is looking to sell the streaming rights to the series. Sources familiar with the bidding told Bloomberg that Apple probably won't extend a bid, due to the show's recent ban
in China after the second episode in season 23, Band in China included a humorous attack on Chinese censorship. China reportedly ceased all streaming and discussion of the show on its state-controlled internet.
Apple relies on Chinese manufacturing for many of its products, and China makes up a great deal of its consumer base. Thus, sources told Bloomberg that it was unlikely that Apple would want to host South Park on Apple TV+.
The articles also notes that Apple appears to be crafting a family-friendly content selection on its streaming service, with relatively non-controversial content in general.