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25th April
2010
  

Updated: 200 Hundred Threats...


Nice 'n' Naughty

Another episode of South Park winds up the easily offended

South Park Season 13 Blu ray 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

Update: Spooked by Islamic Death Threats

23rd April 2010. Based on article from entertainment.timesonline.co.uk

comedy central logoAn 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

25th April 2010. Based on article from thesundayleader.lk

Sri LankaSr 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!

 

30th April
2010
  

Update: Fear of Teddy Bears...


Nice 'n' Naughty

Swedish affiliate of Comedy Central opts to censor episodes of South Park

comedy central logoThe 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.

 

2nd May
2010
  

Offsite: Fear of Teddy Bears...


Nice 'n' Naughty

America's disappointing reaction to South Park censorship
Gosh International Bart 37 5cm Simpson

  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

QuetzalcoatlClearly 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

 

3rd May
2010
  

Update: Fears of a Link...

Police investigate whether New York bomb attempt was related to South Park

viacom logoPolice 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.

 

21st October
2010
  

Update: Censorship by Violence...

Man pleads guilty of encouraging attacks on South Park writers

south park jail 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.

 

25th February
2011
  

Update: South Park Jail...

25 years for inciting violent attacks on South Park Creators

South Park Jail 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.

 

7th May
2011
  

Offsite: Not So Complete 14th Season...

South Park Season 14 has the TV censored version of the Mohammed episodes

South Park Complete Fourteenth Season 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.

Offsite: Bleeping Hell

7th May. See article from parcbench.com

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.

...read the full article

 

2nd September
2011
  

Updated: Not So Complete...

New UK DVD release for South Park Season 14 is totally missing the 2 controversial episodes featuring Mohammed

South Park Complete Fourteenth Season South Park Season 14 i s a US 2010 TV cartoon comedy. See IMDb

A version with just 12 out of the 14 episodes was passed 15 without BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2011 Paramount R2 DVD for release on 19th September

The two controversial episodes titled 200 and 201 have been omitted entirely.

The US release is cut and MPAA Unrated for:

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.

Update: Bonus Episode

2nd September 2011. See article from bbfc.co.uk

The 'Complete' Fourteenth Season of South Park has been resubmitted to the BBFC, this time with a 'bonus episode' on Disk 3.

It is not yet clear what the episode is, maybe one of the 2 missing episodes?

 

23rd June
2012

 Update: Bearing Down on Violent Threats...

11.5 years in jail for threatening the writers of South Park over the Mohammed Teddy Bear episode

South Park Season 14 DVD 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.