Saturday, April 24, 2010
NEWSWEEK..Security Stepped Up at Comedy Central NY Following Threats Against 'South Park,' NYPD Puts A Lid on RevolutionMuslim.com.
The New York Police Department has stepped up security at the headquarters of the Comedy Central cable channel after an Islamic extremist Web site posted apparent threats to the creators of South Park, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, for making fun of the Prophet Muhammad. Paul Browne, NYPD deputy commissioner and chief spokesman, says that his department for some time has been aware of the small group, which appears to organize around a now-unreachable Web site called RevolutionMuslim.com, at least one of whose purported leaders posted threats against South Park after the scatological cartoon series made fun of Muhammad, Jesus, and the icons of several other major religions, as well as numerous prominent Hollywood celebrities, in a two-part story celebrating the program's 200th episode.
"We were aware of the threat before it surfaced and took precautions to safeguard the offices of Comedy Central," Browne says. He declined to discuss the security measures in further detail or to disclose how NYPD managed to get advance warning that the cartoon and its producers were going to be threatened.
South Park Death Threats
Jon Stewert hesitates to repeat a phrase he's used before, but he has something to say to anyone threatening death in the name of religion or politics.
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NYPD 'South Park' jihad patrol; Even before Comedy Central's "South Park" aired its episode that purported to feature the Prophet Mohammed in a bear suit, security was tightened at the cable network's Midtown headquarters and satellite offices around Manhattan. Tipped off by blogs that the episode would air, cops beefed up security to ward off any attacks on Comedy Central by aggrieved Islamic fanatics who believe any depictions of the prophet are punishable by death.
On Wednesday, Comedy Central aired a heavily censored version of the episode that showed it was actually Santa Claus -- not Mohammed -- in the bear suit. So far, the only public threat came from a group of American converts to Islam who run the Web site Revolution Muslim. SEE BLOG http://revolutionmuslim.blogspot.com/
"May Allah kill [creators] Matt Stone and Trey Parker and burn them in Hell for all eternity. They insult our prophets Mohammed, Jesus, and Moses," wrote Zachary "Abu Talhah al-Amrike" Cheeser.
A law-enforcement official who asked to remain unnamed due to the sensitivity of the information and private experts who monitor extremist Islamic Web sites say that from what they can tell, the people behind RevolutionMuslim.com, who at one point last year apparently succeeded in organizing a pro–bin Laden demonstration outside a Queens, N.Y., mosque known for propagating a moderate form of Islam, espouse a particularly virulent extremist Islamic message that includes support for bin Laden and the 9/11 attacks.
Nevertheless, law-enforcement agencies are concerned that the implied threats that the Web site posted condemning the latest South Park lampoon of Muhammad "might inspire someone else," says the official. According to Reuters, after the first part of the two-part South Park anniversary episode aired 10 days ago, depicting Muhammad in a bear costume, RevolutionMuslim.com warned Parker and Stone that they could be murdered: "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."
Along with this warning threat, the Web site posted a photo of Van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker who was killed by an Islamic militant in 2004 for producing a short film that criticizes Islam for demeaning women.
The Web site also reportedly posted a link to a news report that gave details of a mansion in Colorado that Parker and Stone reportedly own, implying, according to Reuters, that RevolutionMuslim.com posters "know where to find" the South Park creators, see http://revolutionmuslim.blogspot.com/
Recent court cases brought by federal investigators have demonstrated that American citizens living in such diverse locations as Denver, Philadelphia, and Chicago have allegedly become involved in plots to kill foreign artists who published cartoons lampooning Muhammad. In one recent case, two American women who converted to Islam, known as "JihadJane" and "Jihad Jamie," allegedly became Islamic radicals by steeping themselves in propaganda spread on extremist Web sites like http://revolutionmuslim.blogspot.com/ and subsequently became involved in a plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist with fellow Internet extremists based in Ireland.
According to a report by the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai Brith, which monitors extremist and anti-Semitic groups, the South Park threats were posted on RevolutionMuslim.com by someone who called himself Abu Talha al-Amrikee.
ADL says that the Web posting by al-Amrikee that mentioned Van Gogh also included the addresses of Stone and Parker's offices, as well as an exhortation to readers to "contact them" or to "pay Comedy Central a visit." E-mails sent to two addresses uncovered for al-Amrikee—one under what ADL says is his real name, Zachary Chesser—requesting comment received no immediate reply.
A spokesman for Comedy Central who asked not to be identified confirms that when South Park's producers delivered the latest episode featuring Muhammad to the broadcaster a few hours before air on Wednesday, the only elements that had been bleeped out by the cartoon creators themselves were profanities. The spokesman says that the broadcaster then took the decision to black out any image depicting Muhammad and any verbal reference to him, as well as the closing comments of other characters. "Comedy Central would not let them show the image of Muhammad," the rep acknowledges. more from this source.......
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