LA Times 4/23/2010...In its 200 shows, the irreverent animated program "South Park" has mercilessly satirized Christianity, Buddhism, Scientology, the blind and disabled, gay people, Hollywood celebrities and politicians of all persuasions, weathering the resulting protests and threats of boycotts.
But this week, after an ominous threat from a radical Muslim website revolutionmuslim.com, the network that airs the program bleeped out all references to the prophet Muhammad in the second of two episodes set to feature the holy figure dressed in a bear costume. The incident provides the latest example that media conglomerates are still struggling to balance free speech with safety concerns and religious sensitivities, six years after Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was slain for making a film critical of Islamic society.
The ADL has identified Abu Talhah Al-Amrikee, the blogger who posted the warning about "South Park," as Zachary A. Chesser, a former student at George Mason University who lives in Bristow Virginia, he is a white male, early 20's, married and has become more active with Revolution Muslim in the last several months.
On April 15, he wrote on one of his Twitter accounts: "May Allah kill Matt Stone and Trey Parker and burn them in Hell for all eternity. They insult our prophets Muhammad, Jesus, and Moses."
Later, he posted a clip from an interview of Stone and Parker with the website boingboing.com, in which the host asked if they feared that they would be bombed for showing a depiction of the prophet Muhammad on their show. Al-Amrikee noted: "Perhaps they are not, perhaps they should be, only time will tell."
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