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NEW YORK – The writers of The Simpsons have come to the defense of two South Park writers who received a threat from a Muslim group over their recent depiction of the prophet Muhammad.
The Simpsons’ opening credits this week showed Bart copying a phrase on a chalkboard: “South Park – We’d Stand Beside You If We Weren’t So Scared.”
Last week, comedian Jon Stewart also rallied behind South Park
with a 10-minute sketch that ended with him telling the group making the threats to “Go f*** yourselves.”
Stewart linked the Muslim group, Revolution Muslim, to Osama bin Laden and 9/11. And he noted that the New York-based radical group enjoyed the parks, entertainment and Jewish delis for which New York City is known.
“These numbnuts get to enjoy it,” he said. “All because of how we, in this country, value and protect even their freedom of expression.”
The South Park
episode in question, the show’s 200th, broadcast earlier this month, takes on the Islamic prohibition of depicting the prophet Muhammad, and introduced the prophet dressed in a bear suit. It also lampooned Buddhism and Jesus.
Following the episode’s broadcast, Revolution Muslim posted an Internet “warning” to the show’s writers, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, predicting that they could find themselves in the same position as a slain Dutch documentary filmmaker, Theo Van Gogh, whose film accused Islam of condoning violence against women.
The article’s author, Abu Talhah al-Amrikee, said the writers had “outright insulted” Muhammad, in a post first reported by CNN. Amrikee told The Associated Press that his posting was meant to raise awareness and prevent it from happening again.
“They should feel threatened by what they did,” he said.
Though he said that “I could shoulder some blame” for any danger to the writers, Amrikee praised bin Laden.
“We look up to him and admire him for the sacrifices he has given for the religion,” he said.
Comedy Central, which airs South Park
in the US, censored episodes that followed the controversial 200th show. The storyline for episode 201 includes Muhammad, but censors his name.
Parker and Stone, in a statement, said the decision was the network’s, not theirs.
“In the 14 years we’ve been doing South Park
we have never done a show that we couldn’t stand behind,” they said. “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.”
They promised to be back next week with a whole new show on a different topic.
“We’ll see what happens to it,” they said.
The “warning” posted at RevolutionMuslim.com read, “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.”
The site included a link with details about a Colorado home that Parker and Stone own.
Dutch film director, film producer, columnist, author and actor Van
Gogh was murdered in Amsterdam by Muhammad Bouyeri, a Dutch-Moroccan
Muslim, in 2004 after producing Submission
, a movie
accusing Islam of condoning violence against women.
Revolution Muslim head Younus Abdullah Muhammad, 30, defended the posting in an interview with Reuters.
“How is that a threat?” he asked. “Showing a case study right there of
what happened to another individual who conducted himself in a very
similar manner? It’s just evidence.”
He said his group “didn’t tell anyone to go to their houses and conduct violence.”