The South Park incident

Here is the Los Angeles Times on the Comedy Central network’s bleeping out of the name “Muhammad” in a South Park episode after a fringe pro-Muslim site, “Revolution Muslim,” threatened to slaughter the show’s producers a la Theo van Gogh:

The network may have thought it had no choice after, the website of a fringe group, delivered a grim warning about last week’s episode, which depicted Muhammad dressed as a bear.

“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 posting said. A photo of Van Gogh’s body lying in the street was included with the original posting, which has been unavailable to some Web users since news of the item broke earlier this week. “This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them.”

The Times delicately describes the erasure of Muhammad’s name as the “latest example that media conglomerates are still struggling to balance free speech with safety concerns and religious sensitivities.”

It evidently didn’t occur to Comedy Central that instead of caving before such threats, and it evidently didn’t occur to the Times that instead of wringing its hands about “balancing free speech with safety concerns,” they should call on the FBI to shut down the website and arrest the persons who made the murder threats. After all, the identity of the main actor at Revolution Muslim is known:

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 Virginia 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.”

Why isn’t there a warrant out for this person’s arrest? I had not heard that the First Amendment includes the right to publish statements threatening to kill people.

But neither the Times nor the FBI seem to think that’s a high priority. All we hear about the FBI in the story is: “The FBI was aware of the matter, but declined to comment.”

Hmm, so Comedy Central bleeps out the name Muhammad, and the FBI is silent on the Muslims who threaten to kill in his name—a very different FBI from the chest-beating FBI that has gone after various white extremist groups over the years. Muslim murder threats are made with impunity, while the mainstream goes on blabbing about the problem of “balancing free speech with safety concerns and religious sensitivities.”

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 26, 2010 07:17 PM | Send

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