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'South Park' vs. Revolution Muslim

Posted by Steve Greenlee  April 22, 2010 01:03 PM

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south.gif"South Park" has a long history of offending people on purpose, but the latest controversy involving Comedy Central's raunchy animated comedy is deadly serious.

It started with last week's episode, which included a depiction of the Propet Muhammad in a bear costume, angering the New York-based group Revolution Muslim. The group posted a message on its website saying "South Park" producers Trey Parker and Matt Stone had insulted their prophet. Muslims consider depictions of their prophet to be blasphemous. The message included a gruesome picture of Theo Van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker who was murdered by a Muslim extremist in 2004 after making a movie about a woman who rejected Muhammad's teachings. The message said the "South Park" producers would "probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh." The posting included Comedy Central's New York address, as well as the address for Parker and Stone's California production studio.

This week's episode, which aired last night, was apparently altered after the warning, but perhaps not enough to satisfy Revolution Muslim. Last night on "South Park," the bear costume was removed, and Santa Claus was inside. Muhammad did make an appearance, sort of -- his body was obscured by a black box. Comedy Central also censored 35 seconds of conversation toward the end of the show between the characters Stan, Jesus Christ, and Santa Claus. The network wouldn't say today whether this contained any reference to the events. And of course it is entirely possible that the "censoring" was part of the gag by Parker and Stone.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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