We have received a high volume of reaction to our efforts to counter the South Park cartoons depiction of the Prophet Muhammad (saws) and after dealing with repairing the damage to the website, letting the situation die down a bit, and getting some of the events we are working on that we hold as important as well, we will return for open dialogue with those that are interested. In order to engage in this dialog however, some statements must be made.
We received an overwhelming amount of media response due to one sentence included in a post last week. The media, in its eternal ignorant manner rushed to cover the controversy especially because it dealt with the South Park cartoon, something as American as Apple pie. However, what cannot be displayed by a mainstream media that is focused only on sound bytes and controlled by elite interests is depth and two-way dialog. To display this we recorded an interview with the AFP – here is how long it lasted:
Now here is what was published:
South Park creators threatened over Mohammad depiction
South Park episodes have often drawn criticism. (www.dan-dare.org)
A US Muslim group has issued an internet warning to creators of the satirical animated TV show South Park over a depiction of the Prophet Mohammad in a bear outfit.
"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," said a post on RevolutionMuslim.com.
The website posted an accompaning graphic photo of the late Dutch filmmaker Van Gogh, who was killed in 2004 by an Islamic militant over a movie he made that accused Islam of condoning violence against women.
Also posted was link to a news article with details of a mansion in Colorado that Parker and Stone apparently own, suggesting they know where to find the South Park creators.
Younus Abdullah Muhammad, head of Revolution Muslim, said the post was not a threat.
"How is that a threat? 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 told Reuters.
Muhammad said his group "didn't tell anyone to go to their houses and conduct violence."
He added he is not worried the post would lead to violence against Parker or Stone.
The episode in question aired last week on Comedy Central.
The cable channel declined to comment.
Close to nothing right, and only what highlights the call that this was a direct threat and suits their needs?
Now here is the typical response that media like this breeds – However we do want to continue a discussion that will open not a clash of civilizations but an opportunity for understanding which is apparent from efforts to establish dialog.
Here is a sample of one of the critical but productive e-mails we received:
I forwarded your recent email about the South Park issue to everyone I know, along with this preface:
A U.S.-based Islamic fundamentalist organization called Revolution Muslim is getting a lot of media attention lately due to what most perceive as thinly veiled threats posted on their website against the creators of South Park. These threats were allegedly made in retaliation for mocking the Prophet Mohammed in a recent episode of the show. If you haven't already heard about this issue, you can catch up on it here.
I contacted Revolution Muslim months ago, long before they made headlines in connection with the South Park issue, and have been on their mailing list (using an alternate name and email address) for months. I learned of their existence when I saw an extremely alarming television news report in which members of the group were shown preaching hatred against the United States on a street corner near the largest mosque in New York City. It is a marvel to most people, including me, that such unambiguously treasonous hate-mongering is protected as free-speech in the United States, but Revolution Muslim gets away with it because they are careful not to say anything that is illegal under current laws.
In response to what they regard as unbalanced mainstream media coverage of the South Park issue, Revolution Islam sent out an email today in order to tell their side of the story. I'm sure most people will agree with me that the author writes well, and presents his point of view intelligently. Many will also agree with much of what he has to say about U.S. foreign policy, and some will share my odd admiration for his tenacity and courage. However, I predict that almost nobody will fail to be horrified, as I am, by his narrow conception of free speech, and by his eagerness to condone a literal interpretation of the Koran's commandments regarding how to deal with those who insult the Prophet.
Before reading the email, I would like anyone who is prone to stereotyping all Muslims as terrorists to note that the author addresses many of his criticisms toward other Muslims, the majority of whom are evidently too moderate for his taste. This is a clear indication that Revolution Muslim does not speak for mainstream Islam, though I admit they may speak for what a dangerously large minority seem to think of as pure Islam.
You will never get this kind of "in-depth coverage" unless you dig deeper than what CNN and Fox choose to report. This should be highly illuminating for everybody.
I have questions:
1.) Given that the Koran clearly and unambiguously calls for killing anyone who insults the Prophet, would you personally kill Matt Stone and/or Trey Parker given the chance? If your answer is no, how do you justify your answer in light of your insistence on adhering to the letter of Islamic law?
2.) What if Matt Stone and Trey Parker expressed a willingness to engage in peaceful dialogue with Muslims regarding the matter of free speech, but stopped short of repenting for their depiction of the Prophet? Would Koranic law still require that they die?
3.) What is your opinion of depictions of the Prophet in general, as in art works that attempt to render him respectfully?
Thank you for the email update. I do not agree with all your principles, but I do admire that you stick up for them in the face of so much opposition.
Hoping for peace,
We will, inshallah, answer these questions and others like them in open format coming soon, please stay tuned to revolutionmuslim.com
We hope that we can engage those of you that want to discuss the recent South Park controversy in the coming days and sometime early next week we will, Allah willing. So, we are imploring those of you that want an opportunity to talk to us to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – so we can listen to your side, your rationale, I am sure there is much we can agree on and once the site is up and running again we will hold this dialoug. Of course, the mainstream press will not and is not capable of covering this dialog, but we ultimately would like to discuss our views with South Park Creators as well so that we may be able to alter the way that media contributes to war, death, destruction, and most importantly preventing that an informed citizenry exists so that democracy functions in its truest intent. Certainly no coverage of our clarifying statements were quoted in any of the text and these people, like politicians, only care about what sells and gets viewers, rather than performing the role of paving the way for the generation of important information. We ask you to join us, look forward to hearing from you and thank those that took time to express their views intelligently by phone, e-mail, or letter.