South Park producers Trey Parker and Matt Stone insisted on Thursday that they had nothing to do with the bleeping and cutting of a rerun of their April 14 show that drew the wrath of some radical Muslims for lampooning the prophet Muhammad. "We have to warn Matt and Trey that what they are doing is stupid," said the group Revolution Muslim on its website, "and they will probably wind up like Theo van Gogh for airing this show. This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them." The video showed footage of the body of van Gogh, a Dutch documentary producer, who was murdered by a radical Muslim in 2004 after he released a documentary assailing the abuse of Muslim women by their fundamentalist husbands. On Thursday, Parker and Stone posted a message on their website, SouthParkStudios.com, saying that Comedy Central "made a determination to alter the episode" and was not allowing it to be shown online. Moreover, they said, the original episode was to have ended with a speech "about intimidation and fear. ... It didn't mention Muhammad at all, but it got bleeped too." Comedy Central has declined to comment on the matter. Today's (Friday) New York Times reported that police investigators have met with people at the cable network to address security concerns. But UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh told today's Los Angeles Times that the channel's action sets a dangerous precedent. "The consequence of this position is that the thugs win," he said. "There are lots of people out there who would very much like to get certain kinds of material removed, whether religious or political. The more they see others winning, the more they will be likely to do the same. Behavior that gets rewarded gets repeated."

23/04/2010