South Park Cartoon and the Muslim Lunatic Fringe - Updated 2/25/11

Sheila Musaji

Posted Feb 25, 2011      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version
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South Park Cartoon and the Muslim Lunatic Fringe

by Sheila Musaji

UPDATE February 25, 2011

Zachary Chesser of Revolution Muslim who encouraged attacks on the South Park creators has been given 25 years in prison for using the internet to incite violence.  This is a good thing.  Perhaps he will use that time in prison to study Islam, and come to repent and seek forgiveness for his crimes.

UPDATE May 4, 2010

A Pakistani American, Faisal Shahzad has been arrested for the attempted terrorist bombing in Times Square on Saturday, May 1st.  What his motivation was has not yet been reported.  There is speculation that this might have a connection with the South Park incident because the car with the explosives was left near the Viacom offices.

What I find to be an odd connection with South Park and Revolution Muslim is a posting on the RM site Dawah in Times Square May 1st which is a video that RM made of themselves preaching to people in Times Square on the same day as the event happened.  They also posted a video Younus Abdullah Muhammad Interview on Midtown Bombing.  (The RM site was offlfine but is now back online.)

The New York Daily News reports

Younus Abdullah Muhammed, who runs the Web site, said he was in Times Square at the time the car bomb was discovered, but he insisted he was not involved in the botched bombing.

“What do you think, I commanded somebody to blow up a building in the middle of Times Square?” a testy Muhammed told the Daily News.

...  “It had nothing to do with the ‘South Park’ controversy. It was not an attack targeting Viacom,” Muhammed said.

He said he was on 42nd St. and Broadway in Times Square about 6:30 p.m. Saturday - just about the time a bomb-packed SUV was found on 45th St. and Broadway.

“I was down there with a loudspeaker and a speaking permit from the NYPD telling people that [President] Obama is a fascist. That’s where I was, right down the street,” said Muhammed, adding that authorities had not contacted him.

All of this may be coincidence, but it appears as if Revolution Muslim is at the very least using this event to keep themselves in the news.  How would Younus Abdullah Muhammad know the motives of the bomber, or be able to say whether or not it had anything to do with the South Park controversy?  I would hope that the authorities would investigate any possible connections.

Original post April 22, 2010

CNN reported that Revolution Muslim has posted a statement on their website about the recent South Park episode that included an image of the Prophet Muhammad in disguise.  The statement said “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. This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them.”

The CNN article further notes

“The entry on goes on to advise readers:

“You can contact them [the makers of South Park], or pay Comedy Central or their own company a visit at these addresses …” before listing Comedy Central’s New York address, and the Los Angeles, California, address of Parker and Sloane’s production company.

Contacted by CNN, the author of the post, Abu Talhah al Amrikee, said that providing the addresses was not intended as a threat to the creators of South Park but to give people the opportunity to protest.

Over still photographs of Parker, Stone, van Gogh and others, the Web site runs audio of a sermon by the radical U.S.-born preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, who is now in hiding in Yemen. The sermon, recorded some time ago, talks about assassinating those who have “defamed” the Prophet Mohammed – citing one religious authority as saying “Harming Allah and his messenger is a reason to encourage Muslims to kill whoever does that.” U.S. officials say al-Awlaki is on a list of al Qaeda leaders targeted for capture or assassination.

The clip ends with a warning on a graphic directed at Parker and Stone, saying “The Dust Will Never Settle Down.”

Al Amrikee said the purpose of including the al-Awlaki sermon in his posting was to remind Muslims that insulting the prophet is a severe offense for which the punishment in Islam is death. He said RevolutionMuslim may hold protests about the show.

Revolution Muslim also posted this video on you tube.  The you tube video has an Anwar al Awlaki lecture (giving one interpretation of a hadith that he is using to justify violence against any individual who insults the Prophet) in the background.  TAM has previously discussed al Awlaki.

ADL has posted a bio of al Amrikee which includes the information that “Abu Talhah Al-Amrikee, the username of the blogger who identified himself as Zachary A. Chesser in January, publicizes terrorist propaganda, endorses suicide attacks and espouses hatred against Jews, Israel and Shi’a Muslims through a variety of Web sites, blogs and social networking sites.”

USA Today reported today after the second episode was shown last night that “Muhammad appeared with his body obscured by a black box, since Muslims consider a physical representation of their prophet to be blasphemous. When the bear costume was removed, it was revealed to be Santa Claus.”  They also report that a final speech about fear and intimidation was cut by the network from the program.  Sadly, the Revolution Muslim folks are too dense to get the joke.  They are also too dense to understand that the same right of free speech that allows them to spew their venom is what they want to deny to South Park.  Free speech is a two way street.

I have attempted many times to access the RM website over the last few days, but get an internal server error message each time.  I would have liked to have posted a comment on their site protesting their stupidity.  They must not have ever watched South Park, which is a cartoon that satirizes everyone.  And, this particular episode included all the famous people they have mocked in the past.  The two part episode was actually about free speech and censorship.

As Aziz Poonawalla points out

“The famously irreverent and deliberately provocative TV show South Park has had a long fascination with the Prophet Mohammed SAW. The Prophet SAW first made an appearance on the show as a member of a superhero team comprised of famous historical figures (“Super Best Friends”), which didn’t really attract any attention. But after the global controversy over cartoons of the Prophet SAW in the Danish media, South Park tried to depict the Prophet in the name of free speech and expression - only to be pre-emptively censored by their network. This was ironic, because the episode in question (“Cartoon Wars”) was all about media self-censorship and free speech.

Last week, the show aired its 200th episode, a celebration of all the controversies it has deliberately sought out over the years. The Prophet SAW made an appearance, this time in a bear suit, to give other historical and religious figures advice on how to avoid being insulted in the name of free speech. The result? death threats from a radical web site

...  Most other blogs and news sites are not providing a link to - which appears to have been hacked, possibly by angry fans of the show - but I think it’s important to let these idiots know that they are being critiqued. And my critique of them is much the same as my critique of Anwar al-Awlaki: they are cowards, who seek to gain publicity for themselves. In a lot of ways, they have much in common with South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, except that the latter are at least funny on occasion.

...  I don’t watch South Park, and likely never will. But I much prefer their attempt at depiction of the Prophet SAW, which is rooted in a simple need to assert their creative freedom, rather than any genuine intent to defame or insult Islam - quite unlike the Danish newspaper cartoons, which were created with only malice in mind. To understand this, compare and contrast the images of the Prophet as a super hero or a bear, versus a dark figure with a bomb in his turban. The real insult to the Prophet is in refusing to make a distinction at all.

And, as Zahed Amanullah wrote in an article in The Guardian, there has been No freak-out over South Park.

But has there really been any Muslim outrage? The characterisation of Muhammad in a July 2001 episode entitled “Super Best Friends”, where he teams up with Jesus, Moses, and Buddha to defeat evil (even though Buddha “doesn’t really believe in evil”), has been available for viewing online (if not on a spooked Comedy Central) for nine years without censorship, more than enough time to spark another cartoon crisis if Muslims really cared. As should be obvious by now, they don’t.

... And yet, all of this is beside the point. This crisis is being manufactured by two Muslim converts who have been reduced to sidewalk rants because they are not welcome in any mosque in New York City. By taking a page out of the Islam4UK media-agitation book, they have gained the attention of mainstream media, particularly CNN, who dutifully treat them as representative of Muslim opinion. Claims that they are issuing a “warning, not a threat” is the sort of wiggly language Islam4UK’s Anjem Choudary would be proud of. For Revolution Muslim, that is no accident. It worked here, and they hope it will work there.

Despite heavy censoring, episode 201 of South Park, which aired on Wednesday in the US, showed what first was thought to be Muhammad in a teddy bear costume. The person in that bear turned out to be Santa Claus. The joke is not only on Revolution Muslim. The joke is on all of us.

CNN aired a report in which they showed an interview with a member of Revolution Muslim named Yunus Muhammad (Younes Abdullah Mohammed, another convert from Judaism) who says in the interview that “the Qur’an instructs Muslims to ‘terrorize the disbelievers.’ “.  Juan Cole posted an article which disputes that ridiculous interpretation

The verse to which this individual referred was in the chapter of the Spoils (al-Anfal), 8:60:

Wa a`iddu lahum ma istata`tum min quwwatin wamin ribati ‘lkhayli turhibuna bihi `aduwwa Allahi wa`aduwwakum

Which means, “Prepare against them all the power, and all the war horses that you can, whereby to strike fear into the enemies of God and your enemies.”

The context of this verse is the Battle of Badr on March 17, 624 of the Common Era. In the 610s, the pagan Meccans had persecuted the new religion of Islam and ultimately chased Muhammad and the Muslims out of Mecca for preaching the one God. They took refuge in the nearby city of Yathrib, which became known as Medina (i.e. the City [of the Prophet]). The wealthy Meccan polytheists hoped to wipe Islam and the Muslims out, and fought skirmishes with them. The early Muslims riposted by raiding Meccan trading caravans, in hopes of weakening their foe economically. That March in 624, the Meccans sent out their best fighters to protect a caravan. A Muslim force more or less stumbled onto this expedition. Badr, named after a well south of Medina, was the first major battle between the two sides, and the Muslims won it, thus saving themselves from genocide.

So what the Qur’an is saying in 8:60 is that the Muslims should keep a stable of fighting steeds at the ready and let the Meccans know about it, to strike fear into the hearts of an enemy trying to wipe out them and their religion.

The verse does not command any act of ‘terrorism.’ It commands that Muslims attempt to forestall irrational violence against a Muslim state through deterrence. It is defensive in intent.

The verse does not say anything about mere ‘disbelievers’ or non-Muslims. It is warning of the designs of ‘enemies of God,’ i.e. militant and violent anti-Muslims. Moreover, there is no implication that Muslims should act as individuals or vigilantes. Medina was a city-state that the Prophet Muhammad ruled, and he gave the orders. Muslims could not just run off and attack whomever they pleased whenever they pleased. A duly constituted Muslim state was in charge of defense of the community.

So unless Yunus Muhammad can find a group of armed individuals who aim at violently attacking Muslims en masse and trying to wipe out them and their religion, he should stuff a sock in it and go home.

In fact, trying to import terrorism into the Qur’an is an infinitely greater blasphemy than that of any Western cartoonist, and one would hope Muslim groups would get more upset about Yunus Muhammad and ‘Revolution Muslim’ than about an irreverent American tv program.

Unfortunately, along with people with genuinely hurt feelings, there will be some cynical political forces that manipulate Muslim fundamentalists and will try to advance their agendas by taking advantage of this South Park controversy (the show depicted the Prophet Muhammad in a bear suit to avoid showing him– which is about as close as South Park gets to deference to religious feelings).

Hussein Rashid in an article on Religion Dispatches notes that

I would be surprised if more voices do not come out calling the Revolution Muslim duo a cancer on the Muslim community. Unfortunately, because CNN acts as their press agents, somewhat intelligent people feel confident making statements like “No other religion threatens violence over how they are portrayed in the media and no other religion has proven powerful enough to frighten the media into submission like Islam.” Two people represent an entire religion of 1.6 billion people. I wonder how this writer would have reacted if 1.6 billion actually did get upset by something? It also buys into popular Islamophobia and ignores the reactions to movies like The Last Temptation of Christ and Priest.

The reality is that Revolution Muslim has no understanding of the faith, other than what will get them on TV. They know nothing of tradition, history, or culture. It is a sad state of affairs when two lonely boys with an internet connection get as much airtime, or more, as legitimate news stories and community leaders. Unfortunately, these two, unlike the creators of South Park, are not funny. They are just in poor taste.

Aasif Mandvi on Jon Stewart’s Daily show summed this up well in only two sentences “A cartoon depiction of Muhammad “would make me uncomfortable and I can understand people being upset about it.  But here’s what’s more upsetting, someone, in the name of a faith that I believe in, threatening another person for doing it.”

And Jon Stewart himself was exactly right when he said “Revolution Muslim, your type of hatred and intolerance, that’s the enemy”.  I also enjoyed his Gospel Choir rendition of “go f… yourself” aimed at the RM goons.

One site published a statement claiming to be from the Revolution Muslim group stating their position.  It is a rambling statement that clarifies nothing except their cartoonish version of Islam. 

This RM group may be only a handful of individuals, but they certainly cause a great deal of trouble and misrepresent Muslims and Islam at every opportunity.  I can’t help but wonder about the real motivations of Revolution Muslim since everything they do misrepresents Islam and degrades the Muslim community.  They couldn’t do a better job of defaming the Muslim community if they were an anti-Muslim, non-Muslim group masquerading as Muslims.  I also can’t help but wonder where exactly the line is drawn between free speech and incitement.  It is difficult to believe that they have not crossed that line.  [Note:  One article quotes Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR as ”... characterizing Revolution Muslim as a loosely-organized group with such outrageous beliefs he believes it may be a “setup” to smear Islam.  “They say wild and irresponsible things periodically,” Hooper told “There’s a strong suspicion that they’re merely a setup to make Muslims and Islam look bad. They say such wild and crazy things that you have to wonder.”

April 26 update.  Skepticism about the RM group is being raised by more people in the Muslim community.  Ahmed Rehab posted an article in which he says

“The “Muslims” in this case are a group of literally 5-10 people who are widely reviled by the mainstream community for their radical and confrontational style including harassing Muslims outside mosques (where they tend to be banned) with outlandishly provocative anti-American rhetoric.

Most suspect the group is fraudulent. Its mysterious leader, born Joseph Cohen, is an American Jew who converted to Islam in 2000 after living in Israel and attending an orthodox rabbinical school there.

Whether, true Muslims or agent provocateurs, the result is the same: they are five community outcasts.

Yet, little to no context is given in the media when this group is mentioned, as if it were somewhat representative of a normative Muslim reaction. (They are a constant feature on CNN and FOX News.)

The real headline: most Muslims seem to have learned from the Danish episode. South Park’s provocation was mostly met by silence and indifference.

The widespread Muslim attitude went something like this: this is a free country, you go on mocking Jesus and Muhammad, and we will go on keeping them in our prayers. No harm done. Muhammad’s and Jesus’ value to humanity certainly will not dip as a result of your mockery.

Imam Zaid Shakir wrote in an article about another issue something that RM needs to consider:

Finally, “they” may be ignorant of both the deeper currents of world affairs and the deeper meanings of “their” religion. “they” probably have no idea of just how inconsequential spectacular violence is to the advancement of their cause. “they” probably have never stopped to reflect on how that violence is used by neo-fascist pundits and politicians to advance a climate of fear and misunderstanding that makes it more likely that even ordinarily well-meaning Americans will support policies that will lead to more bombing, maiming and murdering of Muslims –and eventually others- all around the globe. For this small minority, “their” obsession with Islam as a political ideology probably renders “them” totally oblivious to the religious message of Islam as an historical world religion that advances the sanctity of life, especially the life of innocent, noncombatant peoples, the refinement of the spirit and patient, dignified, principled resistance when confronted with the savage vagaries of “their” fellow humans.

Robert Spencer, of course, sees the RM goons as “representing standard Islamic teaching”. 


In September of 2007 I wrote about the Muslim Day Parade being hijacked by Islamic Thinkers Society extremists

The vast majority of American Muslims are caught between the Islamophobes and the Muslim extremists.  Both of these groups shout their message, and the traditional, moderate Muslims are unable to get their message out no matter how hard they try.

The 22nd Annual Muslim Day Parade, sponsored by the Muslim Foundation of America, was held in New York on September 9, 2007, and was a prime example of the difficulty we are in as a community. 

Thousands of Muslims turned out to parade down Madison Avenue in New York.

The ceremony preceding the parade included singing the national anthem, and the parade itself was led by a group from the Association of Muslims in Law Enforcement.  Speakers at the end of the parade route included a representative of the Mayor of New York reading a proclamation declaring September 9, 2007 Muslim American Day in New York City.  An official banner used in the parade included the American Flag, and at least one participants sign read “For God and Country - Allah bless America”.  The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) participated in a moment of silence for the victims of the 9/11 attacks at Sunday’s “Muslim Day Parade” in that city. 

According to the Muslim Foundation of America mission statement:  The Parade’s purpose is to bring communities of various ethnic and religious groups together to promote a better understanding of Islam and to establish interfaith cooperation between Muslims and all other religious/community groups.

For weeks ahead of the parade, Americans Against Hate (an ironic name) and the United American Committee published requests for protestors to meet at the parade and to write their public officials to ask them not to allow the parade to take place.  They called on their supporters to turn out at the Parade to Defend your Nation and Western Civilization against this “outrage”.

Mayor Bloomberg had been bombarded with demands not to allow the parade, but he rejected this campaign and said in a letter explaining his decision:  “It would be a terrible mistake for anyone to implicate a whole group of innocent individuals—no matter what their faith—with the terrible acts committed on September 11, 2001.”

The UAC published a statement that read in part:  “The United American Committee, America’s largest educational grassroots organization against the threat of radical Islam, is planning a counter protest on Sunday, September 9th of an annual parade in New York City which in years past has attracted thousands of Islamist extremists carrying signs and chanting for the destruction of America.” 

There was some confusion over the date of the parade, and who would be the Grand Marshall.  This confusion probably could have been avoided with a little more organization and communication on the part of the organizers, but even this was exploited by the Islamophobes who attempted to paint it as some sort of sinister conspiracy.

The Parade has in the past been held on the last Sunday of September, but has been moving forward in the calendar, and this year was moved to Sunday, September the 9th.  This caused some to speculate wildly about why the date had been changed to fall so close to September 11th. 

Imam Shamsi Ali, co-chairman of the parade said the parade customarily was held on the last Sunday in September. For the past three years, the timing of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, forced the change. He said the earlier date gives Muslims a chance to commemorate the 9/11 attacks, and that this year’s parade will begin with a prayer and moment of silence for the victims.

Originally the Muslim Day Parade site advertised that Keith Ellison would be the Grand Marshall, but this did not happen, and the flier advertising this was changed to one with a photo of a mosque. 

“Contrary to reports circulating widely in conservative publications and blogs in recent days, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison will not be the grand marshal of the Muslim parade in New York next month, according to his office.  The freshman Democrat from Minneapolis was never scheduled to be there, said Brian Elliot, district director for Ellison.  Elliot said the congressman “was equally surprised” when he learned the buzz that he would be the grand marshal for the 22nd Annual Muslim Day Parade in New York City, which is scheduled for Sept. 9. Ellison “declined the offer to be the grand marshal a long time ago because he has other obligations in the district,” said Elliot.

If the UAC is “the largest grassroots ...  ” then the 20 protestors they were able to turn out says a lot about their influence.  There were only a handful of protestors, but they were loud and gave themselves a lot of publicity by circulating their comments all over the blogsphere.  The protestors also took highly selective photographs and published those.  The only photographs they published were of an even smaller fringe group of extremist Khawarij Muslims from a group called the Islamic Thinkers Society (another ironic name). 

The Islamic Thinkers Society are photographed displaying posters reading - “The Holocaust was a hoax” - “Muslims against Democracy and Western Values” -  a sign calling for Khilafah -  “Work for Peace - Ban the Talmud”, etc.  They seem to be responsible for all the nasty signs that were photographed and widely published by Islamophobic groups.

The Islamic Thinkers website had a notice posted a few days before the parade that:  “The Islamic Thinkers Society will be there this Sunday, September 10, 2006 at the Annual Muslim Day Parade(click to go to website) to give authentic da’wah to the moderate and confused Muslims who will be there. This year, our theme will focus on: al-walaa’ wal baraa’, Nationalism, Muslims Against Western Values, working to re-establish the Khilafah, and corrupt scholars/rulers who are the real obstacle into the revival of Islam world-wide. We will be there from 12:00 noon until it finishes. If there are any conscious Muslims who do see problems with the Muslim communities viewpoint in America and their understanding of Islam and their negligence to fulfill their obligations living in the West, and the path they are heading, please join us.”  They also have a list of “scholars to be avoided” which seems to be a list of most of the respected, traditional scholars in the U.S.  So, it would appear that this was also a protest group made up of confused Muslims who were also protesting the leadership of the parade.  Why then are they the only ones photographed, giving the impression that they were the main focus of the parade?  If anyone cares to look carefully at the photos you will notice that they, and their signs are also behind a police “gate” like the rest of the protestors.

I checked out the Islamic Thinkers Society site and was happy to read that “We are less than a handfull of Muslims from Ahlus Sunnah wal jama’ah who give public da’wah to society ...”  And, it appears that a handful of these nut jobs showed up to exercise their free speech rights in the same way as the handfull of nut jobs from Americans Against Hate and the United American Committee.  I consider them both two sides of the same extremist coin.  The tragic thing is that their fringe “craziness” is what receives the most attention and press. 

However, because the Islamic Thinkers Society nut jobs are Muslim and making such un-Islamic claims and defaming all of the thousands of Muslims present at the parade as well as the millions of American Muslims we need to speak out loudly and clearly against their extremist views.  Although few in number their extremist statements and misrepresentation of Islam is seriously endangering all the Muslims in America.  We need to be clear that in the words of the Pakistani song denouncing terrorism - Yeh Hum Nahin - This Is Not Us!!!

These are Khawarij (extremists) and what they promote is a perverted version of Islam.  Even if they are few in number, they are dangerous.  If they are truly against democracy and Western values then they should not be in this country.  If they (falsely) believe that the world is divided into dar al harb and dar al Islam and do not recognize dar al ahd (house of treaty) then they should not be in this country.  If they are Muslims and are in this country on a visa or with a green card then they have an obligation under Sharia to honor the laws of this country as they have entered into a binding agreement by accepting the visa or green card. 

Since, we have no authority to force them to leave, the least we can do as Muslims is to speak out loudly and clearly and denounce them and their perverted interpretation of Islam.  We need to make it clear to them and to all the Muslims that this will not be tolerated. 

I hope that the leadership of all the organizations that were involved in sponsoring this Muslim Day Parade will speak out on this issue and that they make it clear that the Islamic Thinkers Society was not an official part of the parade and that their views are not acceptable.  I also hope that in the future more care is taken to control such a public event so that there are not opportunities for those just looking for some “problem” with Muslims to find such an easy target.  At the very least there should be a committee set up wih individuals ready and able to issue immediate press releases and respond to such events. 

If our leadership is not willing to speak up, then ordinary Muslims are going to have to do so more loudly than ever.  It makes no sense for us to allow a handful of extremists to become the focus of those wishing to demonize all Muslims.  How can a handful of extremists gain more publicity than thousands of Muslims at this event?

Last year I wrote about Abdullal El Faisal, Revolution Muslim, and Islamic Thinkers Society

The Jamaica Observer reports that Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal has been arrested in Kenya for allegedly violating his Kenyan visitor’s visa by preaching in a local mosque. 

Sheikh Abdullah El-Faisal (aka Trevor William Forest), was born in Jamaica and trained in Islamic studies in Saudi Arabia for seven years.  He went to Britain where he served at the Brixton Mosque where he was ousted in 1993.  He served four years in a British prison for urging his followers to kill non-Muslims, including Americans, Hindus and Jews and was deported from Britain to Jamaica in 2007.  He is the “spiritual advisor” of the Revolution Muslim group in New York.  One of the accused 7/7 bombers was a follower of El-Faisal.  This is the fellow that Yusuf Smith warned about back in 2005. 

His followers in the U.S. at Revolution Muslim have posted a “Free Shaykh Abdullah al-Faisal” article.  They also posted a video on their site with the note “Revolutionmuslim were present to protest at the shia rally in NYC on December 2009. Three brothers of revolutionmuslim were arrested by NYPD for few hours for protesting under the charge of disorderly conduct.”  They are actually proud of this terrible action.  It looks from watching the video that there were only three to five of them present in total, so most were arrested.

Yousef al-Khattab (a.k.a. Joseph Leonard Cohen) created Revolution Muslim in 2007.  He is an American born convert from Judaism, who is also an Israeli citizen.  He and another Muslim from Connecticut named Mohammed Ghounem also started a Web site that aims to convert Jews to Islam, called Jews for Allah (JFA).  ADL He is the leader of the Revolution Muslim group.

The Revolution Muslim website says they follow Sheikh Abdullah Al-Faisal.  Their site also says they have participated in protests in front of mosques in NY that they think are too moderate, and at the 2007,  2008, and 2009 Muslim Day Parades.  I had written about another such group in New York, the Islamic Thinkers Society who had disrupted the Muslim day parade, but did not at the time know that Revolution Muslim was also part of this disruption.  Haroon Moghul also wrote about the disruption of the 2008 parade and was confused as to whether the protestors were from ITS or RM or both.  And an interesting post was filed on Talk Islam “The extremist types at ‘Revolution Muslim’ – which I think is the same thing as the ‘Islamic Thinkers Society’ discovered a few weeks ago that their website has been blocked in Saudi Arabia. The RM people produced one long message in response spread over several Youtube clips (here and here). I only listened to the first one, but I think I heard them ‘takfir’ King Abdullah at the end.  One has to appreciate the irony of Saudi Arabia taking action to protect itself from extremists located in America.”

In a video posted on the RM site about a protest at Masjid Taqwa in Brooklyn this past September they are heard shouting “America is the Shaitan” and saying anyone who doesn’t live under Sharia is Kafiroon - capitalism is kufr - obviously the people at the mosque were upset with them.  They also protested outside of the 96th Street Mosque.  The Imam of ths mosque, Shamsi Ali called the police on them.  Good for him for calling the police. 

RM also posted on their site approval for Maj. Hasan, the Fort Hood murderer.  It says in part:  “Major Nidal Hasan M.D., An officer and a gentleman was injured while partaking in a preemptive* attack., Get Well Soon Major Nidal, We Love You.”  The Revolution Muslim folks listed on their site are:  Yousef Al-Khattab, Amir and Chief Executive Officer; Younus Abdullah Muhammad, Executive Officer for Media and Marketing; Sipa Salar, Executive Officer for Research and Development;  Shaikh Abdullah El-Faisal, Imam and Spiritual Advisor.  The ITS group doesn’t list any names on their site so it is difficult to compare and see if these are the same people or two different groups.  In fact, the ITS group doesn’t even list its scholars, only scholars to be avoided.

They have recently been featured in the press and on a CNN television report.

It is to be hoped that the arrest of el-Faisal, and of most of the Revolution Muslim brothers will cause them to rethink their positions.  It certainly should have put them on the radar screens of law enforcement.  In the meantime, however, the Muslim community needs to remain alert and aware of any such individuals or groups in our midst.

These people have the right of free speech, but so do we.  The least we can do is counter such hateful speech with more speech.  If those whose message is negative and hateful have a right to speak their “minds”, then the rest of us also have the right to let them know what we think of their speech

SEE ALSO[Note:  Many of these articles were published over the previous cartoon controversy and other incidents, but are equally relevant to this current incident.]

A Call to Conscience and a Reminder to the Muslims, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

An Idiot’s Guide to Offensive Cartoons, Qadeeb al-Ban Harris
An Open Letter from a Muslim to Muslims:  “Pray And Forgive.”, T.O.Shanavas 

The Best Defense, Ahson Azmat

a Boing Boing youtube video interview with the South Park creators about this episode

Anti Muslim Rhetoric Reaching a Dangerous Level, Sheila Musaji 

Cartoon Awakening: Toward A Positive Media Strategy, Ramzy Baroud 

Cartoon Wars: The Challenge for Muslims in the West, Jeremy Henzell-Thomas

Cartoons and Bombs, John Chuckman

Crazy over Cartoons, Hasan Zillur Rahim

Danish Cartoons: Enough Is Enough, Zafarul-Islam Khan

Danish Cartoons: Free Press or Hate Speech?, Louay Safi

The Danish Cartoons: Emotional Torture, Untamed Violence and Intellectual Terrorism, Dr. Aslam Abdullah

Danish Cartoons: From many Muslims, cartoonish excess, Mona Eltahawy

Do Muslim Outcries Against Defamation Serve God?, Anisa Abd el Fattah

Free Speech and Civic Responsibility Tariq Ramadan

Freedoms of Expression and Belief, Istiaq Ahmed

Hate rhetoric is escalating into violence, Sheila Musaji

Ibn Taymiyyah and His Fatwa on Terrorism, Asghar Ali Engineer
Imam Feisal and former Archbishop Lord Carey Call for Calm after Offensive Danish Cartoons, ASMA Society

Muslims Deserve the Same Respect as Christians or Jews, Edgar M. Bronfman

Muslim Voices Against Extremism and Terrorism - Part I - Fatwas (TAM article collection)
Muslim Voices Against Extremism & Terrorism - Part II - Statements by Organizations (TAM article collection)
Muslim Voices Against Extremism and Terrorism - Part III - Statements & Articles by Individuals   (TAM article collection)
Muslim Voices Promoting Islamic Non Violent Solutions (TAM article collection)

North American Muslims Determined to Counter Extremism, Violence, and Terrorism, Sheila Musaji

The Not So Funny Cartoon Capers, Abdul Cader Asmal

Open Society in a Closed Circle, Shakeel Syed 

“Opus” Cartoon Not Offensive to This Muslim, Sheila Musaji

Press Misses Point in Cartoon Controversy, Dr. James Zogby

The Rage Game, Putting On The brakes, Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

The Right to Slander God?, Ann Kathrin Gässlein

Self-Censorship, Dr. Robert D. Crane 

South Park celebrates 200th episode with another attempt to show us… Mohammed!  (including link to video with clips from the South Park episode)

The special pair of spectacles, Shahzad Aziz

Sticks and Stones May Provoke Others to Break My Bones, James Zogby

Thank God Someone Is Listening to Us - Terrorism Is Not Jihad, Sheila Musaji

Those Danish Muhammad Cartoons, Gary Leupp

Through the Looking Glass:  The Danish Cartoons, Sheila Musaji

Time to Install Circuit-Breakers in the System, Farish A. Noor

‘War on Terror’ Rhetoric Sounds Like War on Islam, Parvez Ahmed

What is the Cartoon controversy?, Chandra Muzaffar

What Would Muhammad Do (WWMD), Dr. Hesham Hassaballa

Where Art Meets Ignorance, Ibrahim Mansour