Malaysia Islamic party seeks apology over Prophet

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The Independent Culture

Malaysia's conservative Islamic party PAS Friday demanded those behind the satirical US cartoon show "South Park" apologise to Muslims worldwide over its portrayal of the Prophet Mohammed.

On Thursday, the American channel airing the show removed all references to the prophet after a radical Muslim group threatened the show's creators.

"Even though they have added the audio bleeps, 'South Park's producer and broadcaster should apologise to the Muslims as this is a sensitive issue," PAS vice president Mahfuz Omar told AFP.

"The show itself spells of bad intention and the depiction of the Prophet is provocative. It creates religious tension," he added.

New York-based Islamic group Revolution Muslim said "South Park" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker could end up like slain Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, who was murdered by a Muslim extremist in Amsterdam in 2004.

Its statement followed an April 14 episode of "South Park," where the Prophet Mohammed appeared wearing a bear mascot costume in order to avoid his image being shown.

"South Park" follows the surreal and often profane adventures of four schoolchildren in a fictitious Colorado town.

Cartoon depictions of the Prophet Mohammed in Scandinavian media outlets in recent years have led to violence and plots to murder those responsible.

Islam is the official religion of Malaysia, a Southeast Asian country where more than 60 percent of its 28 million population are Muslim Malays, who live alongside a large number of Chinese and Indian minorities.