A YouTube video of  Maidhc Ó Cathail’s  article on the “radical Muslims” behind the South Park controversy shows just how easy it is to foster Islamophobia in America…


From Shas to Hamas: The group behind the South Park controversy

By Maidhc Ó Cathail

Like the contrived Danish cartoon controversy, the much-hyped Times Square car bomb incident provided an ideal opportunity for those who seek to make Islam look bad in the eyes of the world.

Before the arrest of Faisal “The Fizzler” Shahzad tied this latest botched terror plot to the Pakistani Taliban, some initial news reports suggested that it might have been the work of an Islamist group with a poor sense of humor – and an even poorer sense of direction. The fact that the fertilizer-laden SUV was parked “about one block from” Viacom headquarters led the Washington Post’s pro-Israel staff writers Jerry Markon and Anne Kornblut to speculate that it may have been retribution for a satire on the Prophet Mohammed shown on one of Viacom’s TV networks.

After Comedy Central aired an episode of the satirical cartoon South Park in April that depicted the prophet in a bear costume, its creators received veiled death threats from a New York-based group called Revolution Muslim. The threats were issued on the group’s Web site by Zachary Adam Chesser, who now goes by the name Abu Talhah al-Amrikee.

Within days of the posting on the obscure Web site, Joshua Rhett Miller of FoxNews.com did a story on it, in which he interviewed Chesser. “They’re going to be basically on a list in the back of the minds of a large number of Muslims,” the recent convert told Fox. “It’s just the reality.”

A few days later, Miller did a profile of Chesser, in which he described the 20-year-old as “the boy next door” with a “dark side.” Quoting an anonymous high school classmate, Miller informed Fox readers that Chesser – prior to his career as a humorless fundamentalist Muslim – was a “loner … who frequently drew pictures of Satanic figures in his notebooks.”

The hype over South Park was not the first time, however, that Rupert Murdoch’s stridently pro-Israel media had publicized Revolution Muslim’s provocations.

On March 26, 2008, FoxNews.com trumpeted the group’s puerile puppet show mocking the 2002 beheading of a Jewish American journalist in Pakistan. “I could care less about Daniel Pearl,” group founder Yousef al-Khattab said in an interview with Fox. “I’m happy to see that he’s gone.”

In an Oct. 13, 2009, piece, Joshua Rhett Miller drew attention to a post by al-Khattab which asked Allah to murder the Jews and urged Muslims to “throw liquid drain cleaner in their faces.” In yet another interview with Miller, al-Khattab claimed that these outlandish statements reflected the “prayer of every true Muslim.”

On Nov. 8, 2009, Fox reported on Revolution Muslim’s tribute to Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the U.S. Army psychiatrist charged with the murder of 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas. This time it was another one of Murdoch’s titles, the New York Post, which interviewed al-Khattab after he wrote, “An officer and a gentleman was injured while partaking in a pre-emptive attack. Get well soon Major Nidal. We love you.”

In one of his articles, Joshua Rhett Miller mentioned, almost in passing, that the provocative al-Khattab is “an American-born Jew formerly known as Joseph Cohen who converted to Islam after attending an Orthodox rabbinical school.” An insignificant detail?

The implausible story of Cohen’s implausible conversion was first told, it seems, in a most interesting venue: Israel’s leading right-wing English newspaper. Cohen, who moved with his wife and family from Brooklyn to Israel in 1998, was one of three people interviewed for a Nov. 25, 2005, Jerusalem Post feature on the spread of Islam among Israeli immigrants titled, perhaps ironically, “True Believers.”

While living in Netivot – the only town in Israel without a public high school due to the extreme influence there of the ultra-Orthodox Haredim – Cohen said he became disillusioned with Israeli secularism. “At that time I met this person on the Internet, a sheikh from UAE [United Arab Emirates], whom I met later on, and we started chatting and talking on the ’net,” Cohen told the Jerusalem Post. After two years of “theological dialogue” in a Jewish chatroom with the persuasive sheikh, Cohen was transformed from being a supporter of Shas – the ultra-racist political party of Mizrahi Haredi Jews – to a “sudden admirer of al-Qaeda and Hamas.”

Seemingly unable to interest “weak” Palestinian Muslims in his newly acquired brand of “pure” Islam, Cohen returned to New York to launch his online jihad for “the creation of an Islamic caliphate which will rule the world.”

Having not so long ago believed that Jews had a God-given right to Palestine, Cohen is now saying that Muslims should rule the world. The zeal of the converted? Perhaps.

But it also conveniently confirms the Islamophobic propaganda of the likes of Daniel Pipes who try to scare Americans into fighting Israel’s wars with dire warnings that the Muslims are coming.

This article was first published in : Antiwar.com

Maidhc Ó Cathail is an educator and widely published writer based in Japan. To read more of his writing, go to Maidhc Ó Cathail: Writing and Analysis.


  1. Debbie on the 02. Sep, 2010 remarked #


    We are not only getting out, our hitters are reaching the fences, and people who pick up the balls and run with them like this video maker has, are also pushing our cart along.

  2. Bonnie on the 02. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    Note, the article says “islam” phobia, NOT people phobia.
    And YES, people, ARE frightened to death of islam.
    It’s a legitimate fear.

    What you’re NOT told is that islam does NOT separate religion and Civil Law. It’s a package deal.


    How about these reasons, that we abhor islam and its Sharia Law:

    Sharia courts mete out and carry through, extreme punishments for petty reasons.
    No less than 80 lashes, but usually 100 lashes to 500 lashes for either man or woman. 100 lashes? Enough to kill a grown muscular man, much less a woman. And 500 lashes? Islamics do that all the time.

    -What about chopping heads off in executing people for infractions of Sharia?

    -Or stoning women to death?

    -Or gang raping virgins in Iran, THEN, hanging them from cranes?

    -Sharia law allow slavery. And capturing slaves. Whipping them, forcing them to the islamic master’s way. And raping the female slaves, first.

    It’s a casual day’s work for the islamics in Somalia, when they capture black villagers.

    -What about female genital mutilation? For little girls, where the clitoris is removed usually with a used, dirty razorblade, Without anesthesia. It’s done at home, while the girls are forceably held down by their own mothers and aunts.

    -Honor killing. Relatives of the young girl or woman butchers her in cold blood, cutting her throat, for some perceived or petty infraction of Islamic law. The girl’s executioner could be the father, the mother, a brother or a male cousin.

    -Little girls 9-12 years old are married off, usually to old men. The women usually has 11-12+ children, that does not include stillbirths. There is NO birth control whatsoever.

    -The rape of Non-islamic women is allowed. It’s happening all over Europe, esp. in Sweden and Norway. The Islamic men consider it’s women that tempt men, and responsible for their own rapes, if they’re not covered from head to toe, in a black bag.

    Terrible things, and nobody wants to hear them, but they’re facts that MUST be presented, for ALL to know. To see what we’re opening the gate to, in accepting a mosque.

    These are are just a few things already happening all over non-islamic areas in Europe, incl
    -the Sudan,
    -Central Africa,
    -southern Thailand,
    -the States of Kashmir/Jammun and spreading to Uttar Pradesh, both in India.
    -It’s happening in Canada, and here in the U.S.

    Quietly, unreported by the General News Media.

    This is what We, the People, have become aware of.
    There is NO separation of religion and Civil Law in islam, it’s ONE AND THE SAME!

    In accepting islam the religion, you also accept the islamic law of Sharia.

    I say: NO MOSQUE !

  3. ano on the 02. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    sharia is arabic and means law which is interpreted differently. ever thought of islam is also existing in a moderate form especially in the western countries and christian law existed in much much more violent form?

    actually in america the chrsitians are more fundamentalist than the muslims

  4. Dawoodi Morkas on the 02. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    My dear Sir media and media is the ruler in the world.

    It makes and breaks the news and views.

    You have to counter the convicts otherwise you will become a convict and loose all hopes for a better judgement day.

  5. Rehmat on the 02. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    Bonnie – your rant is right from the pages of Daniel Pipes’ website. I know there is no use to argue with the Wailing Wall – but what the heck…

    Islam is not a ‘religion’ like Judaism (if there is one!), Christianity (Paulism) or Hinduism – which set its followers to commit all kind of crimes as long as they stay in their religion by birth. Islam is the ‘Faith’ or the ‘Way of Life’ which governs its believers in all spheres of their lives – from birth to death. It doesn’t believe in the dogma of “give to God what it belongs to Him – and the White house (AIPAC). Islam insists thatboth domains belongs to the Creator (Allah).

    Islamic or Sharia’h punishments are far less “cruel” as commanded in the Bible (OT $ NT). According to professor Karen armstrong, less than 100 people have been ‘stoned to death’ during the last 1400 years.

    Adultery is a great sin in Islam – just like in the Moses’ Law, in which the punishment is ‘death’. Under Islamic Shari’ah it was changed to ‘stonning’ or 80 lashing. However, it is far more human than giving 39 lashes to a Jew singer in Israel for singing in front of a mixed audience.


    YES – If one wants to be a true Believer, he has to follow the Islamic Sharia’h. YES – it’s harder for those who accepts that as long as one is born to a jewish mother – he can live all his/her life as an Atheist – but he’she will still remain a Jew forever.

  6. Debbie on the 03. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    I received this email today, which I thought might enlighten Bonnie, if that is possible:

    Here we see a case where Jewish Rabbis oppose music. How many times have I had to listen to ignorant people bash Islam because certain sects of Muslims believe music to be sinful? Yet none of those same ignorant people that take so much issue with these certain “non musical Muslims” have no issues what so ever with Jews who also believe the same way.

    Oh and BTW….. I’ve never heard of an Islamic Iman whipping some one because they played music.

    ‘Sinner’ singer given 39 lashes by rabbis
    Punishment for performance in front of “mixed audience”

    Original article source

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