FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Wayne Besen
Religious Extremism And Censorship Are Dangers To LGBT Equality
NEW YORK – Truth Wins Out expressed strong support for Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of Comedy Central’ South Park, after they faced calls for violent reprisals following an episode that showed the Prophet Muhammad in a bear suit. Such religious extremism and intolerance threatens all Americans, particularly the gay, lesbian bisexual and transgender community, says TWO.
“We stand in solidarity with the creators of South Park and strongly defend their freedom of speech,” said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out. “Our liberty demands that we fight back against intolerant fanatics — no matter what the religion – who believe they can bully and intimidate to get their way. If zealots have a problem with South Park, they can turn the channel. If we cave into their demands, the LGBT community will be one of the first to feel the chilling effects and suffer the consequences.”
Following the controversial episode, a fringe Islamic website, RevolutionMuslim.com, warned Parker and Stone that they could face retribution. The website included a graphic photo of Theo van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker who was murdered in 2004 after making a documentary on violence against Muslim women.
“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,” the website reads. “This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them…They’re going to be basically on a list in the back of the minds of a large number of Muslims. It’s just the reality.”
“The goal of these extremists is to foment fear and create an atmosphere of self-censorship,” said TWO’ Besen. “This would essentially lead to an unwritten blasphemy law that would curtail creative freedom. We must not allow this to happen or other fringe religious organizations will view threats of violence as a legitimate strategy to meet their demands.”
Truth Wins Out is a non-profit organization that monitors religious extremism, fights anti-gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender misinformation campaigns, and educates about the lives of LGBT people.