South Africa: TV ad banned for mocking Islam

Regulation & Policy

A television commercial for an "Ahmed the dead terrorist" ringtone mocks Islam and must be withdrawn, the South African Advertising Standards Authority has ruled. Its ruling followed a complaint by a Moegamat Khan against the GloMobile commercial, flighted on SABC and DStv.

The commercial shows American stand-up comedian Jeff Durham holding a skeleton puppet with a white cloth around its head, which demands that the audience keeps quiet and says: "Silence! I kill you!"

The ASA said it appeared to be common cause that the puppet was meant to represent a terrorist who was a suicide bomber. While it was debatable whether the puppet was wearing any particular headgear, or a bandage as GloMobile claimed, the name Ahmed appeared to be of Arab origin and was one of the names of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.