A US federal court in Virginia has sent a second man to prison for online postings linked to the now defunct Revolution Muslim website. New York Islam convert Jesse Curtis Morton received an eleven-and-a-half-year sentence yesterday after his co-defendant was jailed in February.
Morton, 33, also known as Younus Abdullah Muhammed, wrote on the website alongside fellow convert Zachary Chesser, 20, things that promoted violence against perceived enemies of Islam. Targets included those behind depictions of the Prophet Muhammed, which are widely held to be offensive to Islamic beliefs.
Morton and Chesser threatened numerous people including the writers of the satirical TV show South Park, which had shown Muhammed in a bear suit, causing Comedy Central to pull that particular episode. Threats were also leveled toward an artist behind May 2010’s Everybody Draw Mohammed Day. The duo posted home addresses for South Park writers, urging readers to “pay them a visit“.
This is the clip which caused so much fury:
Virginia-based Chesser admitted his role in court in October 2010 and received a 25-year sentence, with the discrepancy between the pair’s sentences attributed to two attempts by Chesser to head to Somalia and become an al-Shabbab member. Morton was arrested last year in Rabat, Morocco and extradited back to the US, pleading guilty in February.
The defense wanted Morton’s sentence kept below five years, and he had even apologized for having “contributed to a clash of civilizations” with his support of violence. The prosecutor contended Morton had abused his right to free speech by threatening murder to censor the expressions of others.