A television commercial for an "Achmed the dead terrorist" ringtone mocks Islam and must be withdrawn, the Advertising Standards Authority has ruled.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 standup comedian Jeff Dunham 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 Khan had complained that this was offensive to the Islamic religion, and created the impression that all Muslims were terrorists who would kill to get people to be quiet.
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 head gear, 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.
"To associate this divine inspiration to a terrorist is offensive to the people who believe in him [Muhammad]," the ASA said.
It ordered GloMobile to withdraw the commercial in its current format.