Thursday, April 22, 2010

“South Park,” insulted the Prophet Muhammad

An Islamic group based in New York said that a recent episode of “South Park,” the satirical animated series, insulted the Prophet Muhammad, and compared the show’s creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, to Theo van Gogh, the Dutch filmmaker who was killed in 2004 by an Islamic militant, CNN reported.

This is a show, after all, that once painted God as a gap-toothed rhinoceros-monkey, portrays Satan as a simpering milquetoast and regularly features Jesus as a superhero -- the kind who's not afraid to ignore the peaceful teachings of the Sermon on the Mount to smite his opponents. The show has mocked Jews, Catholics, Mormons, Scientologists and atheists, among (many) others.

It's a formula that's generally served "South Park" well, allowing it to score comic points by riffing on hypocrisy while emphasizing a message of libertarianism and tolerance, and it's one that goes back to the show's beginnings, points out former Dallas Morning News TV critic Ed Bark, who blogs at UncleBarky.com. After all, he recalls, the show began as a Christmas short violently pitting Santa Claus against Jesus.

But have they gone too far this time with a depiction of the Prophet Mohammed in a bear suit?

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