I'm a big fan of South Park. I watch their episodes everyweek on Megavideo. On the 200th episode, it featured a league of worldwide superheroes including Jesus, Buddha and Prophet Muhammad. While Jesus and Buddha were cartoonised, Prophet Muhammad was heavily censored.
Later in the episode, Muhammad wore a bear suit when visiting South Park.
I know many muslims will get offended by this even though they would typically laugh their ass off when South Park poke fun at Jews, Christians, Mormons, Buddhists, Hindus, Atheists, Scientologists, Kabbalah (and the list goes on....)
An Islamic group by the name of Revolution Muslim sternly objected the depiction of Muhammad:
"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 group said on its website. "This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality that will likely happen to them."
That was not a threat? Really? By referring to Theo Van Gogh who was slaughtered in broad daylight because of his short film Submission, how can they still claim that their statement is not a threat?
I have a feeling the Malaysian media will also highlight this issue when the time is right. Self-proclaimed renegades will create South Park hate groups that will make this satirical cartoon series even more popular.
Some claim that satire is a poorly understood form of humour in the muslim world but I don't that's the case in urban Malaysia.
I've watched South Park with friends before and we were ROFL when Santa Claus fought with Jesus Christ in a Chrismas special. It was a pleasant surprise to know that my christian friends can take a joke or two about Jesus and Saint Nicholas but would I say the same to my malay friends?
I notice that no matter how 'unIslamic' malays are, they will always get ever so furious when people make jokes about Islam. A distant malay friend of mine made Hindu and Buddhism jokes at the mamak store. One of his chinese friend then told a Islam joke about why muslim countries are so underdeveloped (because they had to pray during business hours) and the malay dude shouted "Woi ko nak mampus ke babi!"
I know the guy. He doesn't even know how to pray for goodness sake.
I believe South Park should continue doing what they do best: unveiling hypocrisy and making people ROFL. Majority of the muslim world are not ready for satirical jokes so should South Park wait for them to wise up?
For me, as long as the jokes are not intended to be malicious, by all means, put the league of superheroes into a caged ring and get all of them to fight for the World Championship Title.