South Park has been tackling so many sacred cows and hot potatoes for so long now — from Scientology to Steven Spielberg, NAMBLA to the N-word — that when I watched last week's episode, I barely winced when creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone decided to celebrate South Park's 200th episode by taking on the depiction of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, for the second time.
Then, on Sunday, Revolutionmuslim.com, a radical Islamic website, reportedly posted an item about the South Park episode referencing Theo van Gogh, the Dutch filmmaker who was killed by a Muslim extremist for his 2004 short documentary Submission, about women, violence, and Islam. "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," said the post. "This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them." The site then featured a graphic photo of the mutilated filmmaker, and published the addresses of Comedy Central New York offices and the South Park production company in Los Angeles. Finally, it embedded a video of a radical Muslim preacher calling for the assassination of anyone who has "defamed" Muhammad which included photos of Parker, Stone, and van Gogh.