I've been thinking about this "cartoon Mohammed thing," trying to find some personal understanding, perhaps through comparison to our own "western" culture.
Most "normal" non-muslim nations have some limits on what is deemed illegal, distasteful, or just too out of bounds to publish. I believe U.S. papers won't show explicit nudity or sex acts; they also won't show racial or religious stuff that might be deemed too provocative or hateful. For the most part, however, what controls what they print is what they think will sell or NOT sell. For the most part, pretty much ANYTHING can make it into the media as far as content and topic, but no publisher seeks to alienate their buying audience. That's what really controls what gets into print.
In a free westernized culture, we protest by NOT buying the paper or by writing a letter. We DON'T march in the streets demanding the "death" of an entire nation until our demands are met!
In this new world, polarized between muslims and non-muslims, everything has changed. I KNOW I've seen political cartoons featuring Mohammed in the past, but NOW its a big deal, a matter of life and death. We westerners are shocked that muslims could possibly insist that we change our culture to accomodate them! And muslims seem to be every bit as positive that their islamic precepts demand that we tippy-toe around THEM, and do so right in our OWN countries! The gall!
And the more I consider the situation the more I SEETHE with anger! This "little" matter shows me that our two cultures are completely untenable. I could never stomach living in a place controlled by Sharia law; it would be impossible. I would fight to the death to prevent my family having to live in such an abominable society. Yet they have the temerity to tell us in OUR countries that we must comply with the tenets of THEIR religion?
This seemingly small matter should serve as ANOTHER wakeup call to all freedom loving peoples that our two cultures do NOT mix! It should be apparent to anyone half paying attention that islamic countries like pakistan and saudi arabia are NOT free! In effect, our two societies are at war. The islamics know it, but we in the west refuse to acknowledge it, and unless we wake up to the danger it could mean our end.
It should be obvious that free countries need to end ALL islamic immigration. It comes down to a matter of preserving our way of life, which will be ultimately undermined by islam UNLESS we keep them out. Once we allow large enclaves of islamics to form within our borders, they WILL insist that we modify our freedoms to conform with THEIR sensibilities, and this we CANNOT allow. These people do not understand, nor will they ever accept, our concept of no holds barred free speech, that no one and no "deity" is offlimits when it comes to self-expression and the media.
This tempest also points out that we need to find ways to extricate ourselves from the ONLY thing we need from these fanatics--OIL! The Israelis have it right--build a wall and ne'er the twain shall meet. There is no other way. They are oil and we are water...