I kinda agree with this:
"In order to express their displeasure with the idea that Muslims are violent, thousands of Muslims around the world engaged in rioting, arson, mob savagery, flag-burning, murder and mayhem, among other peaceful acts of nonviolence."
Now, Ann Coulter isn't someone that many people take exceedingly seriously, but she's got a point here. This is one of those things in which the cycle of violence really does perpetuate itself.
1. Cartoon insinuates that the terrorists, who pervert Islam's teachings, have been so active that Heaven has run out of virgins. For those who are unaware, those who sacrifice themselves in the name of jihad are promised 72 virgins in Heaven.
Click the image to see in full-size. This is one of the actual cartoons; I've deliberately made this very small so that it's practically impossible to see it unless you click the link. If you haven't seen it yet and don't want to be offended, don't click it. It's that simple.
2. Extremist jihadists take to the streets to prove the cartoonist wrong by protesting and maybe killing a few infidels . . . including shooting a Roman Catholic priest in the back.
3. The West makes a call for civility, defends cartoons based on freedom of speech.
4. Extremist jihadists make placards reading "Butcher those who mock Islam," "Freedom of expression go to hell," and "Behead the infidels."
5. Western newspapers publish cartoons reprinted from "moderate" Muslim publications, featuring Ariel Sharon butchering Muslim babies with a long staff with a swastika on the end of it, Sharon bathing in Palestinian blood, in addition to the usual filth about the Jews (the hooked noses, animal-like features, etc.)
6. Muslims defend these actions on grounds of freedom of expression, and hey, it's only Sharon and an entire religion we're denigrating, it's not the same as Mohammed. West reacts with indignation but doesn't torch any embassies.
7. Extremist jihadists, now being trucked around on the bill of the regimes in Tehran and Damascus, torch Norwegian and Danish embassies throughout the Middle East. This, in earlier times, would have constituted an act of war. Fortunately, Europe has no military capabilities, and even if it did, probably unlikely to up the ante in retaliation.
Where does it end? When does the violence stop? What will it take for people to grasp the basic concepts of tolerance in this situation? This is ridiculous in almost every way; these cartoons were originally printed back in September, why are they causing the fury now? Because the extremist regimes that rely on this type of propaganda to justify their oppression of their populations and legitimate their corrupt rule have orchestrated all of this. This behaviour exemplifies why I believe regime change should come to places like Syria, Iran, et al., sooner rather than later. I've seen the cartoons, they're readily available on the Internet; interested folks from around the world can view them. A democratic state, based on the principles of the rule of law and allowing liberal ideas such as the freedom of expression, doesn't respond to offensive cartoons by inciting citizens to torch embassies and scream "death to the infidels." You'll notice that there have been some very mild protests in a lot of democracies which have chosen to run the cartoons in one format/venue or another. Response is largely measured. Iran and Syria? Non-democracies. Massively violent outbursts. Coincidence? Maybe. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to head over to Tim Horton's and have a danish.