I like the way the Guardian is handling it -- rather than saying, like CNN, "We're not showing you what all the fuss is about because we don't want to offend Muslims," they say where you can find the cartoons and provide you with a link.
On the other hand, their idea of "only" is a bit different from mine -- when they say,
In Britain, a poll of Muslims last night found evidence of growing
alienation, with four in 10 calling for religious sharia law to be
imposed in parts of the UK with a mainly Muslim population. The law
specifies stonings and amputations as punishments, and involves
religious police bringing suspects before courts.
in five also expressed some sympathy with the 'feelings and motives' of
the July 7 bombers. However the survey for the Sunday Telegraph found
91 per cent still felt loyal to Britain and only one per cent actually
backed the London bomb attacks.
I hear "only one per cent" and I realize that that's over 15,000 people living in England who cheered on those attacks. Sounds a bit like the kind of people to make me totally terrified....
Freedom of speech is a form of terrorism. This is a point of view that makes compromise difficult.
Much more succinctly put than my long-winded way of saying that it's rather impossible to have a fruitful discussion on anything (e.g.: abortion) if you have different ground rules, different fundamental beliefs, or a different understanding of what exactly it is you're talking about.
OxBlog has some comments on why the various things that the west considers awful (blowing up wedding parties, prison abuse, and so forth) don't tend to raise more than a few complaints in the Muslim world, but things we see all the time (newspaper cartoons offensive to, making fun of, or just plain depicting religion or religious figures) cause calls for beheading on the streets of London and a 500-kg of gold reward for anyone who will kill the man who drew this.
The West's publication of the Prophet Muhammad cartoons was an Israeli conspiracy motivated by anger over Hamas' win in the Palestinian elections, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Tuesday.