Now, I don't believe violence is an acceptable response to ... well, just about anything really (but there's also a fine line that's easy to cross when large groups of people gather to protest anything). But these cartoons have obviously touched a nerve, and everyone seems to fall over themselves to reach some simplistic understanding. "They're UNcivilized ... they're the opporessed Third World ... they're religious zealots ... they're just like us (except they're Muslim)." Why do we keep TELLING the "others" who (or what) they are? It seems to me that the occassion of offense is a great opportunity to explore differences and encourage conversation. Why not bring in Islamic Scholars from the Muslim world to discuss the matter. "Why are you offended?" "Why is it prohibited in Islam?" "Do all Muslims feel this way?" "What do they hope to accomplish through militant responses?" This is a chance to understand each other better, instead of lecturing each other.
Week of floods kills 22 in Vietnam (DPA)
from the article: Israeli cartoonist solicits anti-Semitic caricatures by Jews