A friend forwarded me an article on "Anger in the Muslim world on the cartoons of Prophet Muhammad" . This did'nt quite inspire interest in me quite as much as a headline, "Embassies torched in Syria and Lebanon". Western leaders have quite predictably reacted with Righteous indignation asking that the Muslim nations in question provide adequate security and deploring violence. In the middle of this we hear voices that pipe up to reiterate the importance of freedom of speech and press. To me its more a case of common sense. Living in India with a Muslim population that is second only to Indonesia and Bangladesh, I have grown up with the view That muslims in general are not going to take kindly to that kind of stuff(cartoons of the prophet etc.)
Its another matter that everyone in India would have heard stories of migrant workes to west-asian nations having their photos/idols of thier God's being snatched at the airport and destroyed.
I can't imagine that someone with half a brain would think that they could publish those cartoons without evoking the kind of reaction we see today. This controversy is needless to say the least. Freedom of press also carries with a certain responsibility of self censorship. Call the rest of the world primitive , but its not an entirely redundant concept to view God as Holy. So please think twice before u stick a photo someone else's God on a thong as was done by a certain fashion designer with Hindu dieties.
No to flip the coin over. The cardinal rule of getting respect is to give respect. So muslims of West Asia, it might not be such a terrible idea to be more accepting of other religions. Just like watching Brokeback Mountain has'nt made anyone gay yet(I am still not taking any chances)
, so to being tolerant of other religions wont dilute your credentials as Muslims.