This was not about religion but about politics. When the National Endowment for the Arts used government money to promote a picture of a crucifix in a bottle of urine, there were no massive calls for murder by Christians. The picture of Mohammad with a bomb in his turban was much about the abuse of Mohammad words being used to promote needless violence as anything else. How can anyone truly judge if a picture is truly offensive if it is not allowed to be printed?
The one lesson learned that it is okay to use government money to insult Christians but it is not okay to draw cartoons to make political points about the apparent terrorist activities of some Muslims. Much of the media refuse to publish the pictures and most Americans and Europeans have yet to see the original pictures. One Iraqi blogger estimated that 90% of the Arab world hasn’t see these pictures. So before we declare something offensive, it might be nice if we could preview them. Christian symbols are insulted quite frequently by our own culture. This doesn’t excuse the insults but in an open society, those things that we hold most dear will be satirize.
One aspect of this controversy is that once again we see our enemies for who they are. Many radical Muslims are exporting their Middle East repressive regimes to Europe. Wall Street European editor Daniel Schwammenthal writes, “The Islamists can't send the journalists to a gulag but they can silence them by threatening to kill them. Bomb threats twice forced the journalists to flee their offices last week. “
And it appears that this intimidation is working. Schwammenthal observed, “Just as was the case with communism, Islamic totalitarian impulses find their apologists in the West. In Qatar, former President Bill Clinton decried the "totally outrageous cartoons against Islam." EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson said the journalists "have to understand the offense caused by cartoons of this nature."