Briefly, for those who are curious, here is a link to "blasphemous" cartoons, compiled by mediachannel.org. For reasons having as much to do with fear, political correctness, and pandering to religious fanatics here and abroad, the American media has almost universally refused to run these images, which to this dog's sacrilegious eye are hardly worth the chest-beating wrath of the Islamists. It's long past time for religious fanatics of every doctrine to lighten up and recognize that they live a in polymorphous, polyglot world where everyone's survival is dependent on tolerance--and that means allowing free expression--and free expression includes satire, a long and venerable tradition in Western letters.
That principle is independent of whether the speech in question is juvenile--these cartoons ofd the prophet Muhammad are--or offense to some delicate sensibilities or ignorant viewers--these cartoons are. I use "ignorant" here literally in the sense of "uneducated." I'm talking about economically and politically oppressed people for whom faith is life and hope. The radical Islamists organize and manipulate those people through their faith; in America, the Religious Right does the same among born again "Christians."
I would say, though, as a few of us commented the other night at dinner, that if the religious fanatics want to live in a premodern world --fine--just let them give up their guns, rockets, explosives, cars, cell phones. televisions, radios, planes, electricity, clean water, antibiotics, computers, numbered Swiss bank accounts, manufactured goods, and all other accutrements of industrial society--and let people who don't want to live that way go. The response to that proposal from the forces of self-righteous hypocrisy is: "What fun is that?" So they praise their lord and crack their whips.