So I had to come back to it with a few additional thoughts.
1) Europe's poor ass immigrant assimilation program is very much responsible for the problem. The problem was local and a Dutch Muslim group tried to get some kind of reprieve at home and was constantly rejected.
Why consider a minority group's feelings when marginalizing them has worked so well for Europe?
Like in France right? Remember France?
Oh wait, France isn't a good example.
After getting no help, the minority groups essentially went and told their daddy, the majority Muslim countries. With the assassinations investigations in Syria, nuclear problems in Iran and the Hamas controversy in Palestine please believe these countries took the controversy and blew it up (so to speak) as to divert attention from themselves.
Europe should have handled this locally before these crooked-ass terrorist sponsoring countries got their hands on.
All those French cars got burned and no one learned a damn thing.
2) Muslims were being baited by both European and Muslim nations and they fell for it.
This wasn't something that Muslims had to physically fight or overcome, like firehoses and police dogs.
It was a shitty cartoon by a group of angry conservatives who'd rather lash out at outsiders than try to figure out what it means to be European in 2006.
And many of the people who died in the cartoon protests were Muslim, so the whole "kill the infidels" angle didn't work out all that well, although some Muslims did go about it the right way.
Hopefully Muslims will learn to look at cries for outrage from their political leaders issue the same way most Americans view code red ultra terror alerts from our government .
As diverting bullshit.
Peep the timeline of it all.
Sept. '05: Cartoon published in the Fox News of Dutch media
Oct. '05: Local complaints
Dec/Jan: Dutch Muslims take it overseas
Jan '06: Small reprinting
Jan '06: First protests
Late Jan '06: Full scale multinational reprint
Feb. 06 - ? : Muslims go crazy. Jyeaaah!!!
3) All this talk about free speech and Islam talk is bullshit.
Although the fatwa on Salman Rushdie and many other writers show that Muslims tend not to like the slick talk, free speech is impeded on all the time.
It's ridiculous to pretend that free speech is some immutable ideal when it's really something people cry about when they can't insult a group they hate.
Ted Rall's political cartoons got kicked out of the NY Times and a bunch of other papers for his intense criticism of Bush and the Iraqi War, scientists get Bush gag orders put on them all the time.
What's actually being overlooked here are the basic ideas of self-censorship and respect that help most countries run smoothly.
As certain ethnic groups achieve a modicum of power and acknowledgement within society, they're granted a base level of respect.
This is why you don't see many Amos N' Andy type shows or the types of racist cartoons that used to fill newspapers.
Newspapers can still publish cartoons about anything that they want, but they don't because the power of these groups are recognized. As the NY Times pointed out the cries to end reruns of Amos N' Andy picked up a lot of steam and were finally heeded after the Negroes started burning shit in the Watts riots of '65.
Europe still doesn't get it because there are geniuses like Roberto Calderoli, the Italian reforms minister, that go around flaunting t-shirts with the cartoon printed on it.
Recently some students at a college in Illinois posted the cartoons in their school paper with same dubious free speech argument.
This 3rd grade level of agitation is old.
It's time to move on.
Here's something worth focusing on, terrorist-affliated country operating the NY ports.