I was checking BBC News and the main headline was that "Syrians torch Scandinavian embassies to protest against the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad." I the scale and style of these protests completely objectionable. Its as bad as the Sikh community's reaction to a play written by a Sikh woman - they sent their men to barracade the theatre, throw rocks, and make the cast, crew and writer fearful for their own safety, until they got what they wanted and the play was cancelled.
Its crude. Its throwing weight about like a bully. Attacking symbols of government in response to acts by the press. Attacking the press for operating as they always should. Free to make errors of judgement and free to comment on anything.
Putting aside the objection to a depiction of Muhammad on simply idol worshipping grounds there is a clear dicotomy. The general population and leaders in Islamic communities have been, rightly, calling for the West to distinguish between the Islam of millions people and the slightly loopy Bin Laden-esque suicide bombing justifying preaching. Cartoons joking that The Prophet is up in heaven turning jihadists away because they've run out of virgins, or with Muhammed turbaned with a bomb... is clearly aimed at the minority of crazies.
Those who really do walk into a crowded restaurant with explosives strabbed to their back and press the detonator while thinking of heaven and being completely convinced that their actions have been justified by the word of God.
The Western media attacking them is a blunt instrument, perhaps we need assistance from those who know the difference. Extremism doesn't gain strength in a vacuum. There are men who've heard the beginnings of these crazy outlooks and turned away, probably some of them were there protesting. If they could put all that energy and rage into eliminating the extremists things would be better for all of us.
I fear I've rambled.