Yes, I’m afraid I have to state my opinion here, as so many else have done. Luckily for you still reading, my opinion isn’t very complicated. So here it comes:
It’s a cartoon. It’s just a cartoon. Cartoons of that kind are supposed to provoke, generalize and make fun of people that do or don’t deserve it. And what more, the cartoons where published in a smaller danish newspaper, not international media. Cartoons are published everywhere in the world daily that provoke people of different religions, races, opinions, organizations, etc. I thought only Swedish people would be picky enough to portest about cartoons, but obviously the muslims are as picky as Swedes (but in Sweden people write to the newspapers, in Middle East they start a riot).
What’s happening now is sad and a bit bizarre, but not unpredictable. The conflict is not about the cartoon, it’s about the polarization between the west and islam. A polarization that is neither new nor based on as simple things as cartoons or general alienation. It is conflict over millenias and it’s also, nowadays, a conflict of oil and global economics. The constant conflict have made the islamic world unstable (with very few exceptions) while the west in general have a much greater political stability.
So basically, people, forget the cartoons. They are not the issue. Stop debating them, it’s just silly. Unfortunately, the protesters will use the cartoons as a pretext for further instability – they have all the reason to protest, but not about cartoons, but about how their own regimes are corrupt and how the US stations troops in their countries (or neighbouring countries). The issue of the cartoons are not a reason to the polarization, they are a consequence of a much deeper conflict, that most certainly will get worse over the following years. I’m just waiting to see if the muslims manage to unite and start making political demands with the power to back them up instead of bombings and riots.