A quick note on the "cartoon riots"
I generally leave stuff that others have talked about more eloquently and with more authority alone, but this article by Robert Fisk makes a good point:
Besides, we can exercise our own hypocrisy over religious feelings. I happen to remember how, more than a decade ago, a film called The Last Temptation of Christ showed Jesus making love to a woman. In Paris, someone set fire to the cinema showing the movie, killing a young man.
I was living in Utah at the time "Last Temptation" came out, and there was a case there of a movie theater that had had its screen slashed for booking the movie. So please spare me the "look at those crazy Muslims" talk.
And as far as "freedom of speech" goes, I'm all for it, but, y'know, there ARE times when you should maybe probably just keep quiet and not rile people up. (Example: Holding a White Power rally in Jamaica, New York, is probably not a good idea, and you deserve what you get if you insist on doing it anyway.) To take an already bad situation involving comments about "crusades", pre-emptive invasions, "special rendition", torture and long-standing prejudices and throw gasoline on the fire this way is stupid at best. (And there's always the possibility that someone is benefitting from hatred being fostered like this.)