I have my opinions about the cartoon situation; while I carry what the previous poster defines as the "western attitude" that it's just a cartoon, I still think it was inapropriate. I'm all for freedom of speech, but I'd like to know what happened to that little thing called Tact. That cartoon was completely unescessary, but at the same time, so is the reaction. You rememeber when you were little and your parents told you to ignore the kids who were being bad, they were just doing it for attention? Well, that's the cartoonist got LOTS of attention didn't he? I think the people who are all up in arms and actually feeling sorry for the publication of those cartoons aren't the people who should. The people who feel for the muslims in this cause were already sympathetic, already not prejudice people. Meanwhile, there are lots of people who are thriving off this situation, lapping up every minute of it. The whole thing is ridiculous. The article shouldn't have been printed, but the people who printed it will never admit that, no matter how much rioting happens. The people in the riots will eventually need to accept that there will always be ignorant people in the world, and violence will probably feed the ignorance more than stifle it. I mean, look, they printed a picture which depicts a major muslim figure as being violent....and now hundreds of thousands of muslims are reacting violently. Doesn't anyone think that the cartoonist is relaxing somewhere right now, sitting back, laughing?
On another note, I have to say that I am also pretty much disregarding any riots as being relevant, because it seems like riots are happening more and more often lately, regardless of the cause. A few weeks ago they showed an accident on the news...I forget where, somewhere in the middle east, a bus blew up. Someone had taken a small gas tank (similar to a propane tank) on the bus to have it refilled, and it tipped over and exploded. They showed the scene, there was an angry mob surrounding the bus, chanting, yelling, waving signs. Police pushing them back. If it weren't for the charred remains of the bus in the foreground, I would have thought I was still watching footage of the cartoon riots. What could they possibly have been chanting for? It was a car accident!
I used to be a lot more of an activist, but lately, realism is setting in. The reality of the matter is, hundreds of Muslims protesting violently will do a hell of a lot more harm than good to their image and cause - especially in the Western World - no matter what that particular cause happens to be.
And as for stopping the next war? I think it's already begun. I'm gonna stay the hell out of it.