However, this issue should be placed in context. Canberra-based Iqbal Khaldun puts forward the most rational argument:
“May I be the first to say that the first sign of wavering faith is the inability to countenance criticism of it? Yes, the cartoon is likely racist, and I suspect there are more tasteful ways to lampoon a religion. But seriously, aren’t there more pressing concerns? Should the ‘Jesus Christ’ character from South Park be similarly condemned (remember, he’s slept with Eric Cartman’s mother!)? Reading such stories is quite frustrating for someone like myself. Western progressives are the natural allies of moderate Muslims, and it is unlikely this quarter will dare say anything much too critical of the response to the Danish cartoons. But seriously, are Muslims so intolerant, yes intolerant!, and so lacking a sense of humour that we cannot even accept cartoon images of the Prophet, even where they are caricatures?
“I imagine the real answer to this question is no. We aren’t that intolerant, and yes, we do have a sense of humour. But as usual, the self-proclaimed moral arbiters of the faith are vociferous and vocal, and the rest of us dare not contradict them.”
Press freedom also requires that images and words – truly free speech doesn’t exist anywhere – be allowed to provoke, offend and challenge. The sign of a mature democracy is a media unafraid to offend everybody. A war against Islam, however, is a developing menace, fanned by ignorance and fear. After all, doesn’t every age need an “enemy”?