Despite our own President's statement suggesting that western newspapers, even with freedom of the press, should act responsibly when choosing what to publish, the US is viewed in the Muslim world as being equally to blame for the cartoons. In nearly every protest rally, US flags are seen being burned right alongside those of Denmark, and one can hear chants of "death to America" and "death to Israel" along with protests against Denmark.
- Just yesterday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran said "...the people of the U.S. and Europe should pay a heavy price for becoming hostages to Zionists.", apparently saying that America and Europe are engaging in a smear campaign of Islam at the behest of Israel.
- The Muslim edict against depictions of Mohammed is not something written in the Koran but rather a later interpretation of Islamic teaching forbidding idolatry. How is it that non-Muslims drawing or publishing depictions of Mohammed constitute idolatry?
- The media in Islamic countries such as Iran, Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia have long been a source of the most vile content targeting Jews and Christians, with nary a peep out of the west in protest. Yet this almost comical swipe against Islam, intended or not, is met by Muslims with protests that amount to a statement of Islamic supremacy over all other religions and cultures.
While there may be political expediency in such diplomatic weaseling, the governments of both the US and Britain must decide if they belong to "us" or "them".