Ok, I think I've digested the issue enough to try to write some sort of coherent commentary on the Danish cartoons. I am first, however, going to do something about which I'm a little morally conflicted: I'm going to link to the pictures (here, and here for an alternate translation). The reason I am doing so is because of conversations I've had occasionally over the last 2 years.
I talked a lot about movies in 2004. There were a lot of good ones that year, and a lot of controversial ones. It so happened that my two favorite movies of 2004 were The Passion of the Christ and Fahrenheit 9/11.
You can see why I had so many conversations.
I talked to many people about both movies, and had a great many of them get all worked up because I dared to even see one or the other, let alone enjoy it. Ultimately, in fact almost without exception, after a couple of minutes it became clear that they had never actually seen the movie themselves, and had just blindly accepted some pundit's (some of whom had never seen it themselves) interpretation of it. Despite that fact, no, because of that fact, they also were so passionate about "their" opinion that they were utterly unable to listen to reason. Naturally, every time I had to cut off the conversation then and there, because it's asinine to carry on such a discussion.
I have a feeling that same thing is going on with the Danish cartoons, on both sides of the debate. In fact, it only occurred to me today that I still hadn't seen them. So go take a look at the cartoons, and then we can talk about them.