Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Bin Laden cheered by cartoon demonstrations?
You could call it Osama Bin Laden's battle plan. I am looking at a world map and all of the places where violence has broken out in response to those cartoons about Islam, and I am wondering if Bin Laden and his followers are celebrating right now.

For years, they openly pined for the day when they would achieve their much desired Clash of Civilizations, a war between the Muslim world and the West. Look at a map of these protests, and you can't help but wonder if they are getting closer. From Africa, through the Middle East, all the way to Indonesia, the protests are erupting in many of the major Muslim countries.

Are most Muslims involved? Of course not. Moderate Muslims are denouncing the violence and saying those who are burning and breaking and killing represent a tiny fraction of the Muslim community. Most Muslims, they say, are offended by the cartoons, but just as troubled by the violence.

Still, Bin Laden and his followers have been appealing to poor and politically and educationally disenfranchised Muslims for years to stand up for their faith in a radical way. Looking at a world map right now, I wonder how many people out there are listening to them and using this dispute as an excuse to further radical Islam's war on the West.
Posted By Tom Foreman, CNN Correspondent: 4:01 PM ET
  59 Comments
As you suggest most Muslims are just as horrified by the violence regarding the cartoons and they are by the cartoons themselves.

I believe in freedom of expression and if some jerk in Denmark wants to draw a cartoon about a religions figure, then so be it. A little thought and maybe research might have prevented what we are seeing now.

Somebody (read nation-state)(probably a country just east of Iraq) has raised a furor and it has caught on. Ignorant people do ignorant things.

Muslims should look to the King James Bible for guidance:

Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.
Posted By Anonymous Jim Ware, Midland, Texas : 4:19 PM ET
Please stop saying "radical" Islam is at war with the West. The immensely violent protests are too widespread and inclusive , with huge numbers of Muslims in many countries responding to free speech with hate, rage and blood, to call them radical. Check any mainstream Muslim web page. Very few are condemning the violence.

This is not a war with radicals. This is a war of cultures.
Posted By Anonymous Jeff, River Ridge, Louisiana : 4:21 PM ET
It makes sense that these violent acts are being encouraged from the sidelines when you consider the fact that the outrage has occured months after the cartoon's origional publication. Was it not brought to the attention of radical Muslim clerics for this particular purpose? This violence has been intentionally incited, not that inciting violence in these regions is terribly difficult anyway. One can only hope for a peaceful outcome.
Posted By Anonymous Anne, Charlotte NC : 4:22 PM ET
I would think that Ben Laden's organization is more likely behind a number of these demonstrations.

As long as the so-called moderate Arab world continues to sit back and allow these terrorists to have asylum within their borders, to continue to preach hate in their schools, and offer only lip service to condem terrorist actions, the problem will persist.

We need to hold the Arab word accountable for solving this problem, or else the west will eventually loose its ability to restrain itself with regard to the constant provocation by these terrorist groups.
Posted By Anonymous Harvey Stone, San Diego Ca : 4:30 PM ET
There is an interesting side thought regarding this whole issue of the Muslim reaction to the cartoons. That being even the moderate Muslim community is condeming the cartoons, albiet peacefully and good for them for resisting the call to violence, but it does make you wonder how and what is the hope of ever having a truely free and democratic society in a predominantly Muslim country if they won't allow these kinds of cartoons/comments/expressions. Are we wasting our time with the war in Iraq or is the excuse of attempting to bring democracy to the region just been proven ludicrous.
Posted By Anonymous Dane, Los Angeles CA : 4:32 PM ET
It's sad to see that the majority of media coverage that Islam is recieving has been in covering acts of violence in its name. From terrorist attacks to these violent protests, all of which are in "defense" of their religion and their God. I am 22 years old and ever since 9/11 I have found myself interrested in foreign affairs. Since then I have been drawn to media of all sorts and the images have all been the same; Radical extremists promoting violence in the name of the Qu-ran and Islam. Where are the clerics? The Middle East presidents and Prime Ministers? Where were the police in Syria when the Danish consulate was torched? Where is the true defense of a peaceful Islam? It is all such a mess, and all over a couple of cartoons.
Posted By Anonymous Aaron, St.John's, Canada : 4:32 PM ET
Bin Laden and his cohorts will use any excuse to start a war of cultures to fulfill his plan....Let's just hope Bin Laden or Iran doesn't get the bomb
Posted By Anonymous Bob, Washington, DC : 4:33 PM ET
I do not understand why we in America have to push our luck with everything we do. Have we not learned from the mistakes that have been playing out on our TV's that the people our goverment set out to help are actually pissed, because we are fighting for the same reason they fought us. Their Religious Views, and when you attack that 1 thing that started the whole american movement they have no choice but to stand up and fight for their belifes, since we have been forcing our's down their throats I now know why I was always told not to talk about politics, or religion in a conversation. I am sorry for all who were offended, and ask that you not blame the American people as a whole, just like I hope you don't for the mistake in Iraq.
Posted By Anonymous Jeremiah, Austin TX : 4:40 PM ET
People are asking, where are moderate muslims well they will not be on streets violently protesting or else they wont be much different than radicals.Thousands are protesting out of 1.2 billion tells you majority muslims doesnot agree with violent protests even though most are upset.Radicals and corrupt political leaders in middle east used this incident to project anger to the west and taken heat off their wrongdoings this is an old game there.Western media by publishing these cartoons over and over again is not helping much either.Emotions right now have taken over reason and thats what fundamentalist enjoy no matter which religion they belong to.Muslims are forgetting that Prophet MOhammad dealt with insults thrown at him by forgiving people and praying for them not by violently reacting to it.
Posted By Anonymous Ahmad Zubairi, Rolla ,Missouri : 4:43 PM ET
Yes, I'll bet that Bin Laden is cheered by all this hostility aimed at the West. There's a lot that I don't know about international relations, but I think that for many years we haven't realized the extent of poverty, lack of jobs, and resulting resentment of many in the Middle East. I think that we should be doing what we can to bring Africa out of such poverty as well, because the poverty there makes it also a breeding ground for terrorists.

By the way, I think this blog site is a great idea. However, weekdays I have to get up at 6am, like a lot of folks, and I start drifting off to sleep about 10pm Central time, no matter how exciting you are, Anderson, and so I'll bet there are a lot of folks watching the show, but just not awake enough to be blogging after 10pm.
Posted By Anonymous Jeanne, Carterville, Illinois : 4:45 PM ET
Sounds like a cartoon tsunami- created an anger wave that is flowing across the world, swamping everywhere in hatred and violence and it just isn't dying off. And- Bin Laden is out there fanning that wave...
Posted By Anonymous Gary L, Atlanta GA : 4:50 PM ET
he's laughing everytime I have to take my shoes off at the airport.
Posted By Anonymous js, NY NY : 4:52 PM ET
World War III Muslims against everybody else.. STAND UP WORLD STAND UP.. Imagine.. if that map you looked at stoped sending oil.. wow.. we are in trouble.. Maybe when 10,000 more people die.. the world will wake up
Posted By Anonymous Marz, Bronx, New York : 4:53 PM ET
It seems to me the clash ultimately draws a line in the sand over what each society generally accepts: freedoms (such as the free press) and religious ideology. But it is an imaginary line.
The assumption is the two cannot coexist, and bin Laden and his followers will try whatever is necessary to convince people that these new freedoms lead to nothing but scorn for religion.
As a journalist, the whole situation gives shivers down my spine. Religious fundamentalism is not just in the middle east, but in the United States as well. Would Americans protest violently if something they hold dear would be caricatured by middle easterners?
Posted By Anonymous Ken, Lawrence, KS : 4:53 PM ET
How can we ever win this fight - we are up against people who will blow themselves up for what they believe in...?
Posted By Anonymous kao, lancaster, ma : 4:54 PM ET
I agree that the violence and riots are uncalled for, and I agree that only a tiny fraction of all muslims are involved; however, I am tired of reading that this is just a radical fringe group, and that the vast majority of muslims world-wide are as shocked as I am.

What is COMPLETELY missing in all of this is ANY religious fatah by muslim Imams denouncing these acts as not within the teachings of Islam from ANY muslim Imam.

As long as the official leaders of Islam remain quiet about the muslim reaction to these cartoons (and, I might add, about the Islamist-led world-wide terrorism, bombings, kidnappings, and beheadings), they essentially lend their unspoken support for the actions of their fellow muslims.

In this respect, EVERY muslim world-wide is involved, until and unless they cause their Imams to speak out forcefully and repeatedly and communally for (what we are told) are the inherently peaceful aspects of Islam.
Posted By Anonymous Mike Smith, Mission Viejo : 4:54 PM ET
I beleive that as much as Bin Laden may be pleased with the escalated tension due to these cartoon depictions, I think he is also as infuriated with the cartoons himself as a Muslim. It is important to remember that no Muslims are pleased with the cartoons, they just express their anger in different ways. With or without Bin Laden, these cartoons have served as a firestarter (pardon the pun) within themselves. I think that radical Islam already feels it has more than enough justification for its war on the west. Something like this just serves as foolish fuel to make the hatred burn hotter.
Posted By Anonymous Will Wayne, Columbus Ohio : 4:56 PM ET
Here's what needs to be asked. Why the outrage and why now? Have there been or are there images of the Prophet Mohammed anywhere else? Of course there are! They are on display across the world, from public places in Iran to the hallowed halls of our nation's highest court. That's right, Mohammed is engraved right there on the face of the Supreme Court building.

This is just fuel that radical Islamists are using to whip the uneducated into a frenzy. It is a cool and calculated move to manifest a great hatred for free and open societies and their principals (i.e. free speech and freedom of the press). The lack of principle or solidarity from other newspapers or news agencies (of the West) to support the Danish press coupled with the rest of the "non-radical" or "moderate" Muslims not condemning this violence will only continue to fester these flames and I fear create a new rallying battle cry for war from these people.
Posted By Anonymous Dutch, Upton MA : 4:58 PM ET
this is just another attempt by radical Islam to restore the Islamic world into the ottoman empire.and i feel its not just a minority of radical Muslims any more,it is too wide spread just to be a small group
Posted By Anonymous paul ,new york ,new york : 4:58 PM ET
osama,you have messed with the wrong country...you can run ,but you cant hide...cartoons or not, the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA will wipe the smile off your face!!
Posted By Anonymous LESTER NEELEY AKRON OHIO : 5:05 PM ET
This has created a situation where is seems believing in freedom of speech and being Muslim must be mutually exclusive. I understand that a part of the Islamic religion is not to visually depict the prophet, however is it fair of them to uphold the rest of the non-Islamic world to their beliefs? Why are they not having a fit that the rest of the world does not abstain from eating pork as directed in their religion? This seems to be an isolated issue that those extreme leaders (as in Bin Laden) have chosen as a means to spread their religious intolerance- an environment in which no one wins.

There is so much to lose in terms of freedom if the Western world and those moderate Muslims who can see the senselessness in the battle do not stand up to the seemingly uneducated and easily influenced extremists, particularly those who have turned to violence over the issue. Obviously there is a cost, as Denmark is facing high criticism and backlash; however I greatly respect the Danish government for not yielding to pressure to apologize on behalf of their independent press. Truthfully, I see nothing for them to apologize for, and I believe the rest of the world who values freedom of speech needs to speak up for it and appreciate that we are at liberty to do so.
Posted By Anonymous Sarah, Pittsburgh, PA : 5:08 PM ET
Everyone has the right for freedom of expression. However, while cartoonists have the right to draw anything they want, drawing cartoons of profit Mohammed is not the way to win the hearts and minds of people in the Muslim world. This is not the way to make friends. In my view, drawing the cartoons was an extreme. What do you expect? Extremism leads to extremism. What anyone would gain from drawing a cartoon of profit Mohammed? The drawings are intended to "hurt", and they did. You do not pock someone's eye and tell him to keep his mouth shut. You do not pock someone's eye and ask him not to show their pain.

Overreaction might have been instigated by certain governments, but let us not change the focus: none of this would have happened if the prime minister of Denmark supported freedom of expression and at the same time condemned these particular cartoons.
Posted By Anonymous John Mukhragi, Columbus, OH : 5:13 PM ET
It's very hard to see any of the cartoons on the internet, so my guess is the vast majority of the protestors have not seen them either.

It's funny that American's who are so staunchly defending their 'civil rights' over wire tapping; are more than willing to set aside their first amendment rights of freedom of the press...

It's ironic too, because some of these radicals might be phoning friends and relatives in America..

Yes, this is a big win for Bin Laden..
Posted By Anonymous Jeff Raleigh, NC : 5:22 PM ET
where are these "moderate" muslims that don't "condone" the violence? I know that they're not apathetic therefore I think they in effect "condone" those actions by not standing up to them. Why didn't we hear from them over 9/11 and why don't they stand up to radical Imams?

If the West caves in and does not "allow" these cartoons, which in effect kills free speech, then we all cave in to the radical muslims. It is TIME for the West to say ENOUGH! We don't FORCE you to treat women with respect and you sure won't force us to ban Free Speech!
Posted By Anonymous Scott Davis, Nashua, NH : 5:25 PM ET
I have seen many denouncing the riots. I ask that you consider the following hypothetical situation. Presume that a muslim, chinese, hindu, jewish, or any other minority paper publishes cartoons about Christ, Catholocism, Christianity. Then what? Are you quick to assume that we would not react in the same manner? With the ever constant battle between the left and the right, here in the US, we could expect just as much of an outroar from the conservatives. I agree that we should live in a free society. Freedom of speech is important, Freedom of uncensorship as well. But what about plain simple common sense and decency? It seems that many people decide to throw those basic instincts out the door. One should not abuse the rules and dogma of another's religion, it is just simple courtesy. All I say is, put yourself in their shoes. If someone came to your church, synagogue, or temple and blatantly desecrated it or abused/violated the principles of your religion, would you not be just as upset? As for Bin Laden. Well, he just might be laughing. I doubt his "handy-work" is involved in this. But, it goes to show that our societies are deeply interconnected, and without respect for another, we can never hope to attain peace. And on final note: Violence and War does not create respect, only more fear, hate, and violence. Thanks.
Posted By Anonymous John KC, Missouri : 5:33 PM ET
Every day, I find myself more and more disheartened with these unreasonable reactions to a Danish cartoon that lacked tact. Considering its content, a Muslim reaction of insult IS understandable, but violence is NEVER a justifiable answer. Peace and understanding are pretty consistent cross-religious themes, and neither side is adhering to them. If my grade school classes serve me correctly, an Austrian assassination was pin-pointed as the catalyst for our first World War. It's a shame WWIII's Ferdinand could very well be...an insensitive cartoon? Really? Here's hoping we can steer the ship right, before we insert the most embarassing chapter in history.
Posted By Anonymous Kevin H., Chicago, IL : 5:35 PM ET
As one who was not convinced about the war in Iraq and some of the actions take by our current administration. These actions do nothing but support Bushs arguments. If I were Bin Laden I would be disappointed right now, not laughing. This unrest and these actions show just how much a life is valued by Arabs and how their thought processes do not allow for rational negotiation. When some of the radicals get mad or upset, they resort to only violence. Either this is because they dont possess the diplomatic skill to express their anger and frustration or they just dont have any self control and respect. It seems to be the same story, similar to a child in a store that does not get the candy they want. The child can understand and accomodate, throw a temper tantrum, or attack until he or she gets what they want.

If anything these actions should bring closer the alliance between the US and Europe, as these demonstrations support Bushs claims, whether he is right wrong or indifferent.

For Bin Laden, this is very sad and its disappointing that these people have no way of communicating unless they are violent. They cannot articulate their expectations without violent means. When another country seeks to defend themselves or take action, then its woe is me, and the US policy cause all this.

The actions of the newspapers are not commendable. This brings up a fundamental difference in beliefs between culture. Radical muslims expect their culture and beliefs to be respected, yet anyone who does not see the world their way and happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time is put to death and criticize as being an infidel. The english definition of an infidel includes Christians, yet Christians are exploited by these radicals for political purposes. Its complete hypocracy and its not supported by religious facts. Muslims who follow the Koran will tell you that many of these actions are modified and not consistent with the Koran. Maybe instead of worrying about what Osama Bin Laden is doing the news media should report on the facts about Islam and compare these peoples actions with the true nature of Islam, so that the world can see that these people are the real infidels.
Posted By Anonymous Chris Myers, Washington DC : 5:35 PM ET
Everyone here seems to back the concept of free speech... all till it hurts us. How do you think a Christian world will react to absurd cartoons of the Virgin Mary or of Jesus Christ? Lets see how many people will write in with the same responses.
I am not in favour of the riots world wide, but there is a limit of the things we can say only because we will in a free-speech world!
Posted By Anonymous Sarah Ahmed, Houston, TX : 5:36 PM ET
How can you support freedom of expression while condemning these types of cartoons?

Get a grip.

I commend the government of Denmark for standing their ground.
Posted By Anonymous Michelle Fernandez Sacramento, CA : 5:40 PM ET
The real issue is that many Muslim countries have long believed that the west(Christains mainly) have wanted to destroy Islam ever since the days of the Crusades. The prophet Muhammed is as must a important figure in religion overall as Jesus Christ is. He should not be disrespected nor desecrated.
Posted By Anonymous William, Greensboro NC : 5:43 PM ET
Can the Muslim world ever truly embrace freedom? I would have to say no given the latest events throughout the world in response to the cartoons. The problem with the Muslim religion, and probably all religions to some degree, is that logic is completely thrown out of the equation when dealing with some issues. The Muslims have, by far, proven and continue to prove, over the last century, that they are the most violent of all religions. It really takes a twisted and misguided view of life to be able to justify burning and rioting over something printed in a newspaper. Is it just ignorance or is it the twisted minds that are formed from being religous fanatics. The final question I would like to pose is: How can the "free world" ever deal with a society that can throw logic out the window based on interpretations of the Quran?
Posted By Anonymous Eric, Austin, TX : 5:48 PM ET
What you are claiming may be true. Bin lading and others that hold similar views are engaging in a personal interpretation of the Holy Koran which the Koran itself tells the believers not to engage in. The culture war spoken of here is such an interpretation. Under the values system revealed by the Apostle of GOD, his followers should be patient and tolerant. It is hard to believe that Mohammad would condone the violent behavior of some of his followers based on his teachings.

On the other side of the argument, I do not believe that you could justify the mocking of another religion based on Jesus the Christ's teachings. If one looks at the reverence with which The Christ referred to Moses, one is left a high level of respect for him and the Jewish faith. It is hard to image, based on The Christ's teaching on meekness and respect found in the Gospel, that he would condone the actions of the western press.

We in the West truly need to be more aware of the cost of our actions and not flaunt our freedoms at the expense of offending our fellow earth citizens in other parts of the world but from time-to-time when we do, our brothers and sisters in Islam should be patent with us.
Posted By Anonymous John O'Brien, Denver, Colorado : 5:52 PM ET
While you wonder about that Tom, I'm going to look up
some Nostradamus quatrains and see if he makes reference to a Danish cartoon artist and a possible relationship with the 3rd anti-christ. This is a ridiculous excuse to breed hatred and bloodshed. Although, it is very telling as to how deep seeded the hatred toward the West really is amongst extremists.
I don't know about the rest of the North American population but I find these times more worrisome than the the Cuban missile crisis and the Cold War combined.
No extreme Christian would react this hostile toward a light-hearted (albeit, in bad taste) cartoon to the extent of decrying all Muslim nations. I find it hard to comprehend how a drawing from one man in a small country (Denmark) can make people that violent towards so many other countries that had nothing to do with it. The only fault other countries could have is a democratic belief in a freedom of speech and artistic expression.
I just hope this war is waged with Sharpies and paper as opposed to the more destructive alternatives. The pen IS mightier than the sword apparently.
Posted By Anonymous F.R Scott, Port Perry, ON : 5:56 PM ET
Who is responsible for all that,The Publisher for own greed and hiding behind freedom of speech and put inocent people life in jeopardy. If publisher should think about the result and effect on common people before buplishing such king of cheep freedom of expresion, then we all might be little bit safe.
Posted By Anonymous singh, Thousand Oaks, CA : 5:56 PM ET
A friend of mine in Australia said the other day that this is too coincidental, both in coming at the same time as the escapees from the prison and needing a new diversion for those escapees, as well as needing to 'zip' up the reasons to stir up more suiciders to their 'missions'.
Posted By Anonymous Ruth Williams Spavinaw, OK : 5:57 PM ET
Sadly, a clash of cultures is almost inevitable. While holding Westerners to Islamic standards, Muslims hold Western standards of behavior against Westerners. When anti-Jewish sentiment is taught and spread through parts of the Middle East, Muslims demand we not hold them to our standards. When Islamic satire is published in a Western State, they hold Westerners to their standards and rioting breaks out. Until this can be resolved, no matter what Westerners do, we will fuel the fire in the East.
Posted By Anonymous Mike B, NY, NY : 5:59 PM ET
I completely agree. These cartoons have sparked such an outpouring of controversy all across the muslim world, it's amazing. I am interested to see the result of these protests, along with all of the controversy that the Western world has been having lately with the Middle East and muslim world. Bin Laden has always said that he is at war with the west in a "jihad" Is this truly the beginning of this?
Posted By Anonymous Megan, Knoxville, TN : 5:59 PM ET
So let me get this straight -

A satirical cartoon depicitng violence done in the name of Islam is responded to by thousands of muslims with what? Violence of course!!!

Good old rock throwing, "death to" chanting, fire bomb tossing, smash and burn this building down to the ground violence...

What I don't understand is why aren't leaders in the Muslim world standing up and saying "Your response to a derogatory depiction of Islam is to further degradate our religion with violence done in the name of Islam...this must stop!!!"

Instead the Grand Aytollah of Iran calls the cartoon another part of the Zionist conspiracy agaisnt muslims.

Brilliant.

Your absolutely right...Osama is laughing...laughing all the way to the bomb makers house.

God help us all.
Posted By Anonymous D Gaudio, NY, NY : 5:59 PM ET
Can somebody in our free media post the cartoons, so we can at least make informed conclusions?! Please.
Posted By Anonymous Dan, Seattle, WA : 6:00 PM ET
I dont understand these riots or protest. If a cartoon is a slap in the face of Islam, then why isnt Bin Laden and his gang a slap in the face too. why arent they rioting infront of his home and burning down his hideouts. Why arent there riots for whats happening in Iraq by so called followers of Islam.
Posted By Anonymous E Lopez, KC Missouri : 6:01 PM ET
I believe Jyllands Posten published the cartoons with all the wrong intentions. Freedom of speech is indeed a cornerstone in our Western democracy, but it should still be handled with extreme care. With freedom comes an even greater responsibility, which in this case, the editor seems to have neglected. The motive appeared to be dealing with self-censorship, which lead to a contest daring cartoonist to depict the Prophet Muhammad. But I somewhat doubt the editor thoroughly considered the consequences of this. It was a poor and unprofessional judgement which has lead to an official apology, stating that it was never the intention to hurt the Muslim people.

With that being said, the Muslim clerics leading the campaign against the newspaper also hold some of the responsibility. Besides bringing the controversial cartoons with them on their Middle Eastern campaign, they also brought several pictures even more "blasphemous" than the original ones published in the newspaper. As stated by the leading cleric, the pictures might not have been published by a Danish newspaper, but they still represent the negative Danish attitude towards minorities. Abu Laban, one of the leading characters in the Danish Islamic Organisation, has intentionally incited the Arab communities to continue their boycot of Danish goods in an interview on Al-jezera, while he back here in Danish medias states that he's trying to find a solution to the conflict. Furthermore, during the Middle Eastern campaign the clerics claimed to hold approximately 200.000 signatures from Danish Muslims criticizing the cartoons. However further research showed that the true number of signatures were around 1500, and the alleged 200.000 signatures was merely a symbol of the strong fellowship amongst Danish Muslims.

The problem is that these so-called leading clerics who represent a minority, try to fuel a rage towards Denmark and the entire western civilisation, on the account of thousands of moderate Muslims living in Denmark, desperately trying to integrate themselves in a different foreign culture by working like everyone else and just live in peace with one another.

It is no longer a matter of 12 cartoons in a danish newspaper, it has become a cultural clash between our Western rights versus extreme religious Middle Eastern values. Despite neither Syria nor Iran offered any real protection during the attacks on the Danish and Norwegian embassies, the number of moderate reasonable Muslims in these countries still outnumbers the mobs you see on TV each day burning Danish, American and Norwegian flags. Unfortunately it appears that these rampaging mobs have enough power to threat national interest through illegal boycotts and terror, which itself shouldn't be the case.

The Muslim world has a responsibility to deal with fanatics encouraging terror and violence, and sort out lies and mistakes - as well as we have a responsibility to not intentionally hurt people with different religions backgrounds. I don't think the cartoons of the Prophet were necessary in order to write an article about self-censorship, but this doesn't mean that we should simply accept threats and violence - our minister has stated that he isn't going to give in to this kind of pressure. He isn't going to back down from the conflict, and keeps encouraging a reasonable dialog. The way I see it the ball is on their side of the court, they need to show some level of interest in clearing the air in order to reach a mutual understanding. If this does not happen, then you might just say Bin Laden has won.

J.B Ravn, studying Cross Media Communications at the University of Copenhagen.
Posted By Anonymous J.B Ravn, Copenhagen Denmark : 6:01 PM ET
How sad that certain leaders greeted the senseless slaughter of the innocents with silence, but got exercised over a mere cartoon. What a world.
Posted By Anonymous William F. Kuntz, II, Brooklyn, New York 11201 : 6:02 PM ET
Thanks for the perspective!

I'm generally a peaceful person, but some of the scenes of Muslims fighting-joke-with-fire have struck me as so inappropriate that I have been angered to the point of thinking, "If they want violence, let's give it to them."

As you point-out, that's exactly what Bin Laden wants. Somehow the more moderate Muslims need to speak-out and bring the demonstations under control. But also average Americans must curb their own anger in response to this situation. Otherwise, this could escalate into the holy war that the most extreme of the Islamic Fundamentalist are working to create.
Posted By Anonymous Paul, Raleigh, NC : 6:06 PM ET
One need only read Bin Laden's "Letter to America" to answer this question and understand what the US must do to "comply" wth his demands.
Posted By Anonymous Michael Patmas, MD. Wes Linn, OR. : 6:09 PM ET
I don't think he is laughing as I don't think that he gets out of the hole he is hiding very often!
Posted By Anonymous Jim, Orange California : 6:10 PM ET
The situation is getting much worse, I just turned on the news and saw that ten people were killed today. It's just unbelievable what's going on, over a stupid cartoon. I really don't know what to say anymore. People are dying and I wish this irrational violence would end.
Posted By Anonymous Courtney, Chagrin Falls, OH : 6:10 PM ET
In 2001, when the Taliban regime in Afghanistan destroyed two giant Buddhas carved into a cliff because the statues deemed "offensive to Islam."; there was zero violence movement; even there are millions of Hindous and Bouddhists around the world. Is it acceptable (and "understandable") if we set afire consulates and embassies of the islam countries just because these ations done by the Taliban?
Posted By Anonymous Mike Le, Irvine CA : 6:10 PM ET
People have to understand that Muslims, several times a day, during prayers and in addition to prayer send peace and blessing of God on Prophet Muhammad. He was a messenger of God and brought a scripture. Muslims revere and respect Prophet Muhammad. So why would a newspaper publisher order cartoonists to make cortoons of Prophet Muhammad? The motive, in my opinion, was to incite Muslims and that's what he got. Ignorance of Islam is no excuse and freedom of press is no excuse. Learn Islam and behave in a civilized manner. Don't do foolish things in the name of freedom of speech.
Posted By Anonymous MOHAMMAD SYED, HOOVER, AL : 6:10 PM ET
While I believe that most Muslims are shocked at the violent protests that are going on, Islam is pretty clear about drawing pictures of their prophet Muhammad and when clerics call for the murder of the people responsible they are only following the teachings of Islam.
Posted By Anonymous Dave, San Francisco CA : 6:11 PM ET
I being a Muslim, feel that very last thing I proud on is being attacked. That was my religion and Muhammad (Peace be upon him). I felt so sad after thinking about those cartoons like I never felt before in my whole life. I think west want to snatch everything from us. They attached Afghanistan, Iraq, now thinking about Iran and what next. I think that may be like communism they want to end our ideology Islam (a complete way of life). They want to impose their values on us. You will not be successful in doing so because Islam lives deep in our heart. It is part of our souls.
Posted By Anonymous Faisal, Lund, Sweden : 6:11 PM ET
If you think that bin ladan cheered by cartoon demonstration then first question arises that who makes them to cheer, that is only and only the Danish news papers, they know very well the sensitivity of this news. If they don't then they don't have right to work for the media and human kind.
Thanks
Posted By Anonymous MHA, Madison, WI : 6:11 PM ET
Are freedom of speach and self restraint mutually exclusive?

I have no idea what the motive was behind these cartoons... and I suppose I don't really care. These were published in bad taste and social responsibility should have been the modus operandi. Not sure if the unfortunate events that have unfolded here achieved the objectives of the publishers.

I believe in free speech, and I didn't need to be born in US or the West to appreciate it. I learned it in my faith, Islam. What I also learned in my faith is that I don't have the right to insult or degrade other people, regardless of faith, color, or race. I do not stand for violence and I do not condone these violent protests.

Islam teaches tolerance. An old lady used to throw trash at Prophet Mohammad when he would walk by her home on day she did not throw trash at the Prophet and the Prophet went to visit her to find out if she was alright. It is unfortunate that some aren't informed enough to behave in a manner worthy of being a Muslim.

Is vulgarity, nudity, child pornography list goes on, considered freedom of speech? Can network TV show such extreme images on prime time, in children cartoons, or anytime? Should print media print these kinds of things on the front page? When to turn on NPR, should we be given news full of four letter words?

Whatever happened to moral and social restraint?

I continue to be disappointed by those who conveniently label all or most Muslims as war mongers based on events like these, something that suggests to me that they are no different than those radicals among Muslims who preach hatred. Tolerance is such a beautiful thing, we should learn to practice it.
Posted By Anonymous Habib, Dallas, Texas : 6:11 PM ET
Of course Bin laden is joyous over this
unfortunate clash. It will also provide him with new misguided young recruits to his evil cause. For all the freedom of ideas and speech that we laud in the west. We need to learn that with that, comes some responsibility and does not give us the sole license to provoke just because we are free to do so. The publication of the cartoons in the Danish paper were meant to provoke. it is plain to see. Their was clearly malicious intent behind it. Anyone who can't see that is naive. I guess the real bottom line is, is that if the west feels it has the right to freedom of expression and speech then the Islamic world feels it has the right to protest, even with violence. No matter if it is a miniscule few. Therein lies our clash of civilization and culture. And maybe never the twain will meet.
Posted By Anonymous R. Higgins-Brooklyn, N.Y. : 6:12 PM ET
I would just like to ask the press to stop reporting on this issue. All this free publicity is what is fueling this fire. I've lived in Denmark -- it's a wonderful country. They believe in freedom of the press as we do. Leave Denmark alone and stop talking about such a ridiculous issue. Maybe those fools that are demonstrating will set themselves on fire!! What a loss!!
Posted By Anonymous E. Hansen, Edmonds, WA : 6:14 PM ET
Here is the view from an Arab living in Canada:

Freedom of speech, thought and expression is the ultimate good to all of humanity, newspapers and people should always be able to exercise this fundamental right.

Having said that, unnecessary provocation and disrespecting the faith of other communities is wrong and will only increase hatred. I believe that people and newspapers have the right to publish whatever they want, including these cartoons, but the wise thing to do is not take such an action.
I salute American and British newspapers for showing the kind of respect that shows the maturity of the Anglo Saxon culture and its respect and acceptance of differences.

I deplore the violence that we are seeing today. Violence is wrong and is never acceptable whatever the reasons.

Maybe by republishing these cartoons, the Muslim world will become indifferent to them and accept freedom of expression, but the risk here is that you may antagonizing many people and making enemies out of people who were not necessarily so opposed to the West.

The question is: Is it worth the risks?
Posted By Anonymous Raouf Aldine Abd-Al-Rahman, Toronto, Canada : 6:14 PM ET
"Moderate Muslims are denouncing... those who are burning and breaking and killing."

Mr. Foreman, to the best of my knowledge, those protesting what they (quite rightly) perceive as racist cartoons haven't killed anyone. To the contrary, as of today 12 of them have been killed by police and soldiers.

Rather than suggest that "the terrorists" are winning because there is widespread rioting throughout the Muslim world, perhaps we should see these dramatic events as indicative of broader, deep-seated grievances against the West.

Truth be told, Mr. Foreman, I don't really understand what's going on over there. But your inaccurate reportage and simplistic analysis doesn't help. The very fact that I can't make heads or tails of it is a good sign for me I need to stop pontificating, and try listening a lot more carefully to what these people might be saying.
Posted By Anonymous Thomas, New Haven, CT : 6:14 PM ET
If it weren't so scary the words Cartoon Riots would be kinda funny. In fact maybe a good name for a new rock band, but it is happening and I think you are right, just what Osama Bin Hiding wants.
Posted By Anonymous Liz, Baltimore, Maryland : 6:18 PM ET
I think it's disgraceful that the American media has rolled over and become the doormat for the Muslim extremists. The rioting has turned those 12 cartoons into big news and no newspaper or TV station in this country has the courage to print them. And please don't insult me by claiming that a verbal description is the same. If freedom of the press is no longer a cherished precept of this country then perhaps we deserve to be under Muslim rule. They obviously have won this round, but only because we let them.
Posted By Anonymous Ted Story, New York, NY : 11:26 PM ET
Tom,

If there are just as many Muslims troubled by the violence, why are you guys showing that on CNN/CNN.com?

My problem is that the press is so willing to protect the Muslim Community, yet they quitely accomondate their extremest brethren. When I see the "peace loving" muslims as willing to protest with the same degree of vigor against their brethren, who are responsible for the continual slaughter of women and children around the world, as they do against a cartoon, them maybe I can honestly believe that there is truely such a thing as moderate muslims.
Posted By Anonymous Robert, Pueblo, CO : 12:26 PM ET
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