If you haven't yet seen the cartoons that have "precipitated" the spontaneous riots among Muslims offended by depictions of their Prophet, and most people haven't because very few people are showing them, you can view them here. If you're expecting something truly horrifying or degrading you'll be greatly surprised.
Omar at Iraq The Model has some interesting thoughts on all this:
We have a piece of wisdom here that says "The bird got mad at the grain field!" which as you can see means that sometimes people make stupid decisions that can harm only their own interests, yet they think that by doing what they did they would harm those they're boycotting. This saying applies to all Muslim countries in general and to our interim government in particular.
Our brilliant transportation minister Salam al-Maliki who is a Sadrist, by the way, announced that his ministry will suspend all projects and contracts with Denmark and Norway and said that Iraq will stop accepting any donations or offers concerning Iraq's reconstruction! Who are they harming by doing this? Denmark? No, ... they are harming no one but Iraq and Iraqis.
I give up! I have to comment on the general situation...I swear that 90%+ of the protestors in Muslim countries have not seen the cartoons and do not know the name of the paper, and when I say that I'm sure of it because I have access to the web 24/7, and I spent a really long time searching for the cartoons and couldn't find them until a friend emailed me a link.
You know that those cartoons were published for the 1st time months ago, and we here in the Middle East have tons of jokes about Allah, the prophets and the angels that are way more offensive, funny and obscene than those poorly-made cartoons, yet no one ever got shot for telling one of those jokes or at least we had never seen rallies and protests against those infidel joke-tellers.
What I want to say is that I think the reactions were planned to be exaggerated this time by some Middle Eastern regimes and are not mere public reaction. And I think Syria and Iran have the motives to trigger such reactions in order to get away from the pressures applied by the international community on those regimes. However, I cannot claim that the Muslim community is innocent for there have been outrageous reactions outside the range of Syria's or Iran's influence but again, these protests and threats are more political than religious in nature.
One last thing, even if the entire EU apologizes it won't change a thing; fanatics in our countries here had always considered the west their infidel arrogant crusader enemy and no apology no matter how big or sincere can change that.
Omar is no doubt right. This is not about the cartoons. This is another skirmish in Islam's long war against the West, and the West will never win that war by trying to appease the Islamists.
Speaking of appeasement, the hypocrisy in some of the American MSM is fulsome. Many press organs which refuse to run the drawings out of sensitivity to Muslim beliefs nevertheless had no such compunctions about showing Andres Serrano's Piss Christ or Chris Ofili's dung splattered Holy Virgin Mary. The reason the major newspapers are not showing the cartoons is that they have been intimidated and cowed by Muslim threats. They'll show material offensive to Christians because they do not fear Christians. They fear Muslims and with good reason. The least they could do is be honest about it.