A Right to Offend?

Why the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad is deepening the divide between Islam and the West

Whether a butterfly's wing beat can cause a tornado is still a central debate of chaos theory. But it is now proven that drawings first published more than four months ago in Denmark have seeded outrage among Muslims from Gaza to Jakarta and embittered believers making their lives in Europe. An editor's decision--call it feisty or cavalier--to ask Danish cartoonists to depict the Prophet Muhammad has provoked a volcanic reaction, from a Muslim boycott of Danish goods to the torching of two European embassies in Damascus to death threats and lawsuits against newspapers, and even to a new slogan in the streets of...

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