I don't understand why so many people call Islam a religion. It seems like all Islam preaches is if you don't like its ways you will be beheaded. Go figure....I just feel so bad for the those babies who are and will be born in the Islam world because they will be brain washed to kill.
Yes, cartoons of Muhammed should be protected as free speech. Satire of religion and politics is one of the most important forms of free speech because it is a big part of laws, life, and morals and has often been opposed. The entire idea of free speech is to be able to form and express opinions on important matters.
I believe controversial cartoon images depicting the Prophet Muhammad should be protected as a form of free speech. What we need to realize is the fact that companies, media, print, etc have the right not to use these images in their publications because of the backlash they cause and that is justifiable.
The freedom of expression, also known as freedom of speech, doesn't stop with religion. The US allows freedom of expression to the point of libel. There are a few exceptions, but just because it hurts your feelings is not one of them. If you believe that Muhammad should not be depicted, don't go to countries with freedom to do so. Freedom and equality are given to all, or it means nothing. If someone is allowed to show an upside down cross, Muhammad is no different.
To me, this proves what a violent religion Islam is on a large scale. The fact that there were riots and threats of beheading over a caricature is beyond me. Drawing cartoons should absolutely be protected by free speech. If you let maniacs control this discussion, it's going to be bad news.
The extreme boundaries are the test cases of a protected right
What this question really asks is whether Islam (actually a violent insane faction of Islam) should be granted special treatment that other religions are not afforded.
Should the neo-Nazis have been allowed to march through Skokie? Of course - it's disagreeable and offensive but it's the test case that proves freedom of speech is insured.
Should federal money have been used to fund the display of a painting of Jesus that the "artist" smeared dog crap on and called it "art"? That's far more offensive than a cartoon of Muhammad but it was actually sponsored with government money.
If you limit freedom of speech because some group is offended - then you will have no freedom of speech - because SOMEONE will ALWAYS be offended by something.
I think it is necessary to be respectful when offering your opinion in any form, especially if the matter is considered to be sacred by one and a half million people.
Religion, whether it be Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Bhuddism, etc., is considered to be very sacred and holy by billions, and therefore should be respected.