Rather than expending their energy with violent protests, Muslims could take the publication of these offensive cartoons as an opportunity to educate others about the Prophet Muhammad: The man who always had a smile on his face, who never missed an opportunity to help those in need, who forgave his most bitter enemies, and who did not respond to the constant and vicious attacks against his person and character by his contemporaries.

In fact, Muslims should take the advice of cartoonist Signe Wilkinson: "Instead of threatening to draw blood, Muslims should pick up their pens and draw return cartoons instead."

This last recommendation, however, comes with a condition: While I think it was wrong for the Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten to publish those cartoons, it cannot be denied that newspapers in Arab and Muslim countries have published cartoons that were offensive to non-Muslims, especially Jews. If it is offensive to Islam, it is also offensive to Christianity and Judaism.

Depicting the Prophet as a terrorist is not what is most sad about this latest incident. What is most sad is that this cartoon controversy has further widened the schism between the Western and Muslim worlds, and it couldn't have happened at a worse time. This entire incident has truly been offensive all the way around.

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