Personally I dn't agree we are better. Not 50 years ago we were all exactly the same, I mean, women were repressed, religion was paramount etc.
And repression can take many forms, I heard a lot of people complain about women having to cover with scarfs, but that happened in my country (Spain) not 40 years ago.
If it somehow changed, I think, it was a question of material wealth. When you have it, when you are going to have something to eat for sure then you can spend time refining society.
Now, the point with the cartoon, I think, is not that Mohammad was depicted, I doubt it is the first time.
I tend to think that they are pretty angry at the direct association between Islam and bombs.
My guess is that it started as a protest by the general Islam and then it was profited by all those extremists to make some noise.
But... media do never show the opinion of moderate and progressive imams, do they? It is just like demonstration, which will not even get on TV unless there was a bunch of Black Block b******* throwing Molotov cocktails.
Take a peek at Le Monde Diplomatique (English edition) just this month, because of this, they give the floor to some imams that keep saying things most of us would agree with.
I really feel misinformed with the media you know.
Remember the troubles in Paris suburbs? I live in Paris. The media did not tell half of the truth, and invented the other half... result, what did the media say? outright lies.
Oh, and about the bomb in his chest thingy: Men get on a plane, bomb you, and you salute them because they liberated you? From what? From the shackles of flesh?
Evidently no one here wants nothing but those guys arrested and jailed, but I think we have a hefty part of responsability. For one, in provoking them. Try to find mainstream opinions. They are not the ones that media inform yu about, and they say the same things you say.
The Brightest light casts the darkest shadows