So, the bottom line is that Muslims want face for their faith, and we want face for our government and our notion of individual rights.
In any event, just because you are exercising your freedoms under our law doesn't make what you do right. Or negate other people's right to protest (peacefully) if you are offending them.
And I think y'all may be underestimating the desire on the part of several of the filmmaker's supporters to create an oppressive "Christian" theocracy in this country. It's a lot less likely to happen here, but the intolerance implicit in Terry Jones' Quran-burning shenanigan and Steve Klein's twisted intertwining of militant conservative Christianity with building a militia outfit and an insistence that our Second Amendment rights are ordained not just by the Constitution but by God would very much lead us in that direction if they had a chance to implement their vision.
I don't like the kind of Islam that incites violence or uses an obscure film put together by an ex-convict as an excuse for engaging in terrorist acts any more than the rest of you do. However, I can certainly understand people being upset by a disrespectful portrayal of their faith's founding prophet, especially since the film really has no basis in fact at all. And given the asymmetrical relationship (to re-package Solaris' useful word) between the West and the Muslim World over the past two centuries, Muslims are particularly sensitive to being trampled upon and insulted.
This business is not just about individual rights--it is also about the rights of sovereign nations and of religious communities, and about negotiating the best balance between these different kinds of rights. And the fact of the matter is that different cultures and religions have different ways of thinking about this balance. It is possible to have respect for religion without theocracy and without abrogating the individual's right to choose his own beliefs and criticize unjust practices that are accepted or perpetuated by other religious groups. We need to look for ways to encourage this on all sides, and the key to that is dialogue.
I think we also need to recognize here that not all Muslims are stirred up about this, and many who are are expressing themselves peacefully. We are seeing the most violent ones in the TV news, but the fact that the Cairo bureau chief for the NY Times can have a rational conversation about it with an acquaintance in Cairo ought to remind us that plenty of other people are willing to talk about it before they throw rocks. If we just dismiss the sensibilities of all Muslims out of hand, which seems to be the sentiment of the last several posters, then the extremists on both sides have won, because we've effectively joined them.