[Rose] and the Muslim world are talking past each other. This is clear from the distinction Rose makes between 'radical' Muslims -- those 'propagating shariah law', in his words -- and 'moderate' Muslims, who "accept the rule of secular law". In his national and cultural context, Rose is not wrong to use such definitions. But they don't readily translate into an Islamic idiom, do they? At any rate, the best argument against his decision to publish the cartoons in the first place is this: In the current world climate, why go out of your way to stir things up?
You can read my full 800-word column here. I appreciate the opportunity the column gives me to be a bridge between the West and the Muslim world. (I also appreciate my editors' forebearance during my recent and unexpected five-month hiatus.) The News publishes my column under the rubric "View from the West", and I'll be linking to it on this blog every Tuesday.