So basically I want to see what other people think.
In my opinion this whole thing is being blown way out of proportion. No matter how disrespectful this video was, it does not justify killing people and burning embassies.
I think we know how well the boycott of The DaVinci Code worked. LOL
Boycotts generally turn out to be free publicity.
In her book, A History of God (which I would recommend, by the way, for its extensive history of Islam), Karen Armstrong writes, "A sense of peace, serenity and loving-kindness are the hallmarks of all true religious insight."
She further notes, "As the Buddha said, after enlightenment, one should 'return to the marketplace' and practice compassion for all living things." One can hardly avoid contrasting that scenario with one of a young man approaching an equally crowded marketplace, with plastique strapped to his body and a detonator in his pocket.
RE, my own question: "could it be that Islam is such an oppressive religion that it generates anger and resentment within its followers, that they haven't the freedom to dissipate in a normal manner, and that Westerners represent a perfect target for that built-up rage?"
Let me explain that a little more thoroughly. Martin Luthor is considered among Christians as a hero. He stood up to the Catholic Church, in the 1600's, and did much to wrest Christianity from the grasping clutches of the Catholic church, with its own counterparts of Mullahs and Imams, as found in the Bishops, Cardinals, and ultimately, the Pope, and brought the religion down to where the common man could practice his faith without going through an intermediary.
And yet Luthor was a very angry man - angry at himself for honestly believing that he was too weak to ever completely live up to the expectations of his god. He took out his anger on those around him - Luthor was a rabid anti-Semite, a misogynist, was convulsed with a loathing and horror of sexuality and believed that all rebellious peasants should be killed - not exactly the qualities one would hope for in a religious leader.
Most religions suck, probably buddhism least of all, though it can be argued that the original Buddhism was a philosophy rather than a religion.
BTW, who is this Martin Luthor guy? Is he the one the Luthorans are named after?
Uncle of Lex Luthor, misspelled saint of the Lutheran church and far grammatical relation to St Jude the Apostle.
I could explain, but that would indeed be a lost cause. ;)
RE: "who is this Martin Luthor guy?" - OK, Schmuck, so I hit the "o" key when I meant to hit the "e" key, it's not my fault I was raised on Superman comics.
Are you telling me you really don't know who Martin Luther was?
The graven image thing. Today, it is a synonym for "engraved," but I doubt if that's what the word in the original text (Greek?) actually meant. My evidence? The Ten Commandments on stone tablets weren't put there with Magic Marker. Pretty clearly they were carved or as we would say today "engraved" or "graven." I think the original word may have referred more to carved images such as the golden calf Moses found his followers worshiping on his return from his chat with the burning bush. "Graven" may also have come from the same root as "graphic," so it might refer to pictures, too. In this sense, Islam might have the more appropriate attitude. The orthodox churches handle this by allowing recognizable but not realistic images. Thus, their pictures of Jesus and the saints are rather cartoonish or stylized.