Perhaps one of the strangest aspects to the ongoing Muslim cartoon farce is the reversed roles assumed by the United States and Russia.
Inserting itself into a dispute that has become a lightning rod for anti-European sentiment across the Muslim world, the United States sided with Muslims outraged that the publications put press freedom over respect for religion.
"These cartoons are indeed offensive to the belief of Muslims," State Department spokesperson Kurtis Cooper said in answer to a question.
"We all fully recognise and respect freedom of the press and expression, but it must be coupled with press responsibility. Inciting religious or ethnic hatreds in this manner is not acceptable."
"Not acceptable"? The United States government will not "accept" such publications? Interesting claim. Meanwhile Russians appear to value freedom of speech a bit more highly:
A Moscow museum has announced it will exhibit the entire series of cartoons of Mohammed that have caused riots throughout the Islamic world.
Yury Samodurov, director of the Sakharov Museum and Public Center, said on Russian television that the center was ready to organize a public exhibition of the cartoons satirizing the founder of Islam that originally were published in a Danish newspaper, Pravda.ru reported Monday.
"We must show the whole world that Russia goes along with Europe, that the freedom of expression is much more important for us than the dogmas of religious fanatics," Samodurov said.
I don't think the museum speaks for the Russian government, but still... I'm not aware of any major American papers printing the cartoons.