(Miniature illustration on vellum from the book Jami' al-Tawarikh (literally "Compendium of Chronicles" but often referred to as The Universal History or History of the World), by Rashid al-Din, published in Tabriz, Persia, 1307 A.D)
I thought hard about whether to participate in this.
On one hand, there are pious Muslims who will be offended by what I and others do today; for that personal offense I do personally apologize. I chose an image drawn by a pious Muslim deliberately to minimize your hurt.
But politically, and socially, we live in a society where there is no right to be free from offense. And the recent reactions of the few irate Muslims, and the fewer violent ones, means simply that I can't stand by. I owe them no apology, and simply want to say that their behavior is what makes this necessary.
I'm disinterested in living in a world where people try and kill cartoonists for what they draw. When that stops, I'll be happy to be more polite. Until then, I'll point out that we live in a society where we take our most holy icons and dip them in piss.
Why should any icons be entitled to anything different?