So, according to this article:
hundreds of thousands of Muslims are calling for wikipedia to remove images of Muhammad from their servers. The putative offense is that making images of living things constitutes idolatry, for this reasons, the fine arts of the Muslim world have typically been works of elaborate geometric design and exquisite calligraphy. These prohibitions haven't always been in force; for example, during the centuries of Ottoman rule, the wealthy commissioned illustrative art of the "restoration" of Islam, including images of Muhammad. In its effort to become a truly universal encyclopedia, Wikipedia has images of some of these depictions of Muhammad on their article about him.
There are billions of Muslims in the world, just as there are other billions of adherents to Christianity, and other religions. I fear that things can get blown out of proportion sometimes. The Muslim world must understand that Western culture is one of personal freedoms. We cherish intellectual freedom, especially freedom of and from religion along with freedom of expression, above all others. Therefore, the prohibition against an image of an otherwise revered figure is completely foreign to us, and anathema to our standards of personal liberty. Intellectual curiosity demands that historical images of Muhammad be available for study.
I think Wikipedia is totally justified in standing firm against the challenge to intellectual freedom from our Muslim brothers, for they truly are our brothers--not our enemies. There should be no invective, no intent to anger them in publishing the images. Rather, by standing firm here, we can begin setting the precedent that our liberties are as sacred to us as any religious image, and that we will not cave to bullying. This is the right thing to do.
This whole situation leaves me wondering about a few things.....if the prohibition against the reproduction of living things is so important to Muslims, wouldn't this preclude the use of photographic reproductions of living things as well? In all seriousness, what is the difference between a drawing and a photograph of a person? I do know this, having read it myself, the answer to those question is not to be found in the jumbled mess that is the Koran. Hopefully, within my lifetime the Muslim world's loudest proponents will mature enough to respect the practices and liberties of other cultures. Here's hoping.
Muslims are not our enemies; they are our brothers. We can get past this rough spot if we let our humanity unite us.