When our soldiers fight and die and kill to defend our "freedom", amongst the things they are defending are our right to do, say, and think unpleasant things that most of us disagree with. That's a lot of what it is to be a liberal society. So if some lunatic wants to burn a Koran, and some other folks are terribly offended about that and plan to murder US and British and other Western soldiers, is the right thing to do (a) to urge the lunatic not to burn the Koran on the grounds that his doing so might provoke the deaths of the soliders; (b) to say to the folks offended in other countries: "A consequence of our sort of society is that lunatics are allowed to burn the Koran. That's essential to a free society, and we are prepared to kill and be killed to defend the right of such lunatics to their lunacy. You need to understand that and get over it - or feel our wrath."; or (c) to do both?
Most of our political leaders appear to think (a) is the answer here. I think it's somewhere between (b) and (c), tending towards (b). I also think it's blatantly and grossly unfair that political leaders only become animated about such issues when those upset by the exercise of freedom have resorted to violence to pursue their upset. If it had been Taoist works or if someone had been burning Bibles or burning crosses then our political leaders would have shrugged it off as an irrelevance and not wasted airtime pronouncing upon it. Did the Prime Minister or President urge against the showing of Jerry Springer the Opera, despite the deep offence that gave to many Christians? No. Why not? Because Christians didn't murder people in expression of our outrage. The message Barack Obama gives is quite clear: the way to get the American president as your ally over matters of outrage is to murder enough people. This is a lesson Muslims have learned well, over the years. I fear that, unless our political leaders change tack and stand up against the Muslim murder threats and for the rights of those that want to make cartoons featuring Mohammed or burn Korans, then other groups may learn the same lesson in due course.