The Christian response to the worldwide violence over the cartoons criticizing the "prophet" Mohammed could range from outrage at such backward medieval thinking to a secret envy that some could be so firm in their beliefs as to strike out so severely. I think that I would have the temptation to the latter, though I think I am beginning to know better.
While indifference toward the most fundamental ideas of our Faith and the potential future hegemony of Islam in Europe are grave problems, we Christians cannot repond by turning our beliefs into a system of hostile polemic. For one thing, this simply could not work; the balance of forces within the ruins of Christendom simply cannot pose a threat to any ideology opposing us. On the other hand, such a polarization cannot help but weaken the Christian message itself. Sacrificing repentance and mercy on the altar of a Christendom that must rise again can only lead to a trial run of the time of the anti-Christ.
One of the Beatitudes is NOT:"Persecute those who persecute you." That is why such cowardly defenses of the Church by such institutions as the Catholic League and the National Conference of Bishops in the U.S. often lead me to a loss of words. We are supposed to be the light of the world, which means that we should know better. If those in darkness point out the darkness that has invaded this beakon of light, they are only doing us a favor. The Church in the end has no need of defenders. True, great polemicists have arisen in the past to defend the truths of the Church. The greatest defense of the Church, however, is to bear persecution with rejoicing, just as Our Lord said.
So when the "liberal" press criticizes Christianity even to the point of blasphemy, our first thought should be that Christ not only died for them, but that Christ died especially for them. Our response should be to manifest this love of our enemies in the world. Anything else would be a fatal compromise.