By now, it has become obvious that the response of many people in the Muslim world, and elsewhere, to the Danish comics has exceeded all reasonable bounds. To take umbrage against a perceived slight is perfectly acceptable in a free society. To start burning down embassies and calling for the murder of the nationals of the countries where the comics have been printed is insane. It’s not something that can be defended according to any reasonable system of ethics – by which I do mean to say that a religious ethic that required such a thing would be indefensible – and it’s not something that can be construed as acceptable conduct.
To actually believe that there is a God who would require or encourage such conduct is to effectively close out the possibility of their being a God who is both omnipotent and benevolent to humanity in general. It has always been absurd to say that you could have a God benevolent to all mankind yet still insistent on the practice of a particular faith. A benevolent being would not condemn to damnation worshippers in cultures where a different faith is the norm. Given that the faith of your parents is by far the best predictor of the faith you will adopt, it simply doesn’t hold water to say that anyone could be expected to convert to the ‘one true faith.’ It contradicts good sense and basic ideas of fairness.
A being that required people to adopt a certain faith in order to be treated decently would either be non-benevolent, and therefore not worthy of veneration as such, or simply incomprehensible and equally unworthy of respect or admiration. A being with ethics that cannot be understood or shared by human beings is no more worthy of veneration than a bolt of lightning, which is similarly powerful and lacking in comprehensible ethical purpose. A vengeful God is potentially consistent with the character of the world: a charitable one, much less so – and perhaps not at all.