But Islam is telling you that subject's closed off. Not long after 9/11, some theatre group in Cincinnati announced a play contrasting a Palestinian suicide bomber and the American Jewish girl she killed. Local Muslims complained, and so the production was immediately canceled - because all the arty types who say we need "artists" with the "courage" to "explore" "transgressive" "ideas" fold like a cheap Bedouin tent when it comes to Islam. The Muslim community complained not because the play was anti-Muslim: au contraire, it was almost laughably pro-Palestinian, and the playwright considered the suicide bomber a far more sensitive sympathetic character than her dead Jewish victim.
But that wasn't the point: the Muslim leaders didn't care whether the play was pro- or anti-Islam: for them, Islam is beyond discussion. End of subject. And so it was.
Between crucifixes placed in a beaker of the artist's urine and Blessed Virgin Mary's fashioned from elephant dung to Broadway plays that mock a portion of Christianity, I'd say our society has always been free to regard religion in a less-than-respectful manner. That is, until one religion decided to take homicidal umbrage at the notion. Suddenly a "courageous" artist's "bravery" could mock all religion...save for the one that might hurt him or her.