Defacing / Burning Holy Books & Flags

This is a subject I'm undecided about because there are strong arguments on both sides. Below is a hypothetical conversation I came up with to illustrate my thoughts:

Pro: Of course burning books and flags should be legal, it's called freedom of expression. If someone is offended by it, too bad. You don't have a right to never be offended. Grow a thicker skin and deal with it.

Con: Actually I don't mind looking at burning flags or defaced Holy Books because I'm an atheist with no emotional attachment to either. However, other people are not atheists. Other people have a great deal of emotional attachment to those things and they tend to get violent when they see their precious flags or Holy Books burned or defaced.

Pro: So because some numb-skull religious militant doesn't like it means we have to give up our fundamental right to freedom of expression?

Con: I'm sure you remember the case of the Swedish cartoonist who drew an insulting picture of Islam's Prophet. That certainly is protected by freedom of expression but many innocent people in Africa died because of that cartoon. It started riots in the Muslim world and some Muslims attacked Christians and set fire to Churches and such. Now that we know how Muslim militants react to this, I think it would be immoral to publish cartoons of a similar nature or to publicly deface the Koran because it will probably lead to more violence and death of innocent people.

Pro: So does this mean we Americans have to surrender our freedoms to Islamic barbarians in Africa? Look, I have the right to express myself. Many people fought wars and died for me to have this right. There's a reason our country is called Land of the Free. We are free to express our opinions however we want, be it by defacing Holy Books or drawing cartoons of Prophets. I say screw those Muslim savages in Africa and draw any cartoons you want!

Con: Your facts are correct.

Pro: Thank you.

Con: Nevertheless, your actions will lead to the death of innocent people. You want to draw those cartoons just for the heck of it... just to rebel. You want to prove a point. Okay, but living, breathing people who have harmed no one will be beaten up and possibly murdered as a direct result of your actions. If you draw a cartoon of their Prophet and someone takes a picture of it, it will go online where militants in Africa will see it. They'll get very mad and attack any non-Muslim they see to vent their anger. Some Christians have been burned alive in the riots. Are you willing to watch a woman get burned to death just because you drew a cartoon? What if she were right in front of you and you're told "If you draw that cartoon, we'll douse her with gasoline and set her alight." Would you draw it? What if she's a mile away? What if she's 10,000 miles away? Does that make a difference? The point is: Although legally we are free to express ourselves anyway we want to, I think it would be immoral to express ourselves in a way that would result in the death of innocent people, especially when we know this in advance. And we do know in advance that if we create doodles of their Prophet, that will incite some of them to commit murder.

Pro: Okay so then what if they start killing people for other reasons? What if they kill a random person whenever an American drinks alcohol? Does that mean we can't drink anymore? What if they start torching houses in Africa because here in the US, we're not converting to Islam? Does that mean all of us have to convert? I mean, how bad does it have to get before you put your foot down and say "I'm not gonna let those idiots control my life!"  Because as it stands right now, you want us to appease religious insanity and militancy.

This concludes my debate with myself. I remain undecided.

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