It is particularly ironic that the men who perpetrated today's massacre in Paris were angry over satirical depictions of Muhammad, because in doing so they have forgotten the exact reason why his depiction was forbidden: because the depiction of animals or of people encourages idolatry.  Islam has always been profoundly careful to avoid even the slightest suggestion of veneration of anything other than God: even the time for the mid-day prayer begins just after the Sun has passed its zenith, to avoid the appearance of Sun worship. The purpose of the hadith is to prevent people from worshipping the Prophet, not to put the Prophet on a par with God.
No, the reason for this had nothing to do with holy writ, and everything to do with people who want the right to declare that they may not be insulted, that their pride has more value than human life. And any claim which can be enforced with bloodshed is a claim which comes from power -- and thus a claim which itself has no claim on immunity from mockery. Because they demand it must not be spoken, and because they wish to prevent it from being spoken by creating a fear of murder among anyone who speaks out, it must therefore be spoken.
In the spirit of this, here are several of the cartoons which Charlie Hebdo published which brought down this rage. As its cover I present the best possible summary of all: a picture of Muhammad, saying "It's hard to be loved by assholes."
 See e.g. Sahih al-Bukhari 3:34:318, http://www.usc.edu/org/cmje/religious-texts/hadith/bukhari/034-sbt.php#003.034.318
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