The Danish Prime Minister had gone on record before the cartoon imbroglio stating that he could not tell newspapers what to print - or what not to. Then we have the cartoons appearing in Jyllands-Posten. Then France Soir publishes them too, & the paper's editor is sacked. Following this, Chirac comes to India & talks about achieving multipolarity in France & possibly Europe, in general.
Religiosity, like many other socio-economic traits, is not bound by reason & inherits a lot from things like tradition & culture - both equally esoteric concepts. So whether the 'fatwa' is a reasonable reaction or not is anybody's guess. We understand that it may not be a’European’ reaction; but given the subjectivity of the problem, we cannot form an 'absolute' opinion of the matter without bringing our own prejudices. All opinion in this matter is relative, & could be better or worse only in comparison. Having said that, a more measured reaction would probably have been more acceptable.
At the same time, it is probably safe to say that Europe has miles to go before achieving the kind of multipolarity Chirac was talking about. A very good idea to understand in this context is that of swkriti elucidated in Sen's The Argumentative Indian