Swedish Cartoonist Attacked Over Mohammed Cartoons
A cartoonist who drew “controversial” Mohammed cartoons that appeared in Swedish newspapers was attacked by Muslim extremists while giving a presentation at one of Sweden’s most prestigious universities:
Lars Vilks, a Swedish cartoonist whose sketch of the Prophet Muhammad enraged many Muslims, was head-butted today while giving a lecture about freedom of speech.
Vilks, who depicted the Prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog in 2007, said he was assaulted by a man sitting on the front row as he spoke at the University of Uppsala, about 70 kilometers from Stockholm.
A spokesman for the Uppsala police said about 20 people tried to attack Vilks after interrupting his lecture, adding that the police had to intervene to stop them. Two people were detained.
Here’s the video:
Perhaps the most distressing thing about this story is that it has received so little coverage in the American media, where concern for freedom of expression in the face of religious extremism seems to be completely non-existent these days.
Even more outrageous, is the fact that Uppsala University, where the incident took place, has reacted to the attack by telling Vilks that he’s no longer welcome to speak there:
Officials said they would “not likely” invite Vilks again because of the incident. In some quarters, the university’s reponse is adding to concerns that violence and threats from some members of the Muslim community are effectively muzzling free speech.
When it comes to depicting the Prophet, this has nothing to do with social issues or integration,” says Professor Klausen. “This is about a political movement by sectarian groups where [depicting Mohammed] has now become a primary trigger for political contention. The university pretty much told [Vilks] to shut up and go talk somewhere else, and I find that reaction very dangerous and problematic. It means that the extremists have achieved what they wanted.”
Vilks, however, remains defiant even after the attack:
While Vilks escaped the incident with broken glasses and a bit of a shock, he said it raised concerns about the freedom of expression at Sweden’s oldest and most prestigious institute of higher learning.
“What you get is a mob deciding what can be discussed at the university,” Vilks told The Associated Press, adding he was ready to repeat the lecture if re-invited.
“I’m ready to go up again,” he said. “This must be carried through. You cannot allow it to be stopped.”
Good for him, at least someone still have some courage out there.
Perhaps he needs to go to work for Comedy Central.
H/T: Hot Air