Two men accused of trying to burn down the home of Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks a week ago have been arrested and remanded into custody (bound over for trial), charged with attempted arson. Damage to the home was superficial, and Vilks was not home at the time. He has since gone into hiding.
The two accused, 21 and 19, are brothers who immigrated to Sweden from Kosovo. The suspected trigger for their action is continued animosity by extremist Muslims over some silly cartoons of Mohammed as a dog, drawn by Vilks a couple of years ago as part of a newspaper editorial supporting free speech in the wake of earlier Muslim outrage over cartoons of Mohammed published in 2005 by the Danish newspaper Jyllands- Posten.
In continued solidarity with Vilks and in support of freedom of speech I’ll once again show the cartoons of Mohammed as a dog and a tourist, but then I’ll offer a suggested compromise.
Attacks and threats by Muslims over depiction of Mohammed and any other perceived slight against Islam have escalated since the Danish newspaper furor began, including the stabbing death of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, a knife-and-axe attack on Danish artist Kurt Westergaard, and an attempted attack on Vilks earlier this month as he lectured on free speech at an Uppsala university.
While some in the West have attempted to calm Muslim ire by apologizing for and condemning caricatures of Mohammed, such efforts have not been accepted. Others, including Vilks, insist there is nothing to apologize for since freedom of speech should always trump offended sensibilities and never be abridged short of evident, demonstrable harm. Still others have called for aggressive demonstration of free speech, inviting volunteer drawings of Mohammed through a Facebook campaign.
That Facebook call-to-penstroke stimulated multiple demonstrations and even a court order in Pakistan that resulted in the government cutting off internet access to the networking site, much to the annoyance of most Pakistanis who use the social site as a world-wide communications tool as well as for archiving family events and co-ordinating political organizing. To Facebook’s credit, they did not take down the cartoon site or ask for its removal.
Other Western internet sites have not been so principled. Look at this article written earlier in the month supporting the South Park authors who were subjected to death threats for their parody pretending to show Mohammed covered in a bear suit. You will see that the image-hosting site Photobucket has removed several images from their linkable archives, two that show drawings of significant, historically documented events from the life of Mohammed including his consummated “marriage” to a 9-year-old girl and his mass murder of hundreds of Jews who refused to convert to Islam. That removal by Photobucket of legitimate images is a form of cowardice I’ll deal with later.
Right now, though, something must be done to damp down these attacks by Muslim fanatics. To help with that I want to show this truly shocking depiction of the prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him:
If you know any fanatical Muslims, please pass this image on to them.
And you Muslim fanatics, listen up. Please stop attacking obscure Scandinavian artists and basic cable cartoonists. Instead, if you just absolutely have to keep terrorizing people, go after Scientologists.
See how they show your prophet as less than equal to their own, picturing him below one of their “ministers” holding one of their prophet’s holy books? See how they humble him, placing him at the feet of an infidel? Shocking! Horrific! Unforgiveable!
Sic ‘em! Sic ‘em good!