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Posted at 11:08 AM ET, 05/12/2010

'Muhammad cartoonist' Lars Vilks undaunted after new attack [UPDATED]

By Michael Cavna


Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who has been the target of Muslim extremists for his artwork, reportedly was attacked Tuesday while speaking at Stockholm's Uppsala University.

A day later, Vilks remains undaunted and wants to deliver another lecture about free speech, he told the Associated Press.


Vilks reportedly was in shock and had his glasses broken in the melee Tuesday, at a lecture marked by a violent protest that prompted police to use pepper spray and batons to remove Vilks from the scene.

The artist says he wants to hold the lecture again if the university, Sweden's oldest, will reinvite him.

This year, Vilks, 53, was the target of an alleged murder plot that led to the arrests of two American women. He has faced death threats since depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad as a dog in a 2007 illustration.

"What you get is a mob deciding what can be discussed at the university," Vilks told the AP. "I'm ready to go up again. This must be carried through. You cannot allow it to be stopped."

Battles over freedom of expression vs. beliefs about Muhammad depictions have been waged on several cartoon-related fronts this year.

Comedy Central recently censored attempts by the animated show "South Park" to depict and satirize Muhammad, said the show's creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker. Comedy Central's editing of recent episodes prompted some cartoonists to show their support for Stone and Parker, whose show sparked talk of violence by the New York-based group Revolution Muslim.

Seventeen Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonists recently signed a petition to support the "South Park" creators and their right to freedom of expression without threat of violence. Several days ago, another Pulitzer winner, Pat Oliphant, added his name to that petition.

One of the cartoonists to sign that petition, Signe Wilkinson of the Philadelphia Daily News, told Comic Riffs on Wednesday: "I send my sympathies to the European cartoonists who have born the brunt of this inexplicable lack of humor. I also send my sympathies to all the good-natured Muslims who get a bad name as a consequence of the bad actions of a few.

"And I am grateful," Wilkinson continued, "that most of the Muslims in this country came, in part, for the freedom of expression they don't have in a lot of their home countries. They seem to get the fact that cartoons don't kill people -- crazy religious fanatics do."

Ann Telnaes, who also signed that petition, seconded Wilkinson's sentiments. "I send my sympathies to all the cartoonists who have been attacked and threatened. It is ironic that this assault on Lars Vilks happened at a university, a place where ideas and debates should be expressed freely."

According to AP, the Stockholm university said it is "not very likely" that Vilks would be asked back.

New York cartoonist Matt Davies, who also signed the petition, told Comic Riffs of the attack: "Obviously there is an active fault line between our Western culture's penchant for rigorous intellectual debate and the Islamic world's desire to not have a rigorous intellectual debate.

"From what I understand: When he was attacked, Vilks was showing a video that dealt with homosexuality in Iran, which, like drawing pictures of Muhammad, is considered by Islamic adherents to be taboo -- unlike in our religions in the west where homosexuality is, um, never mind.

"Nonetheless," Davies continued, "no matter what a person's position is on any given subject, as soon as they resort to violence, they are acknowledging that their verbal argument is unsupportable.

Mark Fiore, the recent SFGate.com Pulitzer winner who also signed the petition, isn't necessary supportive of Vilks's approach, telling Comic Riffs: "I don't think a poorly executed drawing of Muhammad as a dog does much to foster level-headed discourse" -- yet he believes fully in the cause: "We've got to support all free speech, bad or good."

"Cartoonists don't kill people," says Fiore, echoing Wilkinson's words. "Religious zealots who are destroying Islam kill people."

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By Michael Cavna  | May 12, 2010; 11:08 AM ET
Categories:  General  | Tags:  Freedom of speech, Lars Vilks, Muhammad, Muslim, Stockholm, Sweden, Uppsala University  
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Comments

Muslims have to realise that the rest of the world is free to express any idea even if it's funny. If you don,t like what you read then quit reading it. It's not up to some stupid clerics to tell everyone what to think. Hiding weapons in mosques is far from peacfull. What a hypocritical so called religion. Allah died when Muhammed showed up.

Posted by: bainscythe | May 12, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I wish I could get a bumper sticker with Muhammad as a dog and then kick some radical Islamic a**.

Posted by: veloboldie | May 12, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Free speech in the Muslim world means that they can issue false articles blaming Jews for blood libel....make the protocol of the elders of zion a best seller.... and other anti-Semite actions....but if Muslims and Islam is the subject, watch out... you will be killed (after being tortured first)

Posted by: steve44122 | May 12, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I find the issue of censorship (actually, 'editing') of that South Park episode to be not a cut-and-dried issue. On the one hand, I don't like the needless and cowardly modification of the episode out of fear of reprisal. On the other hand, I think the episode was a vastly more effective satire in the form in which it was aired -- the use of a great big "CENSORED" banner covering Muhammad and Tom Cruise-as-Mohammed, and the bleeping of the name produces a brilliant result. Satire is not an effective tool against homicidal jerks, but it is a very effective tool against cowards who give too much deference to the interests of homicidal jerks. The "censored" version of the episode made a powerful point about the foolishness of civil society giving deference to religious zealots (of any denomination), whereas the only target of the uncensored episode would have been Moslems, both zealous and non-zealous, who would have perceived the insult but who would not have taken the criticism as a serious indictment. The whole point of satire as an artistic form is to persuade the audience to accept a criticism that otherwise cannot penetrate the shell of self-image. The "censored" episode can accomplish that goal. The un-"censored" episode would have simply insulted one group while promoting smug self-satisfaction in another.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 12, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

The muslim dogs in the video need to be thrown out of Sweden, and back in their armpits of Countries. They can continue to live in the stone age there.

Also: Obama is a national DISGRACE.

Posted by: ignoranceisbliss | May 12, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

We don't believe in Mohammed or believe in his religion so why do we have to follow Islamic rules? If these people don't like the western society's way of life they should go back to their home countries. It makes no sense. Religious zealots of any religions are the danger to peaceful societies.

Posted by: khanhd | May 12, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Muslims should be shameful of their actions. They are trying to achieve their goals thru violence.

Posted by: rajeetishi | May 12, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

The cops don't look too powerful in that video. They actually look pretty pathetic. Is this the police force of Sweden?

Posted by: eugene8 | May 12, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

What does President Obama have to do with this discuss? igornance IS Bliss :-(

Posted by: PracticalIndependent | May 12, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

What does President Obama have to do with this discussion? igornance IS Bliss :-(

Posted by: PracticalIndependent | May 12, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Apparently the Stockholm University is not for freedom of expression, since they are not likely to invite Mr. Vilks back. One would think a real place of education would stand up and be an active supporter of free speech.

Posted by: charlieham42 | May 12, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I am a Swede, and for a long time Vilks has been shamefully ridiculed in the media instead of receiving the support he is entitled to in a democracy with free speech. Supporting him has unfortunately been left to the far right wing people, who sometimes have a racist agenda.

But I hope it is now finally dawning on the media that this is not a question of whether Lars Vilks' dog drawing is art or not, but about bigger things - the foundation of our free society. One editor-in-chief of a big newspaper has now given Vilks support without the ridicule, and hopefully more will follow.

Posted by: asoders22 | May 12, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

If it were legal, I would happily put a bullet in the head of everyone of those "protesters".

Posted by: kenk3 | May 12, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Vilks' next cartoon of The Prophet should portray him as a pig. That should rile up the r@g he@d ret@rd brigade.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | May 12, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

What a joke. What does insulting people's religious beliefs have to do with freedom of expression? I bet people would be up in arms if Jesus Christ were portrayed as a child molester or as a gay prostitute. Haven't Christian fanatics been killing doctors and nurses at abortion clinics, and preventing women from accessing them?

Posted by: CyberPost | May 12, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Amazing! I am amazed how ppl accept these cartoons as freedom of speech. Its just uncivilized. Speech meant to hurt and cause civil disturbance can never be labelled as free speech.. esp in the west that does not allow any research/ free speech on issues like the holocaust. I know many christians would hate to see Jesus depicted as a dog, terrorist or a pig. Jews cannot stand any jokes on holocaust. So why are Muslims singled out? It hatred and bigotry.

Too bad ppl.. your hatred will only unite the Muslims. Hatred always does. Their numbers are growing and so is conversion to Islam. At a time when churches and synogogues are becoming vacant, mosques are getting filled with youth and once-upon-a-time seculars. The Muslims are probably doing something right that christian and jews are not.

Posted by: Truthisbitter | May 12, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

How dare anyone insult the peaceful Muslim religion! Whoever does so should be killed.

Posted by: pgr88 | May 12, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Truthisbitter obviously knows nothing about the First Amendment to the Constitution and its supporting case law. Truthisbitter, you can start your education by Googling the case Schenck v. United States. You might also learn how to correctly spell the word "people." Then you might try to explain to the audience how satire = hatred. Good luck with that. You'll need it.

CyberPost, I recommend that if you get the chance, go see Jerry Springer, the Opera. You'll especially enjoy the number where teh chorus sings "Jesus is gay! Jesus is gay!" and Jesus responds, "Well, just a little bit." And you'll be amazed that no one in the audience will announce a fatwah on the performers.

Why don't you two do the rest of us a favor: call your Mothers and ask them to comfort you from the evil writings of the people on this blog.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | May 12, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Lars Vilks made drawings about Christian and Jews as well, and Jesus has indeed been portrayed as a homosexual by another Swedish artist. This last art were huge arranged photographs, the exhibition was called Ecce Homo (which means Behold the man, something Jesus said), and the arch bishop allowed them to be hung in the dome of Uppsala.

Those expressions of art also fall under the label of free speech - which they should.

Posted by: asoders22 | May 12, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

You folks in western secular nations have to understand and absorb the three fundamental truths about Islam and treat Muslims according to those rules.

1. There is no such thing as moderate Islam.

2. Not every Muslim is a terrorist, but nearly every terrorist is a Muslim.

3. It isn't Islamophobia when they really are trying to kill you.

Once you understand these three truths about Islam, then you will understand that there is no middle ground when it comes to dealing with Muslims.

With Muslims, either you submit to everything they demand, or you are at war with them. Muslims will denigrate Jews and Christians, yet go berserk if their precious death cult is lampooned.

Muslims demand their own laws and special treatment in secular western nations, yet will never ever allow people from secular western nations those same rights in Muslim nations.

And on it goes. Folks, get something straight - you will NEVER EVER reach any sort of understanding or rapprochement with Islam - its entire credo is to subjugate all non-Muslims.

So what do you do? Allow your nations to be infiltrated by Muslims, who will then terrorise you into censoring your own freedoms? Or will you understand that Muslims are out to conquer you and that you either have to stop them or your nations will eventually be subverted to Islam.

Take the necessary steps now:

1. Any Muslim who attacks people for expressing their views, such as that cartoonist did, should be immediately expelled and their citizenship revoked.

2. Ban the burqa and hijab - they are nothing more than devices to suppress and subjugate women.

3. Raze every mosque to the ground - they are nothing more than breeding grounds for terrorism and treason.

4. Ban the Koran - it is a hate-filled document that incites Muslims to kill non-Muslims - it's all there in black and white, read it and see.

5. Kick out every Islamic cleric who is not a citizen and ban all Islamic preaching - after all, it's not a religion, it's a death cult.

Purge your nations of Islam, because this death cult is an existential threat to you. In the meantime, every publication should have those cartoons of Mohammed on the corners of every front page.

Every billboard should have those cartoons on it.

Every person should have those cartoons on his T-shirts to show Muslims that they have the freedom to publish this material and not be terrorised into censoring themselves against the death cult that is Islam.

Posted by: ziggyzap | May 12, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

This article and the prior one, where Islamic students chant in support of the attacker, are indicative of the challenge with Islam. Sweden has been open about letting Muslim immigrants into the country, but it is very clear that large numbers have distinctly different values. Sweden, you have a problem.

Despite the apologists for it, Islam is a problem. Its a religion with large numbers of followers that don't advocate free speech but do advocate bigotry and have little interest in freedom of religion for any religion other than their own. Incidents like this one only confirm it.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | May 12, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Remember that not long ago France censored an ad depicting the 'virgin' Mary irrelevantly because it 'demeaned' the beliefs of the Church. So it isn't just Islam in the censorship business.

Every group wants to censor every other group. Equate Hillary to a beer in the WaPo and see how fast Now commands you to be censored.

Posted by: Lizardo | May 12, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

where is the petition signed by Muslims denouncing the stupidity and violence of their compatriots? the complicity of silence on the part of "good" muslims is deafening.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | May 12, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Go ziggyzap !
I couldn't have said it better.

Posted by: jimbob3 | May 12, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Apparently the biggest problem with Muslims is their lack of a sense of humor.

Posted by: cduwel | May 12, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Lizardo, I was just thinking about a different ad that was banned in France, a blue jeans ad that was banned because it was based on The Last Supper. Then you've got Switzerland banning minarets, etc.

Vilks shouldn't have been attacked for his provocative message (and let's face it, it was provocative--the video of homosexuality had two men wearing masks that were supposed to be Mohammed). Even if you think he was a jerk, one person being a jerk doesn't give anyone the right to assault him. But is there a double standard? Would Sweden, like neighboring European nations, give special allowances to Christianity that they wouldn't give to Islam? As for other religions behaving badly, the only thing I can come up with is some newspaper editor in Linkoping getting death threats for a 2008 punk festival ad that blasphemed Jesus.

Posted by: dkp01 | May 12, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

The "protesters" should be kicked out the country and returned to whatever sh*thole country they're (or their parents) are from.

Posted by: kenk3 | May 12, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

muslim:

A religion that is pissed about a carton but endorses throwing acid and gassing little school girls. Where is it also perfectly fine for any 55 year old man to marry an 9 year old girl but not to name her teddy bear muhammad?

Posted by: waxtraxs | May 12, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Freedom of speech is fine but it should only be carried so far. Only bigoted racists would stoop so low as to attack the religion of any group of people in such a vile way. This whole cartoon thing is a way of expressing hatred for Muslims and getting others to do the same. Whites alway need a scapegoat. Sadly, its Muslims this time.

Posted by: marge9 | May 12, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

The religious bigotry of my fellow posters is disturbing. People who hate always try to characterize the group they hate based the actions of the extreme few. The vast majority of Muslims are not violent extremists. They get attacked by the same extremists if they don't follow the extremist's warped idea of Islam. Most Muslims dismiss the extremists as not true Muslims. (Just as most Christians dismiss their own violent extremists as not true Christians.)

Throughout history, Christians have committed plenty of acts of violence in the name of their religion and some are doing the same today. (The massive invasion and intentional minoritization of Muslims in what
was mostly Muslim Mindanao by the Christian Philippine government, for example) I have heard Christians advocating nuking all Muslims. Would you characterize all Christians as wanting to nuke a few billion people? I'm sure you would dismiss those people as not true Christians.

I also imagine that if you were to drive around some southern town in your truck with a large picture of Jesus giving pleasure to another man while having a cross rammed up . . . you'd very likely get attacked too.

Remember Andres Serrano's photo of the crucifix in a glass of urine? He received death threats and his work was physically attacked while in a museum by "not true" Christians.

Posted by: m5691 | May 12, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Secular society is the only path. Religion, all religion, screws things up. That's why fundamentalists will always isolate themselves from 'the others'. Separate schools (Christian, Jewish, Muslim) only sow the seeds of religious isolation.

Are any Religious whackos that different from the rest?

Posted by: thebobbob | May 12, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

What a film! Coming soon to a theater near you! I hope the PC imbeciles commenting here will be happy living among these crimes against humanity.
Christains, Jews, etc have been poked fun at or criticized plenty of times without this happening. The PC islamiphiles making the stupid posts to the contrary are just advertising their lack of education and stupidity.

Posted by: jm125 | May 12, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Rigorous debate and freedom of speech can deteriorate into rudeness, misunderstanding of others who are different to what we experience, intolerance and spitefulness.

Would America's preachers laugh if Jesus was depicted as a sodomite, a fairy, a slothful drunk or an ugly Jew with a big nose? I expect that they would want Jesus to be treated with respect.

Christian nations present themselves to themselves and the rest of the world as superior to other nations. This is one of our deceits. We demonise the rest of the world and treat it with contempt. Our history shows that we proclaim our superiority and their inferiority.

If we want freedom of speech then exercise it with regard to the sensitivities of other peoples and their religions. Telling them that they don't understand freedom of speech is arrogant when they are contending that Vilks's cartoons are insulting and demeaning.

Let's see if the Post will publish cartoons that insult and demean Jesus. I am sure that your resident cartoonists could drop to the lowest depths within a matter of minutes in the name of free speech and rigorous debate. Then let the Post write one of its holier than thou sermons (called an editorial) in which it tells those who object to grow-up.

Posted by: robertjames1 | May 12, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Islam is more dangerous than nazism according to wafa sultan

Posted by: karsanghasi | May 12, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse


Looks like Sweden needs to return to it's Viking roots and start exterminating Muslims within it's borders. If they don't, everyone in the country will be on a prayer rug within twenty years!

Posted by: surfer-joe | May 12, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Come on people. If I were to publish a cartoon depicting Jesus as a pig or furiously engaged in masturbating,would peace loving Christians consider that funny or contributing to intellectual discourse to advance the cause of free speech?. I think the world would be a more peaceful place if human beings show more empathy and understanding of the beliefs and sensitivities of other people who are different from us.We should refrain from acting in a childish manner just to make other people angry-which is what the Swedish cartoon creators are doing. What a shame. Sam Sjodin.

Posted by: xxioxro5 | May 12, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

A Muslim-American student at UC San Diego said she supported a second holocaust of Jews in a conversation with David Horowitz: Thereligionofpeace.com and youtube.com

Posted by: karsanghasi | May 12, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

"Islam is more dangerous than nazism according to wafa sultan"

That's hyperbole. The Nazis killed 6 million Jews in the Holocaust. They started a war that killed 50 million people over a period of well less than 10 years. If you add together every person killed in the name of Islam since the beginning of Islam, I'm sure it would add up to far fewer than 50 million people. And when you take into consideration that there have been billions of Muslims and only 8.5 million members of the Nazi party (by 1945), the ratio of kills to members is far, far lower for Muslims than for Nazis.


Posted by: m5691 | May 12, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

"A Muslim-American student at UC San Diego said she supported a second holocaust of Jews in a conversation with David Horowitz: Thereligionofpeace.com and youtube.com"

karsanghasi,

Some Muslims are bad people and say bad things. Same with some Christians, Jews, Hindus, etc. It is illogical to cherry pick statements made by bad Muslims and characterize all Muslims as bad. There are Christians, Jews and Hindus who have also made evil statements. You could cherry pick their evil statements and characterize all Christians, Jews and Muslims as being evil. But if you don't, that is proof that your reasoning is biased and reveals your prejudice.

Posted by: m5691 | May 12, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

I hope the people who attacked him are expelled at the least.

Posted by: Nymous | May 12, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

@ marge9"
Freedom of speech is fine but it should only be carried so far. Only bigoted racists would stoop so low as to attack the religion of any group of people in such a vile way."

You know we really need a Godwin's Law for these sort of posts.(i.e Mo's Law:
The longer a post goes goes on the chance of someone confusing criticism of islam with racism approaches One).
You do know religion is an IDEA.
islam is a choice, it is no way something which is passed on through genetics.
Attacking one's ideas cannot by definition be the bogeyman of the Information Age-Racism!
Actually this whole cartoon thing is a direct response to muslim threats of violence to those who do not follow their religion, and worse have the gall to not themselves be constrained by the strictures of islam! Muslim's cannot draw mo, but that only applies to muslims!
Why should any religion dictate to those who do not follow it what they can or cannot do?
I'd like to end by reminding everybody that May 20th is the start of Annual Draw Mohammed Day :)

Posted by: Stublore | May 12, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I am of arabic decent, And I believe that the woman who hit the cop and then was taken down should have had the crap beaten out of her! Outside of Hitler, Islam/Mohammad is the worst, most disastrous thing ever perpetuated upon mankind! That religion teaches blind total dominating faith. they are totally intolerant of free speech! Just look at how free the media is in Iran and most other Islamic countries! They have no concept of democracy, let alone understanding or wanting it! Muslims love living in totalitarian societies and have absolutely no concept of the value of human life! They could care less about dying as they can't stand living anyways! Interestingly, many Muslims can't stand and bear living in an Islamic country, but are still willing to kill and die elsewhere! Islam is the seed of Satan! Why should western societies respect Islam and Islamic societies when Islam has no respect for anything in this world, including their own! Anyone who acts like those Islamic crazies in the video, citizens or not, should be deported to Somalia!

Posted by: yankeechess | May 12, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

m5691, but the difference between those religions you quoted is that most Muslims are willing to injure and kill anyone who insults Muhammad, no matter what country or where they are from! I don't see many Christians or Jews willing to kill someone who defames any of their profits! Those Muslims in the video knew what Lars was going to talk about and show. They clearly went there to cause trouble and attempt to harm or kill Lars! This whole episode was clearly set up by Islamic groups or group to violently disrupt the talk and cause physical harm! Just watch the video and you can see how they were spread out all around the room! You got one black looking Muslim raising his fist in the air and screaming Alah and Muhammad, while he is holding his child in his arms! I'm sure he was trying to make a violent impression about Islam to his child so he/she can grow up in violence! I say if you don't want to convert to your new country's society and follow its laws you should be thrown out of the country and forced to go and live in some Islamic rat hole like Somalia!

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Posted by: itkonlyyou56 | May 12, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

"What a joke. What does insulting people's religious beliefs have to do with freedom of expression? I bet people would be up in arms if Jesus Christ were portrayed as a child molester or as a gay prostitute. Haven't Christian fanatics been killing doctors and nurses at abortion clinics, and preventing women from accessing them?

Posted by: CyberPost | May 12, 2010 2:19 PM"

Rudolph Giuliani, the Mayor of Jaime Town twice tried to shut down Museums because of exhibits he thought insulted Jesus in one and The Madonna in another.

Monte Haun mchaun@hotmail.com

Posted by: mchaun | May 12, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

yankeechess,

It is true that democracy hasn't swept through many countries in the Middle East as it did in Europe over the past century. Though you are wrong to say it is a Muslim thing. Turkey is a democracy and so is the largest Muslim country in the world, Indonesia. And don't forget Pakistan. I think it is fair to describe Iraq as a democracy, thanks to the US.

Two points, though, first, if you go back over 100 years, Europe was full of waring dictators and monarchs. Democracy in Europe is a recent phenomenon. Why hasn't democracy swept trough middle eastern countries? Well, part of that is the fault of the US. Iran had a democracy and the CIA went into Iran to collapse it. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1953_Iranian_coup_d%27%C3%A9tat
Second, the US (and Soviets) propped up dictators who aligned themselves with us. The US gave lots of support to Saddam Hussein, for example -- as we are doing with Mubarak in Egypt now.

You said that Muslims don't want democracy. In Indonesia, 60 percent of the populace voted in their last election. In Iraq, it was 62 percent. And what do you think all those protests in Iran were for?

And Muslims aren't "totally against free speech," dictators are though -- Ask the Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez (a Christian, by the way). Iraq and Pakistan have vibrant press corps -- maybe a little too vibrant!

And your statement that Muslims don't value human life is so absurd, I won't even bother with it.

Posted by: m5691 | May 12, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

the punishment for muslim extremists should be cancellation of their welfare benefits--too often they carry a koran in one pocket and a welfare check in the other while railing against their new home western governments

Posted by: McBears | May 12, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

yankeechess,

It isn't true that most Muslims are willing to kill those who insult Muhammad. The Muslims in the video did know Lars was coming, of course. And they may have planned to protest. Whether the guy who tried to attack him was planning anything more than a protest or just struck out in a moment of extreme anger is pure speculation. They may have been spread out because those are where the empty seats were and just because they are Muslim doesn't mean they want to sit together. The native Swedes are spread out too -- I wonder what their conspiracy was?

Clearly set up by Islamic groups? That's not clear at all. People in the US go to protest all the time, sometimes it is coordinated by groups, sometimes it is not. Why Muslims would be any different, I don't know.

In the US, recently, a group of anti-immigrantion protesters were attacked by pro-immigration protesters. Violence is not uncommon during protests where people get riled up and if those Muslims planned on killing Lars, wouldn't they have brought some sort of weapon? As far as I've read, there is no evidence of that.

"You've got one black looking Muslim raising his fist in the air and screaming Alah and Muhammad, while he is holding his child in his arms!" You said you're sure he is trying to get his child to grow up in violence? Really? That involves a great deal of speculation. It is obvious from watching the video that his child was asking to be picked up. He brought his child to something that was likely to have a protest, that doesn't mean he is trying to indoctrinate her into violence. He didn't act violently and the actual violence that did occur was pretty light. The only thing I could see for sure from a protester was a slap on someone's arm and a couple were struggling when being held by police. Obviously, someone did try to attack Lars, but it wasn't very clear in the video.

Guess what, anytime you see a group of protesters, you should think they are not representative of the overall population. Protesters are often the most extreme, most vocal members of a group. The moderates are the ones who are sitting at home worried what this is going to feed the fodder of the people who hate Muslims.

Posted by: m5691 | May 12, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

The South Park episode that had Muhammad also showed jesus, moses, buddha, Krishna....but which religion out of all of those threatened death on the creators of South Park?

You see, while many followers of ALL the other religions portrayed in that episode were offended, NONE threaten the lives of the creators of the show. Only Muslims did so.

So please spare us the excuses for why Islam should be spared ridicule. If you can't take it, too bad. All the other religions are lampooned on a regular basis and almost all can laugh it off or turn off the TV. Only Muslims threaten to kill others. It's a pathetic religion full of psychopathic followers.

Posted by: B-rod | May 12, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

"...a violent protest that prompted police to use pepper spray and batons to remove Vilks from the scene."

This makes it sound like the police had to use pepper spray and batons on Vilks! Does anyone there still know how to communicate clearly?

Posted by: tomwilliamson | May 12, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

The spread of Islam seems to be tiring the World out.
It looks like the World doesn't seem to like trying to be politically correct to please bullies shoving into their Countries.

Posted by: dottydo | May 13, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

I love how people love to talk about how all-encompassing freedom of speech is. Nonsense.

Freedom of speech comes with responsibilities too. Mocking other peoples religions- especially when one is stealing their resources and setting them against one another- is nothing to be proud of.

Freedom of speech really doesn't exist. Try being a major researcher who shows that much less Jews died during WW II than previously estimated. No one will allow that to be broadcast. Germany and much of Europe doesn't allow that. Armenians have done the same by condemning their war with the Turks as a "genocide" and then banning argument of this.

Funny how so many self-righteous types bash Muslims and pretend to love freedom of speech so much. Where were they when Holocaust deniers are threatened or outcast?

Besides why do these guys (Cartoonists) not attack the Hindu gods or show the founding fathers of Sikhism having Gay Sex. No interest, except when attacking Islam eh? Pretty Islamophobic if you ask me!!!

Posted by: akhtarman | May 13, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

I love how people love to talk about how all-encompassing freedom of speech is. Nonsense.

Freedom of speech comes with responsibilities too. Mocking other peoples religions- especially when one is stealing their resources and setting them against one another- is nothing to be proud of.

Freedom of speech really doesn't exist. Try being a major researcher who shows that much less Jews died during WW II than previously estimated. No one will allow that to be broadcast. Germany and much of Europe doesn't allow that. Armenians have done the same by condemning their war with the Turks as a "genocide" and then banning argument of this.

Funny how so many self-righteous types bash Muslims and pretend to love freedom of speech so much. Where were they when Holocaust deniers are threatened or outcast?

Besides why do these guys (Cartoonists) not attack the Hindu gods or show the founding fathers of Sikhism having Gay Sex. No interest, except when attacking Islam eh? Pretty Islamophobic if you ask me!!!

Posted by: akhtarman | May 13, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

m5691, be real! Iraq is just a beautiful democracy where they are trying, and i might note very successfully to purge many of the winners to "Fix" the election against the secular party! They use de-Bathing as an e3xcuse for the purge and it has brought on the usual valiance which probably be never ending in that country until an inevitable Military Coup takes place! And as for Indoinesia, for the most part, the country has been a latent dictatorship masked in democracy! As in Turkey, the military is the real power broker in Indonesisa! Iran is not a true democracy! Afghanistan is a laughable excuse for a democracy! Democracy hardly lasts a few years at a time in Pakistan which has had mostly dictators. In other Muslim countries presidents, if elected eventually become dictators! Common m5691, democracy has an extremely poor tract record in Muslim countries, and they don't usually have any freedoms! the Sharia Law suffocates its subjects! In some countries you could get executed if you even think about leaving Islam! In Indonesia there is a strong movement trying to implement Sharia Law in that country! So please don't try to prove how successful democracy is in Muslim countries! I have never heard or seen anyone who drew cartoons making fun of Judaism, Christianity, etc., ever come under threat to their lives for doing so! Lars has basically had to stay underground to hid from Islamic extremists who are out to kill him! Heck, The religious Mullah leaders in Iran have called for his killing! If you put a gun to a Muslim's, Jew's or Christian's head and ask them to choose between renouncing their God or die, the Muslim is the only one who would choose to die!

Posted by: yankeechess | May 13, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

My point is that all countries engage in censorship based upon their own perceptions of normality. That France, like Iran or any socialist nation, censors what is uncomfortable to the beliefs of its majority interest group is not unusual.

Pat Roberson and the Muslim clerics both blame infidelity for earthquakes and other disasters. Both the Evangelistic Christian and Jihadist Muslim preach a sense of being under siege to motivate their followers.

The cure is Apathy. As a member of the Church of Apathetic Agnosticism (http://www.uctaa.net/) I can say that I've never harbored religious animosity against anyone.

There is also a church of apathetic deism if you're a little more sure about who or if god is.

The main point being, stop caring what others believe or say and everyone will be happier.

Posted by: Lizardo | May 13, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

According to islam/muslim's own recorded history,mohammad married 13 women including a
teenager(aisha) and had many more women as his sex slaves; he was a dog,was he not?
If what people believe is a joke,making a joke about it is no joke.
If what people believe is an insult,insulting
it is no insult.
If allah died when mohammad showed-up,both are dead when mohammad died.

Posted by: brahman | May 13, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

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