Friday, July 9, 2010

Lars Vilks: Islam’s Enemy

In response to Swedish artist Lars Vilks’ attempt to give a lecture on “Freedom of Expression in Art”, the artist was subjected to an arson attack on his house. Last week the trial began against the two young men who are suspected of the crime; there very strong evidence of guilt found in this case. During a hearing the 21-year-old known as Alija stated that Vilks is “the enemy of God, the enemy of the prophet and the enemy of the Muslims”.
Vilks is known for his sketch from 2007 which portrayed the prophet Mohammad as part-dog, part-human. After the publication of Vilks’ sketch in Swedish newspapers the artist was subjected to a series of threats. Uppsala University invited him to give a lecture in May this year on “Freedom of Expression in Art”. The lecture was ended abruptly after Vilks was violently attacked and head-butted by one of the members of the audience. After Vilks was removed from the lecture hall the crowed remained agitated and verbally abused the police present.

Following this violent attack at the University, Lars Vilks’ home was subsequently subjected to arson. When the artist testified last week one of the two young men in the court, also known Mentor Alija, could not contain his hatred against Vilks. According to journalists present, Alija was furious when Vilks gave his story on the issue concerning the sketch.

When the 21-year-old testified in court and was questioned about his feelings against Vilks he stated:

-" He is God’s enemy, he is the Prophet’s enemy, he is the Muslim’s enemy."
It seems rather clear that Mentor Alija shows clear signs of Islamic radicalism indicating that he is able to commit violent crimes. Yet he claims that he is not guilty of the crimes he is suspected of. This even though it has been proven that:

1. Gasoline was purchased on his credit card after midnight the eve of the attack.

2. His jacket was found at the scene of the crime.

3. The police found that the hair on his fingers, as well as on parts of his head, was burned off.

When freedom of expression is threatened in Sweden one would imagine that the Swedish intellectuals, writers, journalists and professors would speak out and condemn the attacks on Vilks. Up until now this has not happened; not even Uppsala University has made a statement regretting the attack on Vilks which took place in their university. One cannot help but hope that Vilks considers getting heavier protection in the future since people like Mentor Alija appears to be gaining a stronghold in Sweden.

As long as Sweden’s academics don’t speak out, the radical Muslims in Sweden will continue to perpetrate attacks on Swedish individuals who dare to stand up for their democratic rights—including freedom of expression.

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