Lars Vilks is a Swedish artist who was at the center of controversy in 2007 because he drew the Islamic prophet Muhammad with a dog’s body.
Yeah… I’m not impressed by it even as a work of art. But it still managed to piss off Muslims.
Vilks said a couple months ago that he “had secured his property with a homemade panic room and booby-trapped artwork.”
He got a weapon, too.
He said he also has an ax “to chop down” anyone trying to climb through the windows of his home in southern Sweden.
This man is hardcore.
But I guess it’s for a reason. Today, he was attacked at a public lecture.
Lars Vilks told The Associated Press a man in the front row ran up to him and head-butted him during the lecture at Uppsala University. Vilks says his glasses were broken but he was not injured. It wasn’t immediately clear what happened to the attack
There’s video of the attack:
All this over some drawings.
(Not even good ones, says me.)
What about stick figure Muhammads like the kind drawn by the Atheists, Humanists, & Agnostics group at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and the Secular Humanists for Inquiry and Free Thought (SHIFT) group at Northwestern University and the Atheists, Agnostics & Freethinkers group at the University of Illinois?
Now, one of the champions of the interfaith movement, Eboo Patel, has come down against the atheist students. He says they’re part of the problem:
It’s always interesting to see which items get labeled sacred cows and therefore invite attack.
Is a sick grandmother a sacred cow? If you staple pictures of that image on bulletin boards and write, “Isn’t cancer hilarious?” are you defending free speech, or are you just being a jerk?
Is the ‘N’ word a sacred cow? If you walk into the middle of Harlem and scream that slur at the top of your lungs, are you a First Amendment hero, or just a bigot?
Ed Clint of the University of Illinois group has a response for him:
… none of the things from his list are actually sacred cows of any kind. Is he asking (suggesting) that the N-word a sacred cow? Are “mothers”? How ’bout cancer? The answer, Mr. Patel, is no. All of these things have been fodder for many satirists and comedians. Denis Leary even named one of his specials “No Cure for Cancer,” which has quite a few cancer jokes. There are so many “yo mamma” jokes entire books are dedicated to them. The “N word” has been trotted out regularly for comedy by the likes of Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, and Joe Rogan. You know why those aren’t sacred cows? Because no one ever threatened to kill Leary or Chappelle. In fact no one even suggested it was somehow an affront to diversity that they used those jokes.
The key issue here isn’t free speech — it’s actions that intentionally and effectively marginalize a community.
It seems to me that there’s another dangerous sleight of hand going on here — a pretense that by chalking Muhammad you are bravely taking on the Dragon Threatening Civilization when in fact you are just hurting your Muslim classmates. It’s a little like sticking your chest out and claiming you beat up the school bully, when all you really did was pick on the little kid on the playground. The former may make you a hero. The latter makes you a jerk. Doing the latter while claiming the former, that just makes you a joke.
No one is picking on the moderate Muslim students on campus — though it would nice to hear them say they stand up for the atheists’ rights to draw these images. Which they’re not.
This is all part of a much larger grassroots campaign against the notion that Muhammad should be spared from any sort of criticism. That idea has been floated around the world with very dangerous consequences for anyone going against it. The people who are getting worked up over this are not about to change their minds through dialogue.
This isn’t about disrespect. You don’t see atheists drawing Hindu deities Shiva and Vishnu in a compromising way. Why not? Because Hindus aren’t going around threatening to kill anyone who does so.
But radical Muslims are threatening to kill anyone who draws (even in a positive way) Muhammad. That deserves a response.
These college students are not drawing purposely offensive Muhammads.
They’re drawing fucking stick figures.
They’re drawing fucking stick figures with smiley faces on them.
That’s the “disturbing” image this controversy is all about!
THAT! Are you kidding me?!
And even the King of Moderate Islam is going after them for it.
Let’s see him speaking out against Muslims who condemn such drawings. They’re the problem here, not the college students drawing stick figures.
(Thanks to Triobios for the link)