Lars Vilks Will Get to Finish His Talk May 27, 2010

Lars Vilks Will Get to Finish His Talk

The last time cartoonist Lars Vilks spoke at Uppsala University, this happened:

The riot happened because radical Muslims were offended by this drawings of Muhammad with a dog’s body:

Well, Uppsala University is inviting Vilks back in the fall to complete the lecture he was giving.

The university said Tuesday that people shouldn’t be silenced by “violence and threats.” It said police and university officials will review the security situation before the new lecture.

Good for them! They are supporting the right to free speech and not caving in to the demands of the violent Muslims.

Every newspaper in the world should be reproducing Vilks’ drawings or other drawings of Muhammad. It’s time they take a stand for the free speech which they claim to support so strongly.

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  • Nakor

    Now, just think. If Viacom had also stood up for free speech and not self-censored, then Draw Muhammed Day wouldn’t even have been necessary; the threats would already have failed.

  • BobtheRobot

    While I support all the efforts being made into defending and standing up for free speech, I am curious as to what his lecture is about. Can anyone tell me or tell me where I can find out?

  • Ironically it was a discussion on free speech, and the threat Islamic extremism is posing to it all across Europe.

  • Autumnal Harvest

    Now, just think. If Viacom had also stood up for free speech and not self-censored, then Draw Muhammed Day wouldn’t even have been necessary.

    Now, just think. If Corpus Christ has also stood up for free speech, and not self-censored, then Dress Up Like Gay Jesus Day wouldn’t even have been necessary. Oh, wait, that bit of self-censorship under the threat of Christian violence, just a month before the South Park incident, went completely unnoticed by all of America. Never mind.

    Every newspaper in the world should be reproducing Vilks’ drawings or other drawings of Muhammad. It’s time they take a stand for the free speech which they claim to support so strongly.

    To act like some talk getting disrupted in Sweden is such an unprecedented violation of free speech that newspapers around the world should demonstrate the all-important message that they can draw Mohammed as a dog demonstrates a complete lack of perspective of the sort that I normally only associate with Fox News.

  • Trace

    I wonder how they are planning on dealing with the chanting/screaming that will ensue. Hope they can proceed this time.

  • Sandra S

    Of course they’re letting him. If you invite someone to give a lecture the least you can do is let them finish. It’s rather shameful that they even felt like they had a decision to make.

    The riot happened because radical Muslims were offended by this drawings of Muhammad with a dog’s body

    As I understand it, it was actually a picture of Mohammad as a homosexual which he showed in that lecture that set them off in this instance.

  • Kristinn

    Now, just think. If Corpus Christ has also stood up for free speech, and not self-censored, then Dress Up Like Gay Jesus Day wouldn’t even have been necessary. Oh, wait, that bit of self-censorship under the threat of Christian violence, just a month before the South Park incident, went completely unnoticed by all of America. Never mind.

    They did go ahead with the show when artists protested, and no violence has been reported. No car bomb left close by or anything…

  • @Autumnal Harvest,
    You state that Hemant

    “demonstrates a complete lack of perspective of the sort that I normally only associate with Fox News.”

    Taken within context of your comment in its entirety, one can only conclude that there is a threshold you have established for violation of free speech which had not been exceeded or met by the Islamic community as a whole or by the thugs at Uppsala University. It would, indeed be helpful if you were to share your threshold criteria with the rest of us. Specifically, I’d like to know how exactly much free speech is enough and at what point does infringement of free speech become intolerable. Once you answer those questions, we all can share in your understanding of the situation at hand and your comment will have a value above and beyond the mean-spirited and juvenile rant that it is.

    “To act like some talk getting disrupted in Sweden…”

    There is a bit more to the story than that, and you should know that. There is a back story to this University lecture and there is a post-script as well. To pretend that this even happened as a singular event with nothing else occurring before or after shows that you either a) do not have a grasp of current events, or b) are willing to use the tactics of obfuscation and lies that Fox News uses so often in order to communicate your agenda. Yet, you compare Hemant to Fox News.
    In regards to your indignation over the lack of attention paid by Hemant to this event:

    http://www.examiner.com/x-25060-Fort-Worth-Christianity–Culture-Examiner~y2010m4d8-Controversial-Corpus-Christi-play-with-a-gay-Jesus-is-moving-to-Fort-Worth-from-Stephenville-TX

    I can only tell you this…many of us didn’t know about it. I certainly was not aware of it. If I was unaware of this, does that make me a hypocrite for not protesting it? When did you first know about this? Did you bring it up in comments prior to this? Indeed, this was an event worthy of a lot of coverage and would have served to show that U.S. atheists aren’t slanted against any one particular group, but stand for freedom of speech across the board. If you didn’t bring it up on this blog, can you direct me to where you did?
    It’s interesting that you should accuse Hemant of lacking perspective in this situation, yet you mention nothing of the “perspective” shown by the Muslim community in regards to their reaction (worldwide) to a few scribbled Danish cartoons. Would you say that they had things in the proper perspective?

  • Hitch

    Vilks lecture is another great example how misdirected and flayling the hate is in this arena.

    It addressed offensive art and religion and the first half was on Christianity. No protest even though Jesus is to be revered by Muslims as well and cannot be depicted.

    He then showed a video on the topic of homosexuality in Islam. Not far into the movie he got assaulted. Yes the video is meant to provoke, but it’s a topic that even here will provoke emotions. The video he showed and that he got headbutted for was actually not his. It was by an Iranian artist Sooreh Hera. And of course the point is that you have to be able to show to discuss. Hera’s piece articulates the hypocrisy with respect to married Muslim men in Iran having homosexual relationships.

    But of course because one cannot show, one cannot even tell (pun somewhat intended).

    It is in fact a direct example why one cannot separate the freedom of speech from the freedom of expression. And that this is not just out there to offend, it articulates culturally relevant questions that get completely drowned out by superficial rage. Perhaps that even intentional, because talking about the real question is more unpleasant than taking about some nonbelievers being culturally insensitive.

    But is this unique to Muslims? Not at all. Most religions have their cases. MF Husain is voluntary exile from India to save his neck over what some consider blasphemous depictions of Hindu gods.

    And Autumn is so kind to remind us of Christians not being shy to try to censor either.

    Yes it’s true. Bigotry and violence is not the monopoly of one group.

    But populist politicians and clergy do not whip up Christians to organize rallies with banners that say “free speech is war on Christ” or “kill all French”. Christians or secular countries don’t have head of states offer head bounties on artists whose art they find offensive. But we shouldn’t forget that many European countries indeed still have blasphemy laws on the book, don’t have separation of church and state and so forth. There is a little bit of structural oppression in effect in these places and there are artists who cross the legal line, willingly or unwittingly.

    Polish singer Dora is persecuted right now in Poland for blasphemy for having said about the bible that “it is hard to believe in something written by people who drank too much wine and smoked herbal cigarettes.”

    Reading the revelation of John I sincerely hope that he was high, so I’d agree. Yet this opinion cannot be expressed in Poland without running into conflict with the law.

  • Autumnal Harvest: Kind of hard to fight to defend violations of free speech that you don’t even know exist.

  • plutosdad

    This puts the officials at Yale to shame. I hope they notice this.

    To act like some talk getting disrupted in Sweden is such an unprecedented violation of free speech
    Not unprecedented, sadly. But every time speech is censored by a government, or subjected to the Heckler’s Veto, we are all affected. There is no violation too small to notice and not fight against.

  • It is my sincere hope that the audience for the continuation of the lecture is twice as large. The controversy and attention that the attack has generated should only serve to have more people watching and listening to the messages that the attacker wished to silence. If violence and threats of violence against such as this are shown to be counter-productive, perhaps practicality will prevail upon these extremists where thus far reason has not.

  • @Sakura:

    Also, House is an atheist?

    Considering how he calls anyone with religious belief an idiot, stupid, etc. Oh yeah, and there was a nun who accused him of being angry at God while not believing in God a couple of years ago.