Muslims Attack a Cartoonist Giving a Lecture on Freedom of Speech

by Luke Muehlhauser on May 11, 2010 in Islam

vilks mohammed dog

Dog Mohammed

Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks drew a picture of the Muslim prophet Mohammed as a dog to make a point about freedom of speech. While giving a lecture on freedom of speech, he was attacked by a mob of Muslims chanting the name of Allah. Lars was not injured but apparently one policeman was. (Short video here; longer video here.)

PZ Myers writes:

Muslims everywhere should be embarrassed, and should be repudiating the behavior of those thugs.

But it’s more serious than just that:

An al-Qaeda front organisation then offered $US 100,000 to anyone who murdered Vilks – with an extra $US50,000 if his throat was slit – and $US50,000 ($A55,365) for the death of Nerikes Allehanda editor-in-chief Ulf Johansson.

Pakistan and Iran have lodged formal complaints with Sweden for allowing a newspaper to publish the cartoon of Mohammed.

Now let us consider the reaction of another popular, ancient monotheism to a similar ‘offense’: a cartoon of its god Jesus as a pedophile (see below), by the same Lars Vilks.

Yes, let us consider their reaction…

Come to think of it, was there a reaction?

Nobody seems to even be aware of the Pedophile Jesus cartoon. And why? Because it is, like the Dog Mohammed cartoon should be, totally not noteworthy.

Christians, as easily offended as they can be, have a sense of humor about their own sacred icons, and rarely respond to ‘offenses’ with violence and death threats. Muslims only continue to embarrass themselves and their more moderate brethren with childish wailing, misplaced anger, and a Medieval perspective on society.

vilks pedophile jesus

Young boy fellating Jesus

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Silver Bullet May 11, 2010 at 10:32 pm

What violent responses by Christians or Jews in defence of the second commandment is anybody aware of in, say, the last 50 years around the world?

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noen May 11, 2010 at 10:47 pm

“Christians, as easily offended as they can be, have a sense of humor about their own sacred icons”

Not true. Just ask Andres Serrano about his work “Piss Christ”. There are many similar examples.

“Muslims only continue to embarrass themselves and their more moderate brethren with childish wailing, misplaced anger, and a Medieval perspective on society.”

This is racist bigotry and also displays a deep ignorance of Islam. You are smearing all Islamic believers based on the actions of a few.

Jews are greedy and blacks all love watermelon too huh?

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lukeprog May 11, 2010 at 10:54 pm

noen,

I’m racist against which race, now? The “Muslim” race???

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Sly May 11, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Noen is a troll, best ignored.

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Rhys Wilkins May 12, 2010 at 12:15 am

Goddamit why do so many Islamic Apologists like noen have such a strong love of the Courtiers Reply? Its shameful!

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Derrida May 12, 2010 at 1:28 am

This is racist bigotry and also displays a deep ignorance of Islam.

LOL!

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Sabio Lantz May 12, 2010 at 2:38 am

I have an idea.
Over the next year, organize a “Freedom of Expression Day”. (or come up with a snazzier title).
On that day, have participating web sites and newspapers (and people putting up posters in cities), post a page full of cartoons which insult many religions all at once.

There will be too many of us to attack and those who do try and attack will be shown as clear in comparison to those who don’t attack. And warn everyone that it is coming !

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Deb May 12, 2010 at 4:44 am

Over the next year, organize a “Freedom of Expression Day”. (or come up with a snazzier title).
On that day, have participating web sites and newspapers (and people putting up posters in cities), post a page full of cartoons which insult many religions all at once.There will be too many of us to attack and those who do try and attack will be shown as clear in comparison to those who don’t attack.And warn everyone that it is coming!

something like this?

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Hermes May 12, 2010 at 5:44 am

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Per May 12, 2010 at 6:20 am

Hello Luke!

I just want to mention that if you want some other insight or comments about the situation at the lecture, I can mention that I was in the 260 people audience. I sat in the half of the audience where there weren’t so many agitated muslims.

I can translate what Swedish newspapers say if you want, or what they say in this longer video recently released by UNT (Upsala Nya Tidning – Uppsala New Newspaper, literally) at
http://www.unt.se/uppsala/unt-tv-attacken-mot-vilks-932797.aspx

One line reads “Se hela direktsändningen här”, which means watch the whole recorded live broadcast here. 95% of all you need/want to see is there.

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Bill Maher May 12, 2010 at 6:40 am

noen,I’m racist against which race, now? The “Muslim” race???  

pwned.

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lukeprog May 12, 2010 at 6:57 am

Per,

Thanks! I guess the full video direct link is here.

Per: How long did it take to either clear the room quiet the Muslims? What violence was there after the initial punch to Vilks – from Muslims or from the police?

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David May 12, 2010 at 7:01 am

Being an ignorant American, I don’t have much contact with Muslims, so take my opinion for what it’s worth.

If Ali of the DawahFilms channel on youtube is any sort of barometer for moderate Muslims’ opinions on free speech, then they really have no idea what free speech is. Free speech only matters when it is speech that you hate and are offended by. We will know things are getting better when Muslims like Ali are vocal in their support for actual true speech, and don’t try to limit speech to constructive criticism. Until that time, even “reasonable” Muslims like Ali will continue to see anything that they perceive to be offensive as hate speech that they should not tolerate.

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David May 12, 2010 at 7:10 am

Don’t feed the troll. Hopefully it will give up soon and move on a website where it’s willful ignorance, inability to understand other peoples’ positions despite being corrected time and time again, and all around toolishness will be better appreciated.

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Justfinethanks May 12, 2010 at 7:47 am

Not true. Just ask Andres Serrano about his work “Piss Christ”.

It should be noted that the uproar over Piss Christ wasn’t that it merely existed, but that it was government funded. Privately funded works of blasphemy against Christianity go unnoticed every year, so the two situations just aren’t comparable.

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Per May 12, 2010 at 7:47 am

Per,Thanks! I guess the full video direct link is here.Per: How long did it take to either clear the room quiet the Muslims? What violence was there after the initial punch to Vilks – from Muslims or from the police?  

Sorry, no, that’s the shorter clip. There’s an approx. 20 min clip at the link I posted (if it works, I’ll check).
Edit: This is the link to the longer clip you want:
http://www.unt.se/tv/?id=933445

Well, if you did watch the whole movie, I guess you mean after it ended. What happened after was the people slowly exited, it took maybe 10-15 minutes tops. Nothing more noteworthy happened.

The few policemen (and women) managed to be present just about everywhere despite their numbers. (I’d say about 7-8, max 10 in uniform, and probably just as many in civilian clothing (how can I know for sure? ;).

It was relatively calm, and protesters outside (who couldn’t get a seat, it was full) mixed with the upset muslims from inside. They had placards and what not, and were observed by police. It looked like a slightly more upset demonstration than usual.

So all in all, I could spot about 3-4 people cause most of the violence, maybe 10 or so being most fervent in cheering on, perhaps 30 in total who really distinguished from the rest of the audience.

As you see in the longer clip, some people (muslims, probably) do try to keep the others in that section calm, and pay respect to the police (maybe not to Lars Vilks?).

In conclusion, few people with loud voices and knuckles sabotages for the many, and for the freedom of speech.

By the way, I made a link that shows you where all this took place, at the Swedish info-site hitta.se.

http://bit.ly/celpw3

Tip: it has a 3D-mode (you can see it at the top).

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lukeprog May 12, 2010 at 8:48 am

Per,

Ah, thanks, I had not seen the full video.

I’d be curious to know what the policeman was saying right before the talk.

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Per May 12, 2010 at 9:10 am

Luke, he’s just informing everybody about the safety precautions taken. He says that if someone disturbes the order during the presentation, they may be shown off the premises, and if they refuse, they will take them out from there.

He later adds, that since it took so long to get everybody in (because of the search), all in all taking 90 minutes or so, anyone who leaves -freely, of course-, is not to be let back in.

Not that interesting perhaps.. :) Feel free to ask more!

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lukeprog May 12, 2010 at 9:30 am

Per,

Well, since you’re offering… :)

The man who attacked Vilks… what was he shouting when he rushed at Vilks? Was it Arabic or Swedish? Was most of the Muslim shouting in Arabic or Swedish? If Swedish, what were they mostly shouting over and over?

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noen May 12, 2010 at 9:50 am

lukeprog
“I’m racist against which race, now? The “Muslim” race???”

You are othering an entire class of people. That class is defined in the West and particularly in America in religious/racial overtones. You made sweeping statements about the superiority of Christianity over Islam. These kinds of bigoted statements invariably carry a racial subtext.

Justfinethanks
It should be noted that the uproar over Piss Christ wasn’t that it merely existed, but that it was government funded. Privately funded works of blasphemy against Christianity go unnoticed every year, so the two situations just aren’t comparable.

It takes a peculiar kind of naiveté to believe that the objections to Piss Christ were based on church/state issues and that the controversy would have gone away had the NEA not funded it.

It is also highly ironic that I now find myself arguing the atheist position. That both Christianity and Islam are intolerant of blasphemous artistic expression. Whereas you all, in stark contrast, are defending the superiority of our Western Christian cultural hegemony.

Funny how that works.

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Per May 12, 2010 at 9:52 am

Luke, of course ;)

As for the moments up until he was attacked:

The only things we heard, and the only things I can hear when reviewing the “tape”, is that right when the “work of art” (depicting homosexual men wearing Mohammed masks) is shown, some of the muslims in the first, second and third rows starts protesting more and more loudly
“This is porn!”
“You can’t show this!” and
“Turn it/the movie off!”.

Later, I recall some also exclaimed
“Du/ni skändar vår profet”
which means ”
You(at Vilks)/You(in general) are dishonoring our prophet!” (Swedish distinction, we still have the old-fashioned words thou and thee (du/ni) for one or several of “you”, and I’m not sure which was said..

As for the repeated “chants”.. Individuals shout the usual “Allahu akbar”, and the group is chanting “Mo-ham-med” over and over.

Anything else? :)

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Per May 12, 2010 at 10:03 am

The best thing in my opinion, or rather most ironic, is after Vilks has been escorted out and the police is making order of things, the people in the front row, especially one of them says “But believe me, if he had stopped the movie, this would never have happened!”. @19:45

That’s some class irony for you. :)

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Per May 12, 2010 at 10:09 am

@noen

As for your argument with Luke, do you know about the exhibition Ecce Homo? http://www.ohlson.se/utstallningar_ecce.htm

That was almost as close to this lecture here where the muslims were agitated as you can get- No, really, Jesus with a lot of homosexual men, penises, etc. It really was freakishly close in tone.

That exhibition was set up in the Cathedral of Uppsala, less than 1 km away. There was barely a protest, I think only a few articles in the newspaper, and maybe an angry “letter to the editor”.

It will be long until that happens in the city mosque.
I think that’s were Luke were getting at – that the Christian church has gone soft, that Christians can better deal with it or ignore it, if they get upset. In general, that is, of course.

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Justfinethanks May 12, 2010 at 10:22 am

It takes a peculiar kind of naiveté to believe that the objections to Piss Christ were based on church/state issues and that the controversy would have gone away had the NEA not funded it.

Actually all it takes is a passing familiarity with just how common blasphemous art was in the 20th century. As well as a passing familiarity with the specific reasons congressmen citied for opposing Piss Christ. It was also the identical reason they cited for opposing Mapplethrope’s photographs, which incidentally made zero religious references. It wasn’t just the naked dudes. It was the naked dudes + public funding. Just like Piss Christ was blasphemy + public funding.

It is also highly ironic that I now find myself arguing the atheist position.

I don’t take the “atheist position” on anything. I try to take the position that most likely appears to be true. And it’s fairly obvious, at least in our modern age, that primarily Christian communities and countries are more tolerant of free speech than primarily Muslim communities and countries.

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Justfinethanks May 12, 2010 at 10:32 am

Oh yes, and last month an art Museum in Dublin showed an art exhibit featuring nothing but blasphemous works of art against Christianity. Do you know how little of a ruckus it generated?

This is probably the first time you are hearing about it. That’s how little.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLn4t9y0FY0&feature=player_embedded

Let’s see someone try something similar against Islam in Iran and live.

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Per May 12, 2010 at 10:33 am

I have to say again, though, look at the end. There are several muslims (young and old) who do try to calm down the situation and their friends (I assume). They interact with the police very calmly, asking the others to respect them, and discussing calmly that all they wanted was him to shut off the film (which they are of course entitled to want, but not demand, imo)

On a side note, my prejudices were really put to the test, the ones who objected the most was actually only half of the ones I had “suspected”. The one mean looking guy with the light-colored cap was very sympathetic…

As for the less respectable ones, they shouted out “[Vilks] ran away like a pig!” “Our prophet is not homosexual!” “He’s the one who’s a fag, he showed porn” “I swear he’s a fag”. All around the 22″ mark.

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noen May 12, 2010 at 11:30 am

Per
“As for your argument with Luke, do you know about the exhibition Ecce Homo?”

So… your claim is that tolerance by the secular, and by some accounts here, atheist, Sweds towards sacrilegious art says…. exactly what about Christian attitudes?

“I think that’s were Luke were getting at – that the Christian church has gone soft, that Christians can better deal with it or ignore it”

You are generalizing from your own particular experience. You are claiming that the Christians in Sweden are just like Christians everywhere. Trust me, here in America if you put on this exhibit in say Alabama in a public gallery they would burn it to the ground.

You are confusing culture with religion. Europeans are far more multicultural than we are in the US. Here it tends to divide along liberal/conservative lines. With large metropolitan areas tending to multiculturalism and the more rural places being decidedly monocultural (totalitarian).

Justfinethanks
“Actually all it takes is a passing familiarity [...] with the specific reasons congressmen citied for opposing Piss Christ.”

That you believe them is what makes you naive. The motives that people give for what they say or do and their actual motives are two different things. There is a gap, the subject is split, and is often unconscious of the true reasons for their actions.

The Teabaggers are not really upset about Obama because he has passed legislation they don’t agree with. They are pissed off because he is a usurper and an uppity ni@@er in the White House.

We have Christianist terrorists here in the US. Do I really have to remind the people here about that? Are you really so blinkered in your Islamophobia as that?

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Per May 12, 2010 at 11:39 am

I’m saying that on the whole, i.e. generally and world wide, Christian do better at handling being offended on behalf of their religious icons and similarly. Where are we disagreeing?

I’m not confusing culture and religion, as they are intertwined. Don’t you agree?

I have read hundreds of cases of experiences by other people, religious and non-religious alike. I know what the stats hint at, where stats are applicable. They all say that the most vocal and violent groups “speaking” (being nice here) out against acts of free speech – be they agitating, are muslim ones.

As you’ve already read above. I’m certainly not grouping all muslims together in a lump. I hope you’re not that insensitive to information.
What I’m saying is, “per capita” – or how we should say. We find MORE cases of zealous and most importantly _violent_ activists against the kind of free speech that dominates democracies. No?

Only these two cases (in Uppsala) are from my experience – about exhibitions. To be very clear: here, I spoke only about the climate of offensive exhibitions in Uppsala. I didn’t necessarily extrapolate THAT experience onto the world scene. I have other examples for that, besides this one. Do you understand?

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lukeprog May 12, 2010 at 12:57 pm
Mark May 12, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Muslims only continue to embarrass themselves and their more moderate brethren with childish wailing, misplaced anger, and a Medieval perspective on society.

So this is the sentence that’s going to provoke offense. Is there any reason besides brevity to lay these indictments on “Muslims” rather than some more specific class of people?

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Atheist.pig May 12, 2010 at 3:30 pm

I was waiting at a bus stop yesterday and two muslim women walked past. I could barely even see their eyes, they were covered up completely. So sad.

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Adito May 12, 2010 at 8:45 pm

So this is the sentence that’s going to provoke offense. Is there any reason besides brevity to lay these indictments on “Muslims” rather than some more specific class of people?

I’m fairly sure Luke meant this in the sense that extremist muslims make all muslims look bad. It’s also fairly obvious that there is a violent subsection of muslims that is far larger then it’s christian equivalent. This problem can not be ignored and nothing has been done here beyond mentioning it.

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Silver Bullet May 12, 2010 at 9:35 pm

What violent responses by Christians or Jews in defence of the second commandment is anybody aware of in, say, the last 50 years around the world?  

I take it that since we’ve heard no response, including none by noen, that nobody here is aware of any then?

That would help to make Luke’s point then wouldn’t it…

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Haecceitas May 13, 2010 at 1:27 am

“You made sweeping statements about the superiority of Christianity over Islam. These kinds of bigoted statements invariably carry a racial subtext.”

Is it always bigoted to claim that one religion or ideology is superior to another in some way?

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Mark May 13, 2010 at 1:31 am

I’m fairly sure Luke meant this in the sense that extremist muslims make all muslims look bad.

Well, sure, but this is bordering on tautology.

It’s also fairly obvious that there is a violent subsection of muslims that is far larger then it’s christian equivalent.

Yes, this definitely seems true. By the same token, it’s also true that there is a violent subsection of Scandinavian Arabs that is far larger than its Scandinavian non-Arab equivalent. While it may therefore be technically true, then, that Scandinavian Arabs are abnormally “childish, angry and Medieval,” I don’t think we’d want to be in the business of casting judgments at this uselessly high (not to mention incendiary) level of demographic generality. Sure, you can say that you’re just speaking about a subsection of Arabs, but when you choose to frame it in racial terms from the outset it’s hard not to try connecting the dots.

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James Onen May 13, 2010 at 3:50 am

Luke, thanks for that message to noen. It was long overdue.

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Hermes May 13, 2010 at 6:13 am

Mark, if Muslims don’t effectively challenge the violence, social abuses, and moral failures of their own peers, how much sympathy should the rest of the world grant them as a whole?

For example, the Muslim student group that disagreed with the sidewalk Muhammad stick figures stated “We won’t threaten to kill you, but please give Muhammad the ultimate respect we feel he deserves.”. At no point, though, did the same group promote free speech or condemn another Muslim group that stated “We’ll kill you for not giving Muhammad the ultimate respect we feel he deserves.”

Without that condemnation, without that support of free speech, they deserve to be criticized as a whole not just in part.

When they step up and step up in sufficient numbers, I will know that Muslims in general are with me and not with those who advocate censorship, ignorance, violence, and murder.

To be clear, the same criticism goes towards Christians with the exception that a sufficient number speak against violence and murder.

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Hermes May 13, 2010 at 7:17 am

Error: I goofed. I mis-attributed the quotes above to those commenting on the issue of sidewalk chalk stick figure Muhammad. These quotes were actually from the South Park showing Muhammad hubbub. The link does, though, include details on the sidewalk chalk stick figure Muhammad and the reactions of Muslims.

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noen May 13, 2010 at 8:07 am

lukeprog
“A message for noen.”

A message for Luke:

“Boxxy, a psychotic ADD-riddled spastic who is the dream girl of most chantards.”

Outing yourself as a /b/ tard…. smoooooooth.


Adito
“I’m fairly sure Luke meant this in the sense that extremist muslims make all muslims look bad. It’s also fairly obvious that there is a violent subsection of muslims that is far larger then it’s christian equivalent. This problem can not be ignored and nothing has been done here beyond mentioning it.”

Are you in favor of a nuclear first strike as Sam Harris has suggested?

“extremist muslims make all muslims look bad”
Extremist atheists make all atheists look bad.

Silver Bullet

“What violent responses by Christians or Jews in defence of the second commandment is anybody aware of in, say, the last 50 years around the world?”

“I take it that since we’ve heard no response, including none by noen, that nobody here is aware of any then?”

I take it you approve of the blasphemy laws around the Christian West? Ireland and parts of the US South are particularly bad. There is little need for violence when you are the dominant culture and can write the laws.

Haecceitas

“You made sweeping statements about the superiority of Christianity over Islam. These kinds of bigoted statements invariably carry a racial subtext.”

Is it always bigoted to claim that one religion or ideology is superior to another in some way?

It certainly is surprising coming from so-called atheists. Yes, it is bigoted to claim that one’s dominant culture is inherently superior to that of the dirty brown mooooooslims!

Hermes
“Mark, if Muslims don’t effectively challenge the violence, social abuses, and moral failures of their own peers, how much sympathy should the rest of the world grant them as a whole?”

If blacks don’t effectively challenge the violence and moral failings of poor blacks why shouldn’t us whites punish all blacks as a whole?

Please refrain from lecturing me about morality. You don’t have one.

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Haecceitas May 13, 2010 at 8:51 am

noen,

What a bigoted ideology you have! You are claiming superiority for your ideology when you are condeming the views of those who see their own and/or their country’s dominant religious culture as superior to the Muslim countepart! You are saying that your view (which apparently holds that those religions/cultures are equal) is superior to the view that says they aren’t equal. The difference is just that your view is not only bigoted but also self-contradictory. :-)

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Hermes May 13, 2010 at 9:15 am

I love this. With each post, the hole he digs just gets deeper.

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al friedlander May 13, 2010 at 10:14 am

“OUTING yourself as a –/B/ TARD–…. smoooooooth.”

Much irony in this statement.

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Mark May 13, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Mark, if Muslims don’t effectively challenge the violence, social abuses, and moral failures of their own peers, how much sympathy should the rest of the world grant them as a whole?

What does this have to do with what I wrote?

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Hermes May 13, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Mark, I apologize. You are correct. I should get a bit more sleep to improve my reading comprehension. Please ignore my irrelevant post. I will attempt to take care not to repeat that type of mistake in the future.

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Mark May 13, 2010 at 2:10 pm

No prob!

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anti-venom January 6, 2011 at 7:43 pm

the cartoonist must be a pervert and a fag……

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