Artist meant to create controversy; got it

200709190019Swedish artist Lars Vilks, hiding in an undisclosed location after drawing threats for his cartoon of a dog with the head of Mohammad, says he did it to stir debate:

Showing the original picture at a debate in the Swedish capital, Lars Vilks said he had wanted to test the boundaries of freedom in art.

“It was a project for the art world,” Vilks said.

“I noticed that you can’t criticize the Muslim world.”


As Muslim governments protest the drawing, fictional terrorists put bounties on Vilks head, and new “cartoon riots” could be brewing, he admits, he didn’t expect so much fuss. “You can make jokes about religion, especially if you don’t have any unpleasant motives,” he said.

Comments

  1. “Fictional terrorists?” If only they were. Unfortunately they are all too real.

  2. The Beat says:

    Of course there are many real life terrorists, alas, but Omar al-Baghdadi, who issued the Vilks bounty, may be a made-up character. See USA Today of all places.

  3. Muslims Against Sharia praise the courage of Lars Vilks, Ulf Johansson, Thorbjorn Larsson and the staff of Nerikes Allehanda and Dagens Nyheter and condemn threats issued by Abu Omar Al Baghdadi and the Islamic State of Iraq. Muslims Against Sharia will provide a payment of 100,000kr (about $15,000) for the information leading to capture or neutralization of Abu Omar Al Baghdadi.

    Muslimer mot Sharia berömmer Lars Vilks, Ulf Johansson, Torbjörn Larsson och övriga anställda på Nerikes Allehanda och Dagens Nyheter för deras tapperhet och fördömer hotet från Abu Omar Al Baghdadi och Islamistiska Iraq. Muslimer mot Sharia betalar 100 000 SEK (ca 15 000$) för information som leder till gripande eller oskadligörande av Abu Omar Al Baghdadi.

    Muslims Against Sharia

    Defend Freedom of Speech – Support Sweden!

  4. michael says:

    Good for him!!
    I’m one who thinks the world would be a better place if there were not countries, Israel and The Bush administration(s) included, that were not so religiously centered in their politics.

    For Islamic governments to come to arms over these things is ridiculous.

  5. Sean Sert says:

    Interestingly enough, there is a verse in the Qur’an warning Muslims “don’t curse non-believers, which in turn may force them curse you or God.” This is a basic understanding that should underlie interactions between members of different religions/cultures.

    True, there is a lot of uneducated and angry people in the Islamic world who express their anger in a primitive way. Compared to the majority of the Islamic world, however, these people comprise a very small minority. Others in the Islamic world feel angry and humiliated in the face of unpleasant and grossly disturbing insult to their loved one; but, they remain silent against this uncalled move. There are other ways to convey the sanctity of freedom of speech, I am sure. Respecting people’s feelings about their religions or their spiritual is another virtue that civility includes.

    My suggestion to the non-Muslim Westerners is that they take the courage to get to know a Muslim in the neighborhood or the city and try to understand their feelings toward this kind of actions.

    I am sure it would be equally disturbing if someone equated all Christians with, for example, some abortionist individuals that occasionally made death threats against abortion clinics and pro-choice people.

  6. Richard Wilkinson says:

    We are now up to round two with the same cartoons; no wonder first round did very well in provocation of violence and death with a lot anti Islam reaction, too bad people don’t remember history, the instigator/editor went back to home to Israel after completing his mission.

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