Lars Vilks, a Swedish artist, sketched some caricatures of Mohammed as a dog back in 2007, and for his efforts earned himself a fatwa — a death sentence issued by the good clerics of Al Qaeda in Iraq for the capital crime of depicting Islam’s prophet. Today that death sentence was nearly carried out as Vilks was assaulted (by a Muslim screaming “Allahu Ackbar!”) while giving a lecture in Uppsala, Sweden about his experiences with censorship. Luckily, Vilks survived; unluckily, he was headbutted directly in his face by the attacker; Vilks’ glasses were smashed, but police were on hand to prevent the follow-up beheading which the fatwa-givers had called for.
A Swedish TV station was on hand and managed to catch the attack on video:
What you actually see here is the immediate aftermath of the attack: the cameraman missed the headbutt by a second or two, and by the time the camera pans down from the screen, Vilks is already crumpling to the floor and the attacker is trying to dodge his way out of the police’s grasp.
But the video is remarkable in a different way: It shows dozens of Muslims repeatedly screaming “Allahu Ackbar” in what looks like religious ecstasy over violence committed in their name, and joy over witnessing an attempted murder as punishment for blasphemy.
This happened today in Sweden, mind you, not during the Middle Ages nor even in 2001 in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Right now, in what is supposed to be the most liberal and progressive nation in the world.
Coverage of the Incident
Reason magazine seems to have been the ones who broke the story in the English-speaking world; it was quickly picked up by HotAir, which reminds us that recently arrested would-be terrorist “Jihad Jane” was plotting to kill Vilks over his sketches. The Jawa Report captured a screenshot of a Muslim woman on Facebook saying of Vilks “I would have shot him” rather than merely headbutt him.
And the mainstream media? To its eternal shame, in the BBC’s coverage of this incident they refer to Mohammed (as they are required to refer to Mohammed as part of the BBC’s style guidelines) as “the Prophet Muhammad”, with the epithet “Prophet” preceding his name in each instance. Does the BBC similarly refer to Jesus Christ as “The Messiah” or “Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” or even “Jesus the Christ”? No. Due to abject fear and groveling cowardice, they use one religion’s own descriptor for their founder, but not any other religions’ descriptors for their founders.