Fatwa Headbutt: Swedish "Roundabout Dog" Mohammed cartoonist Lars Vilks attacked

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.

The Backstory


I covered Lars Vilks extensively back in 2007 with a special entry in the Mohammed Image Archive. For those mystified as to what the heck a “roundabout dog” even is, my Archive captions make it all clear:

In the nation of Sweden there is a contemporary urban folk custom of placing in the center of “roundabouts” (the circular traffic islands in the middle of major intersections) whimsical homemade sculptures representing pet dogs. The sculptures, which are fairly commonplace in Sweden, are called “roundabout dogs” (rondellhund in Swedish). In the summer of 2007, Swedish artist Lars Vilks made some paintings of Mohammed as a roundabout dog; after they were rejected by two art galleries wary of controversy, a sketch based on one of the paintings ended up being published in a small local Swedish newspaper, Nerikes Allehanda. Incredibly, this ignited an international furor, with protests, diplomatic quarrels, and threats of violence. The original sketch, seen above, was also posted on Vilks’ blog.

Over the following month, Vilks continued to draw additional sketches of Mohammed as a roundabout dog, as a regular dog, and as a human in various satirical settings, and posted them to his blog on July 21, July 22, July 23, July 25, July 26, July 27, July 29, July 30, August 11, August 13, and August 18.


More details about the original 2007 international furor can be found at these links:

The Lars Vilks Muhammad drawings controversy, at wikipedia.
Newspaper article in Swedish about the beginnings of the incident.
Turkish hackers attacked Swedish Web sites as retaliation for the roundabout dog Mohammed.

If you’re as outraged by this ever-escalating terror campaign against artists as you ought to be, remember to disseminate and repost any and all images of your choosing from the Mohammed Image Archive, which (as noted in my earlier post) contains just about every picture of Mohammed ever created.

For maximum blasphemy, start using mocons (Mohammed Icons) instead of smiley-faces:

Mohammed (((:~{>
Mohammed as a pirate (((P~{>
Mohammed on a bad turban day ))):~{>
Mohammed with sand in his eye (((;~{>
Mohammed wearing sunglasses (((B~{>
Mohammed with a lit bomb in his turban *-O)):~{>
The devil mo ]:~{>
Mohammed with a nuclear bomb in his turban. @=(((:~{>
Mohammed being shot by Starship Enterprise =-o * * * (((:~{>
Mohammed sees a Danish (or Swedish) cartoonist !((((8~{o>

Mocons are the most efficient way to digitally propagate the maximum amount of Mohammed imagery per byte.


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