Lars Vilks is third from the left (thanks to Steen for the photo).
Yesterday I reported on a seminar in Stockholm at which Lars Vilks’ drawings were displayed, and the artist was present to discuss the Modoggies.
Now I have some additional information about the seminar, based on an article in yesterday’s Svenska Dagbladet. Our Danish correspondent Kepiblanc has translated it, accompanied by this observation:
The fact that Muslims can stand up at a public meeting and talk about Vilks as a “dead man walking” without police interference is quite telling.
And now for the translation itself:
Commotion while debating Vilks’ drawings
Halfway through a seminar on freedom of speech in Stockholm a group of Muslims hijacked the focus from Lars Vilks. In Swedish and Arabic Husam Madani criticized the Swedish artist and defended the prophet.
According to Arabic -speaking listeners Husam Madani said as follows: “Let his death be a lesson for the others.”
People in the audience took that as a threat. The police did not interfere while he was speaking.
Already half an hour prior to the seminar, arranged by Humanists of Stockholm and the Central Committee of Ex-Muslims in Sweden, a large media presence gathered outside the venue. Swedish as well as international press were ready.
Several police patrols cruised the area and the participants of the meeting were screened.
“Islam is becoming a political movement if you use religion for political purposes. We secular Muslims must react. To preserve freedom of speech is of utmost importance to mankind,” says Afsaneh Vahdat, Chairman of Ex-Muslims in Sweden.
Lars Vilks himself displayed the notorious drawing of the prophet Mohammed as a roundabout-dog:
“I couldn’t exhibit it and that’s why so few people have actually seen it. Some people say it isn’t art, so I have commanded myself to draw a better one.”
During the seminar some men prayed in the apartment above the seminar.
“We are Muslims and we love the prophet. We do not accept what this man is doing. It is forbidden,” says Husam Madani.
The others applauded. They were not affiliated with any particular organization, they claimed.
– – – – – – – – –
When the seminar opened for questions the men entered. The meeting’s moderator allowed Husam Madani to speak.
“We do not accept anyone to say one single unpleasant word about our prophet. We love out prophet more than out parents, more than our children, more than our lives.
“I want to say a word to Sweden: I call you to Islam. And I will say a word to Lars Vilks.” And then Husam Madani said something in Arabic. During that he was interrupted by the audience and some shouted that he was threatening. Yet Lars Vilks and the other panelists wanted to hear what he was saying.
When Husam Madani had finished he and the men left the venue.
Once again it was publicized that more than 100 Swedish companies were threatened by militant Islamists. Addresses and maps have been published on web-sites.
“Some people say that I am responsible. I will not accept that. The responsibility lies with those who threaten,” says Lars Vilks in a comment.
For previous posts on Lars Vilks and the Roundabout Dogs, see the Modoggie Archives.