muhammad cartoonist attacked

Published May 11th, 2010 by Bobby Henderson

Here’s a video of Swedish artist Lars Vilks being attacked during a presentation on free speech today at Sweden’s Uppsala University.


Lars was the guy who drew the cartoon of Muhammad as a dog that made a bunch of Muslims go apeshit.

This latest attack bugs me a lot.  Here’s the disclaimer: I’ve received tons of hatemail and many threats and had more than a couple disturbing run-ins with religious nuts, and few if any of those nuts were Muslim.  By and large all the Muslims I know are awesome and not at all nutty.  I find Christian nuts the creepiest of all the religious nuts.  But I am way more scared of nutty Muslims than nutty Christians.

Lars has become a symbol for the right to criticize religion.  That’s a right we can’t lose.  I don’t believe this is about religion or values, I think it’s about dogma.  There is nothing inherently evil or wrong with what nutty Christians or Muslims believe – what’s wrong is that it’s no longer a set of beliefs, it’s a set of Truths that can’t be questioned, and that’s a dangerous thing.  Lars is completely right that it’s important to be able to criticize religion.

Lets see if we can come up with something to help Lars.

Also, the FSM does not mind if you draw him as something unclean.. like a stripper.

46 Responses to “muhammad cartoonist attacked”

  1. gordon_uk says:

    I agree with Mr Cooper as all the Muslims I know are everyday normal people as with the Christians, Hindus and Atheists I work and socialise with and would dispute Danimal’s claim in post 28 that they are the minority and ask where is his proof of his statement. With 1.6 million Muslims in the UK (April 01 Office for National Statistics) and less then 200 on any watch list for extremist behaviour I would say the Mr Cooper’s and my friends are in the majority.

  2. UUniversal Love says:

    I think it’s sort of obvious I’m with Mr Cooper on this one. And I’m gonna have to disagree with what Danimal said about Abrahamic religions, because every single fucking religious group teaches that. Except for the sensible people who don’t. Saying that the rational people are cherrypicking is ridiculous, because there are so many contradictions in the bible that the best path toward inconsistency is to take it all literally.

    Mr Cooper made it pretty clear that he has a problem with the reaction. It is possible to denounce extreme, reactionary incidents and still disagree with what provoked them in the first place. Personally, I believe in artistic expression and I can’t easily condemn Vilks’ work. It’s entirely another thing to say that his work is going to make the world a better place. If you want to fix extremist elements you don’t provoke them into exposing themselves, you get moderates to reason with them.

    Good call, Arash.

  3. Danimal says:

    OK, I’m going to eat crow on this one and admit I was fishing for a response when I said,

    “…individuals are realizing that this attitude of forcing others to think like you through violence is wrong. Your friends that you cite are examples of this progress. Unfortunately your friends represent a small population of these religious groups. The fact (not stereotype) is that the extremists are either the largest, or if not the largest, then the most vocal parts of their religion.”

    Do I think that extremists are the largest part of the religion? No. Do I think extremists are the most vocal? Yes. I will contend that members of a religion, extreme or moderate, think that their way is the right way but I base that only on personal experience so I freely admit my data is not a scientific sample. I did not mean to imply that most members of a religion are violent or genocidal. After reading my post again in the context of the responses it drew I can clearly see how it could be taking that way and I apologize.

    I talked about abrahamic religions only, because I don’t feel I have the knowledge base to say “every single fucking religious group” (#34). I’m just not that well learned. I did say something inflammatory and it encourged a number of people to correct me, which I’m happy about. Though I ask those of you who did speak up to please consider that with my state quoted above in this post I was trying to imply that extremists are not the largest part of a religion but they just appear to be the largest with their deluge of hate speech. Obviously I made an error between my intention and your interpretation. If after reading this post people still want me to STFU for a while I will humbly take that into consideration.

    I do stand by what I said about cherry picking. You can’t have the good parts of a religion without having to reconcile that with the atrocities committed in that religions name.

  4. UUniversal Love says:

    Okay, I apologize, Danimal. It was unfair, and I think uncharacteristic of me, to say all religions preach alienation. I did qualify it though, right? :)

    I would say this, though:
    Everyone has to reconcile with the problems in whatever group they choose to identify with. That doesn’t make them culpable. Hindus have committed ridiculous atrocities over the centuries, but Gandhi is revered by people of every faith. Also, he wasn’t ignorant of the problems of religion.
    Don’t shut up.

  5. gordon_uk says:

    To Danimal

    I think we have all had one of those ‘it sounded better in my head’ moments, I think we can let you off ;-).

    My concern was the tread was starting to become rather anti Islam rather then anti extremist and as tFtPtM put it in post 29 “The one thing we can’t tolerate is intolerance”

    I think Theists have to cherry pick otherwise if they tried to believe and follow all their religious teachings the logic feedback would surly make their heads explode, which is still my theory on why ‘Steve of god’ stopped posting.


  6. MR Cooper (all hail FSM) says:

    25 – d – May 19th, 2010
    @21: Yeah, I agree, it’s a stereotype. But a justifiable stereotype I believe. Yes, pretty much all the cultures went through the phase where they’ve been bloody and nutty and all. No arguments there. It’s where Islam is now. Sure there are exceptions but… Stoning people? Bombing stuff? “Kill the non believer” attitude? Death sentence for homosexuality in the freakin’ legal system of countries?
    I understand they are a different culture. It’s just that the way I view it, the less there is of it here, the better.

    umm christianity did the same for many years, at least Islam is quite merciful to other religions, in the crusades the christians over took jerusalem and banned all non christains, where as under Mulsim command all were welcome. and ummm christains stoned people, christains bombed people oh yeah they are the main people behind the kill the non believer idea. I don’t agree with either side but your still being harsh oh and did i mention that moses stoned a guy to death for gathering wood on the sabbath? how the hell is that fair, altough islam is still quite intollerable of homosexuality hopefully that will change, although it is hypocrytical as some of you may know (due to the fact of what they make young boys do in times of war) but your still being harsh and finaly i hope our religion doen’t become as hate full as the other religions
    long live the sauce

  7. I'm Brian and so's my wife. says:

    At the end of the day this isn’t about what people believe, but how they behave. You can disagree with me and I’ll argue with you. You can insult, disrespect or otherwise offend me and I’ll either give it back or ignore you, but I’m not going to punch you in the face.

    I don’t really care whether the dispute is over religion, politics or anything else. Muslim Christian, Left or Right, violence as a means of intellectual suppression is unacceptable.

    When someone says they will kill you for expressing an opinion, then we MUST express that opinion. Even if we think it’s wrong. The rights and wrongs of the opinion are not the point. It’s the right to express ANY opinion without fear that must always be defended.

  8. UUniversal Love says:

    Or… we could not express an opinion we disagree with and instead express our own opinion. And part of our opinion could be that we support the right of someone to hold the opinion we think is wrong.

    I know what you meant @39, I’m just trying to clarify what you said. :)

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