Vilks gets a bounty on his head

lars vilks
Lars Vilks, the Swedish artist who drew the Modog series of cartoons, has had a bounty of $100,000 put on his head by the leader of an Iraq al-Quaeda group. The head of editor of the Nerikes Allehanda, Ulf Johansson, was valued at $50,000.

The statement by Abu Omar al-Baghdadi was posted on an Islamic website. A 50% bonus was offered if Vilks was “slaughtered like a lamb” by having his throat cut.

The Times reports that the blessed Mr Vilks, who has been given police protection, is taking the whole thing in his stride:

I suppose you could say I was an easy target. But I am not paranoid. I think I possess a healthy rationality; I know that there are some risks involved but one should not exaggerate them either.

We must not give in. I’m starting to grow old. I could die at any time — it’s not a catastrophe.

The 57-nation Organisation of the Islamic Conference tried to claim that the Swedish ambassador to Saudi apologised profusely for the publication – but the Swedish government has strenuously denied any such thing. He had simply expressed regret that people were upset.

Yesterday a second Swedish newspaer, the national daily Dagens Nyheter republished the cartoon as an act of solidarity. Its editor Thorbjörn Larsson, said in an opinion piece:

We live in a country where freedom of expression is not dictated by fundamentalists, nor by governments. To me, publishing it was the obvious thing to do.

Other Swedish dailies have rallied to the cause.

To their credit, Muslim leaders in Sweden have condemned the threats. Helena Benouda, head of the Muslim Council of Sweden said:

We do not think like this. It is criminal to call to kill somebody. It is really unnecessary and it is ugly, especially in the month of Ramadan.

Nevertheless, many Swedish businesses have decided to lower their profile in Mulsim countries and are bracing themselves for repercussions.

3 Responses to “Vilks gets a bounty on his head”

  1. Andy A says:

    Another Swedish paper has published the cartoon. Good! Set an example to the supine, ball-less lot here in the UK.

  2. 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

  3. Ole says:

    “…criminal to call to kill somebody…especially in the month of Ramadan”. Interesting. Make sure to time those toons with the Ramadan then. I guess toons with a satiracal religious theme are less of an issue when the followers of the semi-fictional characters are short on food and sex? Never burn an embassy on an empty stomach?