Swedish artist attacked at university lecture

The controversial Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who’s been threatened and attacked several times since he drew “Muhammad as a Roundabout dog” a couple of years ago, was attacked during a lecture at Uppsala University Tuesday, May 11. Vilks had been invited to Uppsala University to talk about “Art and the freedom of speech.” About ten minutes in to his lecture he showed the video “Allah hu Gaybar” by Iranian artist Sooreh Hera.

In the video, naked men appear in Muhammad-masks. This was too much for a young man in the audience who rushed forth and reportedly gave Vilks a “headbutt” before he was overpowered by body guards and police. Some teens in the audience began fighting, while others were shouting “allahu akbar.” One policeman is said to have been injured. Three men between 16 and 18 years old were arrested.

There are also reports of Muslims expressing anger against the attackers, trying to stop them from interrupting Vilks. Muslim bloggers and spokespersons have expressed their disappointment with the young men behind the attack.

Two days later someone hacked Vilks homepage and left a message where he promised to kill the artist. Earlier this year a group in the UK – amongst them an American woman called Jihad Jane – was revealed by police planning to kill Vilks.

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