Meet Lars Vilks, the Swedish cartoonist who has been targeted by al Qaeda. They put out a contract on him for producing a cartoon that portrayed the prophet Mohammed with the body of a dog. There is a $50,000 bonus if he is "slaughtered like a lamb" [has his throat cut].
Vilks, pictured above [the eyes..., the eyes!], views the treats with equanimity.
Mr Vilks, who lives in an isolated area of Sweden, has been given police protection. He said: “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.”
But he added: “We must not give in. I’m starting to grow old. I could die at any time — it’s not a catastrophe.”
Since he is not cowering in terror, the al Qaeda scum found someone who will. They extended the threat to Swedish businesses.
The internet threat stated: “We know how to force you to apologise. If you do not, expect us to strike the businesses of firms like Ericsson, Scania, Volvo, Ikea and Electrolux.”That got the government's attention and they have responded in a satisfactorily craven manner:
The Swedish Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Jan Thesleff, met Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, head of the Organisation for the Islamic Conference (OIC), last week in Jeddah and offered his “deepest apologies for the controversy created by the publishing of the hurtful depiction”, according to a statement from the 57-nation group.But the press, at least some elements of it, has responded more courageously.
A leading Swedish daily newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, yesterday republished the cartoon in an act of solidarity with the local paper that first printed it.
Read about it here.