Sweden: Vilks attack updates

Sweden: Vilks attack updates

Update: Fixed various small errors.

Various updates following the attack yesterday.
This article was prepared by the Islam in Europe blog - islamineurope.blogspot.com
* Three suspects arrested for an attack on Lars Vilks were released Wednesday. Police continue to investigate.

* The clip Vilks showed was "Allah ho Gaybar" (viewer discretion advised), created by Iranian-Dutch artist Sooreh Hera. (SE)

* Vilks site was hacked today.

(click to enlarge)


* A description of the lecture (SE, h/t Ted Ekeroth):

An hour after the lecture's announced time, it started off with a packed hall of 260 people. Police and security guards were posted around the hall. Vilks' initial examination of how Christian symbols and figures are used in art caused no protest from the audience, but comments were heard when he showed a picture by photographer Andres Serranos "Piss Christ", a crucifix submerged in urine.

But when he made no exception for Islam, and after a short presentation started showing the film "Allah ho Gaybar" by a Dutch art student of Iranian origin, shouts were heard from the audience, and a demand that the movie be stopped.

One man pushed his way behind the podium and attacked Lars Vilks, a police office broke the attack, others were barred from Vilks, but the commotion in the lecture hall only increased and more and more people pressed forward towards the podium. There were stopped by the police who formed a wall with drawn batons and also made use of pepper spray.

Meanwhile, women and men were screaming even louder, demanding that the film be stopped and demanding respect for Muhammed and Islam. "Show respect, you f*cking pig", screamed one veiled woman in falsetto, another who initially called to stop the film, just smiled when the commotion broke out.

A young woman who was very upset answered the question why she went to the lecture: "Uppsala is my town, I don't want Vilks to come here and show such things there. He should show respect."

She was answered by a young man, also a Muslim, who did not like the development in the lecture at all: "I think that Vilks is a coward who kick Muslims who already have it hard in Sweden, I also think that he should respect our religion and that Mohammed means a lot to us. But this is the wrong way, it's wrong to resort to violence."

Several older people used the emergency exit at the back of the hall. More than 20 minutes after the lecture started, police began evacuating the hall. Outside about 30 demonstrating Muslims with posters had demanded that that the lecture be stopped even before it began, and were now supported by many of those who left the hall.

Further away, several art students gathered, upset that the lecture was interrupted: "I get so angry. Freedom of speech means that you can acquaint yourself with other's opinions, or pictures, even if it's painful. If you don't want to see, you go away, or ignore it. But in such a case you see how segregated it is under the surface. It's the first time I've come in contact with fundamentalism."

She and her friends ran away when they saw the demonstrators coming in their direction.


* And another eyewitness report (SE):

Tor Johnsson, a photographer for Upsala Nya Tidning, was changing the lens on his camera next to the podium when chaos broke out. On the floor lay Vilks' broken glasses and a pistol, probably dropped by a police agent.

Johnsson says he heard religious curses like ”Allahu Akbar”. Some people seemed happy, but most were very critical of the perpetrators.

"I saw veiled women crying. Somebody shouted 'the prophet Muhammed would never do something like this. You should be ashamed,'" says Tor Johnsson.


* Via Tundra Tabloids, a clip taken outside the lecture hall. Once the attackers were brought out they were greeted with shouts of "Allah Akbar".

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