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Plot to Kill Swedish Cartoonist Foiled

March 9, 2010

Seven people were arrested today in Ireland in connection with an alleged plan to murder Swedish cartoonist, Lars Vilks. The four men and three women taken into custody by Irish police are all Muslims. Because of Vilks’ controversial cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammed with a dog’s body, Islamic militants had placed a $100,000 bounty on his head. It appears this bounty is what led these seven Muslim immigrants to develop a plan to murder Vilks.

As many of you may know, images of the Prophet are considered blasphemous. In 2005, cartoons of Muhammed, by  were published in the Danish Jyllands-Posten, resulting in uproar and riots throughout the Muslim world. It may seem that the reactions of some Muslims to the cartoons published over the past few years is a significant attack on free speech by an intolerant and incompatable culture. Truth be told, there is probably some validity to that argument. Nonetheless, it would be ignorant to suggest that Islam is the only opponent to free speech in Europe. A law that came into effect in Ireland this year bans “publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion, with some defences permitted.” The fine for offensive speech is up to 25,000 euros!

There is some irony that today’s arrests occured in Ireland. What they really do is further prove the discourse between Muslims and Europeans in Europe is not so black and white.

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