Muslim assaults cartoonist on a university campus

But don’t call his violence Islamofascism.

This reported today by AP:

A Swedish artist who angered Muslims by depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a dog said Tuesday he was assaulted while giving a lecture at a university.

Lars Vilks told The Associated Press a man in the front row ran up to him and head-butted him during the lecture at Uppsala University. Vilks says his glasses were broken but he was not injured. It wasn’t immediately clear what happened to the attacker.

Vilks said a group of about 15 people had been shouting and trying to interrupt the lecture before the incident. Many of them stormed the front of the room after the attack and clashed with security guards as Vilks was pulled away into a separate room, he said.

Think about what this means. The university campus is the seat of the Enlightenment. It is at the heart of the Western liberal tradition. And 15 people tried to prevent a man from speaking freely there.

And here’s what I want to know: was Lars Vilks permitted to complete his lecture? In other words, was the room cleared by security of the censorious, or did they succeed in driving the speaker into permanent retreat from the podium, thereby forcing the event to end early?

How university officials instinctively handled the situation gives one a fair idea of how secure our collective free speech rights, in the Western world, really are. Did administrators buckle to the disruption, violence, and intimidation on display, and so cancel the remainder of the event? Or did they exercise a stern determination that the lecture would—indeed, must—go on?

Does anybody know?

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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12 Responses to Muslim assaults cartoonist on a university campus

  1. Heuristics says:

    For more information (translated from swedish to english):
    http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http://www.dn.se/nyheter/sverige/folk-skrek-och-rusade-fram-mot-vilks-1.1092330&sl=sv&tl=en

    A video of the event:
    http://www.unt.se/tv/#category=390&date=2010-5&clip=932782&startTime=0m0s

    From growing up in a part of the country with a very large muslim population (with a rather interesting blend of theistic and atheistic muslims I might add) this is definetly not my general view of muslims. I tend to think of swedish muslims as a very laid back kind of people, these are most likely a minority and I suspect that this is a trend that will pass given a few decades of further integration.

  2. santitafarella says:

    Heuristics:

    Thanks for the links.

    Do you know if the event was cancelled after the disruption?

    —Santi

  3. Heuristics says:

    After the assault Lars was taken out of the room (into safety) and after that the room was cleared out (the police got shouted at then). I don’t think the lecture continued after that.

  4. Neumer says:

    The lecture was canceled. 😦

  5. santitafarella says:

    Heuristics and Neumer:

    The translated news article that Heuristics linked to had this rather telling sentence:

    “When the lecture was interrupted many [were] shouting ‘Yes we did it, we managed to stop him!’.”

    This is why the administrators ought to have cleared out the disrupters and let the lecturer finish his presentation. To allow violent and anti-rational people dictate the parameters of discourse on a university campus is a mistake (to say the least).

    But then, his glasses were broken, weren’t they? Someone might have read his notes for him while he was present. Or he might have continued impromptu. One of the obscenities of the incident was what it means to break a man’s glasses, and so hobble his ability to read and see.

    —Santi

  6. concerned christian says:

    The West is doomed because of its lack of common sense. Islam teaches Muslims to be aggressive in fighting for their rights, while liberals in the West are continuing to ignore the all out war declared by the Muslims on them. Muslims are using and abusing every freedom afforded them by the West, meanwhile we continue to downplay their threat and ignore the real world around us. Unless things changed, Europe will repeat the tragedy of the Middle East where Christians became persecuted minorities after they were the sovereign majorities for many centuries.

    • santitafarella says:

      Concerned:

      Your Cassandra-like warning is an overgeneralization. Just as there are real differences between, say, Anglican liberal Christians and Southern Baptist fundamentalists, so, in Islam, there are differences between moderates and fundamentalists. Islam in not a monolith (any more than Christianity is). Fundamentalist Muslims who are violent know-nothings, attempting to pull the world away from secular freedoms and into a totalitarian form of medievalism, are properly called Islamofascists. But that is not your average, walking around, Western-born Muslim. Make distinctions, please.

      —Santi

      • concerned christian says:

        Muslims are instructed by Mohammad to divide the world into two camps; the house of peace where Islam dominates, and the house of war where “infidels” dominate. The rules of engagements are different depending on the number and strength of Muslims in any country. Wait till Muslims reach 25% of the population in any European country and see what will happen. Unfortunately we may soon witness this tragedy.

    • ogatoprecambriano says:

      “fighting for their rights”?
      MY ASS!!!
      Nobody, religious or not have the right to do what those suckers did. This is absurd at best.

  7. concerned christian says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divisions_of_the_world_in_Islam
    I should have been more accurate in my last posting the concepts of house of peace and house of war did not came from Mohammad but from his followers. However, it’s important to note that Mohammad desired that his followers should cleanse the Arabian Peninsula from all infidels, which was brutally fulfilled shortly after his death.

  8. Texmom says:

    Sadly, I read that he is no longer allowed to lecture. I guess that is his punishment for being attacked.

  9. concerned christian says:


    Here’s everything you need to know about Islam in a nutshell.

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