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Beliefnet News

Irish Police Arrest Seven in Plot to Kill Swedish Cartoonist

LONDON (RNS) Police in Ireland say they have arrested seven suspects in an alleged plot to murder a Swedish cartoonist for depicting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog.
Drawings by Lars Vilks triggered widespread anger by Muslims when they appeared in a regional newspaper three years ago. Three Swedish newspapers reprinted the cartoons Wednesday (March 10) after the new threats became public.
Ireland’s RTE news network on Wednesday (March 10) identified the seven — four men and three women — as immigrants from Morocco and Yemen who now hold citizenship in Ireland.
Police did not immediately name the seven but told journalists they were arrested and jailed in Ireland after an investigation uncovered a “conspiracy to murder an individual in another jurisdiction.”
U.S. officials say a Pennsylvania woman, Colleen R. LaRose, who dubbed herself “Jihad Jane,” has been charged with supporting terrorism for allegedly traveling to Sweden to try to kill Vilks.
When the Vilks cartoons appeared in 2007 in the Swedish newspaper Nerikes Allehanda, Muslims were outraged because Islam traditionally prohibits images of Muhammad, and they thought the idea of Muhammad with the body of a dog was blasphemous and derogatory.
At one point, a group linked to the al-Qaida terrorist organization was reported to have posted a $100,000 bounty on Vilks’ head — plus a 50 percent bonus if Vilks was “slaughtered like a lamb” with his throat cut.
The British Broadcasting Corp. quoted the artist, who has been under police protection since the threats were made against him, as saying he was “not shaking with fear, exactly.”
Vilks added that “I have prepared in different ways, and I have an axe here in case someone should manage to get through the window.”
— Al Webb
Copyright 2010 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

  • pagansister

    Good for the Irish police finding and arresting the suspects. Hopefully they will never be out in the world again. Life in jail or execution would work.

  • Heretic_for_Christ

    So the drawings were offensive… So what? Every word from proselytizers offends me… Not merely because they threaten/promise hellfire for anyone who doesn’t join their club, but also because it portrays God as a monstrous, vanity-driven tyrant. Their words are surely deeply offensive to those of other faiths and to those of no faith. But they have the right to say their words, offensive as those words may be.
    But I am not a fanatic. Fanatics think they have the right and perhaps even the obligation to slay those whose words — or in this case, drawings — offend them. Fanaticism is a cancer in the body of civilization.

  • nnmns

    “Fanaticism is a cancer in the body of civilization.”
    Well put. Some Muslims, hopefully not that many, need to grow up. The world does not revolve around their deity any more than it does any other one. And fear doesn’t work that well as a preventative; not reacting would work much better.
    If a god is worth its salt either it wouldn’t care about something like that or it could deal with it itself. No god that needs humans to defend it is worth spit.

  • cknuck

    This is just the beginning the coming economic problems will give fanatics opportunities they could only dream of, civilization’s nightmare.

  • nnmns

    You may be right, cknuck.

  • nnmns

    About those economic problems:
    Bush and his fellow Repubs left us in an awful mess. It’s hard to fix and expensive. And Bush and his fellow Repubs also put us deep in the hole financially with his tax cuts that mostly helped the wealthy and sank the treasury.
    And there was his unbudgeted, unnecessary war. So it’s damn hard to fix.
    And the Repubs are of no help now. They won’t compromise and they won’t help and they hold up unemployment aid in a snit and they lie and claim things would have been better under them when in fact they’d have done nothing useful but, probably, attack Iran. So under them we’d be in a depression while trying to fight a war against a power much bigger and more capable than Iraq.
    And those Republicans are going to have the gall to claim they deserve to be elected to help run this country they gutted.

  • Henrietta22

    Well said, nnmns.

  • cknuck

    It is proven to be more easy to point fingers than to fix a problem. It is also easy to exacerbate a already failing economic structure. Sure Bush did screw up and make things worse but I think Obama will only do the same, our economic system has been broken for some time now.

  • Henrietta22

    It is proven to be more easy to point fingers than to fix a problem. by Ck.
    Obama is trying and fixing problems; the biggest finger pointers in America are the Conservative Republicans. The Republicans won’t debate anything in a partisan way, they just want it their way or no way.

  • cknuck

    I can’t see it H, can you help me out. What has Obama did so far?

  • Katty M.

    Lar du ar en svi!
    Muslims make such a beautiful movie about Saint Mary and Jesus Christ and you try to ruin the image of their honorable peaceful prophet.

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