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Swedish Cartoonist: It’s good to know how much one is worth

Despite having a $100,000 bounty on his head (an additional $50k if he’s beheaded), Lars Vilks, the Swedish cartoonist who is now in hiding after publishing a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog, is in reported good spirits.

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.”

The threat on his life, which was posted on an Islamic web site also threatens greater violence if an apology is not made causing Swedish based business operating in the Middle East take extra precautions.

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.”

Ase Lindskog, a spokeswoman for Ericsson, said that staff had been told to keep a low profile in Muslim countries and to take extra care in deciding where to go or park their cars.

Reaction from around the Middle East has varied:

Helena Benouda, head of the Muslim Council of Sweden, denounced the threats. “We do not think like this. It is criminal to call to kill somebody. It is really unnecessary and it is ugly, especially in the month of Ramadan.”

Egypt, Iran and Pakistan have lodged formal protests with the Swedish Government and religious leaders in Afghanistan and Jordan have condemned the cartoon.

Community Comments

#1 Muslims Against Sharia
October/4/2007
@ 5:58 am

Muslims Against Sharia praise the courage of Lars Vilks, Ulf Johansson, Thorbjorn Larsson and the staff of Nerikes Allehanda and Dagens Nyheter and condemn threats issued by Abu Omar Al Baghdadi and the Islamic State of Iraq. Muslims Against Sharia will provide a payment of 100,000kr (about $15,000) for the information leading to capture or neutralization of Abu Omar Al Baghdadi.

Muslimer mot Sharia berömmer Lars Vilks, Ulf Johansson, Torbjörn Larsson och övriga anställda på Nerikes Allehanda och Dagens Nyheter för deras tapperhet och fördömer hotet från Abu Omar Al Baghdadi och Islamistiska Iraq. Muslimer mot Sharia betalar 100 000 SEK (ca 15 000$) för information som leder till gripande eller oskadligörande av Abu Omar Al Baghdadi.

Muslims Against Sharia

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