STOCKHOLM — The house of Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who sparked controversy by drawing the Prophet Mohammed with the body of a dog, was targeted in an arson attack overnight, police said Saturday.
“The damage is rather minor, part of the front is blackened and some windows were broken,” Scanie district police spokeswoman Sofie Oesterheim told AFP. “The fire went out by itself.”
Police found glass bottles containing petrol (gasoline) inside the house which was empty at the time of the attack, which came days after Vilks was beaten while giving a lecture at Uppsala university.
Vilks told AFP he did not want to over-react to the attack but would take some precautions.
Vilks, who depicted the Prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog for Swedish daily Nerikes Allehanda in 2007, has been targeted by Muslim extremists ever since.
An al-Qaida organization has offered $100,000 (80,900 euros) to anyone who would murder Vilks.
Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who showed Muhammad with a bomb-shaped turban in a Danish newspaper in 2005, has also been subject to attacks by outraged Muslims, who believe any depiction of the prophet is blasphemous.
In January, a Somali man was charged with terrorism and attempted murder for breaking into Westergaard’s home.
Westergaard’s and Vilks’ cartoons have sparked outrage across the Muslim world, with at least 50 people killed in riots in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. There were also formal complaints from Pakistan, Egypt and Iran.
Europeans — and indeed free people everywhere — should stand up against Islamic oppression — including that religion’s constant attacks on freedom of speech.
Europe is not Islamic, and should not sacrifice its culture and values to a people who – in the name of Islam – use any and every opportunity to stage violent protests, issue death threats, destroy property, murder, and commit other acts of terrorism