Muslims have been trying to kill artist Lars Vilks for years.
We went looking and here’s what we found.
- Mohammad Hassan Khalid, a Pakistan immigrant to the United States, conspired with Jihad Jane to kill Vilks. He got 5 years for terrorism last year. (“Ex-honor student gets 5 years in terrorism case,” The New Zealand Herald, April 18, 2014).
- “Jihad Jane,” a.k.a. Philadelphia woman Colleen LaRose, 50, agreed in 2009 to kill artist Lars Vilks over his series of drawings depicting Muhammad as a dog. She was sentenced in 2014 to 10 years in prison.
- In 2011, Muslim woman Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, 32, pleaded guilty to providing material support in a plot to kill Lars Vilks. She faces 15 years in prison and instructed her friends to raise her son as a Muslim in Colorado. (Kirk Mitchell, “Leadville woman pleads guilty in terrorism case,” The Denver Post, March 9, 2011).
- Also in 2011, three men of Somali and Iraqi origin were charged in Sweden with a plot to kill Vilks on the 10th anniversary of September 11th (“Plot to kill cartoonist,” The Advertiser, December 8, 2011).
- In 2010 five Muslims were arrested in Denmark plotting a “Mumbai-style” attack on Vilks. (J. David Goodman, “5 Held in Terror Plot Against Danish Paper That Published Muhammad Cartoons,” New York Times, December 30, 2010).
- In 2010 a Muslim suicide bomber blew himself up and left a threatening message against Vilks. “Now the Islamic state has been created. We now exist here in Europe and in Sweden. We are a reality,” the terrorist said in a message to the media.
- In May 2010 Vilks was attacked after he gave a speech. His house was burned down several days thereafter.
Vilks has responded with aplomb and courage, especially after the Islamic State of Iraq put a $100,000 bounty on him.
Vilks continues to fight for his right to do art.
“I was interested in what the limits are of what you can do in art,” he told the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2010. “You can criticize all other religions without any troubles, but not Islam. I was upset with the art world. Everyone was saying we shouldn’t touch this subject.”
And here he is discussing his work in 2012.