More trouble for the Swedish cartoonist who sparked controversy by drawing the Prophet Mohammed.
Police say arsonists tried to burn down his home in Sweden last night. Lars Vilks wasn’t home, nobody was injured, and the damage turned out to be fairly minor, reports AFP via Deutsch Welle. Still, “Probably I can’t live there anymore,” says Vilks.
The development comes a few days after the 53-year-old cartoonist got head-butted during a lecture. Police found gas-filled bottles at the house after passers-by noticed smashed windows. A fire set inside the home apparently failed to catch. “The damage is rather minor; part of the front is blackened and some windows were broken,” said a police spokeswoman. 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.
“I’ll have to have a hide away for some time, which I think is reasonable… I can probably go in the house during daytime, but I’ll have to sleep somewhere else.
In 2007, Swedish regional daily Nerikes Allehanda published Vilks’ satirical cartoon to illustrate an editorial on the importance of freedom of expression.
The cartoon prompted protests by Muslims in the town of Oerebro, west of Stockholm, where the newspaper is based, while Egypt, Iran and Pakistan made formal complaints.
An al-Qaida front organization then offered 100,000 dollars to anyone who murdered Vilks — with an extra 50,000 if his throat was slit — and 50,000 dollars for the death of Nerikes Allehanda editor-in-chief Ulf Johansson.
Four men and three women, all Muslims originally from Morocco and Yemen, were arrested in southern Ireland in March over an alleged plot to assassinate him.