Archive for May, 2010

May 15, 2010

Past the point of no return? Swedish artist attacked again

The home of Swedish artist Lars Vilks was attacked with Molotov cocktails overnight

SWEDISH ARTIST LARS VILKS has long argued that freedom of expression stops when it comes to art and religion. But even he must be surprised at the amount of hatred and violence that outraged Islamists are aiming at him for drawing a single sketch.

In September 2007, Vilks published a caricature in a Swedish newspaper. (I have already written about Vilks in detail here.) It depicted the Prophet Mohammed with a human head and a dog’s body standing in the middle of a traffic circle. He immediately received death threats and the Swedish government has kept him under police protection ever since. In March of this year, an American woman calling herself “Jihad Jane” and seven persons in Ireland were arrested for plotting his assassination.

Last Tuesday evening, Vilks…

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May 14, 2010

The case against Walter Mixa: Nothing but “hot air”?

Former Augsburg Bishop Walter Mixa

FORMER AUGSBURG BISHOP WALTER Mixa, who recently resigned from the Catholic Church after being confronted with child abuse, embezzlement, and pedophile accusations, can finally rest easy in his Swiss clinic: at least the sex charges appear to be overblown, if not outright false. According to the Nürnberger Nachrichten, Mixa’s lawyer has stated that the preliminary investigation against his client had yielded nothing but “hot air.” Sources close to the newspaper said the investigation was likely to be dropped in the coming days. A statement is expected tomorrow. (I have been covering the Mixa story regularly on my blog.)

The “case” against Mixa stems from a lone denunciation by two employees in the education department of the diocese of Eichstätt, where Mixa had served as bishop from 1996 to 2005, directly to the diocese in Augsburg, which sent it on to the Bavarian state prosecutor’s office in Munich, bypassing the normal channels. A young man called Marco Schneider, who was supposedly the target of Mixa’s alleged abuse, announced over the weekend that the charges were entirely untrue…

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May 12, 2010

Heads up! Muslim protesters attack Swedish cartoonist

Controversial Swedish artist Lars Vilks

WATCH OUT, AIR PASSENGERS! Islamic terrorists have hit upon a new and ingenious weapon: human heads. Their own, in fact. And this impacts not only everyone’s security, but our press freedom as well.

Last night at the University of Upsala, 63-year-old Swedish artist Lars Vilks turned up to present a film about a new art project of his regarding religion and press freedom. Witnesses described the atmosphere in the packed lecture hall as “extremely aggressive.” Expecting trouble, a dozen police officers stood at attention nearby, standard procedure for the controversial artist’s appearances ever since he published a caricature of the prophet Mohammed in the form of a dog in the Swedish newspaper Nerikes Allehanda in August of 2007. The officers painstakingly checked the briefcases and knapsacks of all 260 spectators. When Vilks finally entered the hall, about twenty men and women started shouting at him. “Swine!” one man called out. Another yelled: “You are a failed artist!” Vilks proceeded to take photos of the demonstrators with his cell phone, provoking them even further…

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May 8, 2010

Catholic Bishop Walter Mixa inherits the wind

GERMAN BISHOP WALTER MIXA probably hoped his worries were at an end when he finally submitted his resignation to the Pope on April 21 of this year. In fact, they’re only just beginning. The reactionary and egregiously controversial bishop of Augsburg, who quit under fire for alleged beatings and financial malfeasance at a juvenile center in the Bavarian town of Schrobenhausen, had already generated lurid headlines earlier this year when he blamed the Catholic Church’s spiraling pedophile scandal on “the so-called sexual revolution.” But it seems that this alleged revolution of personal morality also took a toll on Mixa himself, because as of today the public prosecutor in the Bavarian town of Ingolstadt is formally accusing Mixa of sexually exploiting an underage altar boy. And this time the paper trail leads all the way back to Pope Benedict XVI…

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