Posts tagged ‘fundamentalism’

September 8, 2010

Koran-burning pastor’s German parishioners shocked by plans

TOO LATE, GENERAL PETRAEUS: The Rev. Terry Jones’s plan to burn thousands of Korans at his “Dove World Outreach” Center in Gainsville, Florida on September 11 has already grabbed the world’s headlines this week, regardless of what actually does or doesn’t happen on Saturday. It has attracted particular attention in the German city of Cologne, where the pesky pastor first got his big break. But his former parishioners want nothing to do with…

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June 3, 2010

Threatened Swedish artist invited to complete his lecture

IT’S BEEN A DIFFICULT month for Swedish artist Lars Vilks. It’s bad enough that the man’s greatest claim to artistic fame is a crude sketch of the Prophet Mohammed with a human head and a dog’s body that he jotted down in 2007 – it’s not exactly the “Mona Lisa,” after all. He has been receiving death threats ever since. On May 11 Vilks was physically attacked by a mob of outraged Muslim students at the University of Uppsala while he delivered a lecture on freedom of expression and art, during which he showed a short film depicting gay young men with Muhammed masks engaging in sexual intercourse. In the following days his enemies hacked his computer website and set his house on fire…

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June 3, 2010

Sweden locks down on “Everyone Draw Mohammed Day”

GLOBALIZATION CAN BE A wonderful – and a terrifying – thing. On “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” yesterday, the Pakistani government blocked both Facebook and Youtube, and the Swedish government closed its Islamabad embassy – all because the American TV series “South Park” presented the Prophet Mohammed in a bear suit and a Swedish artist called Lars Vilks published a caricature of him as a dog, prompting a wave of death threats as well as physical attacks against Vilks’s person and his home. Government spokesmen in Stockholm did not provide a specific reason for the embassy closure, pointing instead to “the general security situation in Pakistan.” In Lahore, demonstrators trampled Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian flags, demanding that Pakistan break off diplomatic relations with the three Scandinavian nations. The diplomatic lockdown appears to be a reasonable precaution: two years ago a suicide bomber killed…

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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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April 27, 2010

“Shut up and govern!” The political education of Aygün Özkan

Aygül Özkan

TURKS ARE KNOWN THE world over for their spicy meat and vegetable dishes. But this week in Germany, a young politician of Turkish extraction called Aygül Özkan is learning to relish a new recipe: crow with sauerkraut and dumplings.

Özkan (38) rocketed to global prominence last week when Lower Saxony’s Christian Democratic minister president Christian Wulff nominated her to become Germany’s first female Muslim government minister (I already wrote about Özkan in this space yesterday). She was to take over the state’s department of social affairs, including the tricky integration desk, where it was hoped that this principled and enlightened lawyer and mother of one would represent a progressive role model to female Muslims in Germany. However, Özkan immediately brought conservative hellfire upon her head…

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