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Brothers deny Lars Vilks arson attack

Published: 07 Jul 2010 07:30 GMT+02:00
Updated: 07 Jul 2010 07:30 GMT+02:00

The trial of two brothers accused of fire-bombing the home of Swedish Muhammad cartoonist Lars Vilks opened on Tuesday with one of them describing the artist as "Islams's greatest enemy".

Artist Lars Vilks "is God's enemy, he is the Prophet's enemy, he is the Muslims' enemy," the eldest of the two brothers told the court in the southern city of Helsingborg, the TT news agency reported.

"He is Islam's greatest enemy right now," he added.

The news agency did not give the brothers' names, but the Expressen tabloid identified them as Mentor and Mensur Alija, aged 21 and 19.

Vilks has faced numerous death threats and a suspected assassination plot since his drawing of the Muslim prophet with the body of a dog was first published by Swedish regional daily Nerikes Allehanda in 2007 to illustrate an editorial on the importance of freedom of expression.

The brothers, who are Swedish nationals of Kosovar origin, were arrested in May when several of their personal items were found outside the artist's house after it was attacked with Molotov cocktails.

Although the fire blackened some of the house's exterior it went out on its own without causing much damage. The artist was not at home at the time.

Both brothers have denied their involvement, even though Mensur Alija reportedly suffered serious burns on the night of May 15, when the attack occurred.

He has claimed he was involved in a barbecue accident.

The drawing by Vilks prompted protests by Muslims in the town of Örebro, west of Stockholm, where the newspaper is based, while Egypt, Iran and Pakistan made formal complaints.

An Al-Qaeda front organisation then offered $100,000 to anyone who murdered Vilks - with a $50,000 bonus if his throat was slit - and $50,000 for the death of Nerikes Allehanda editor-in-chief Ulf Johansson.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:47 July 7, 2010 by Nachos
After they are convicted, I wonder if their plea of innocence will mean a longer sentence? In Sweden that's almost meaningless since the sentences are so ridiculously low, but in other parts of the world it might mean a difference of 10 years or a lot more.

I didn't see exactly what they are charged with but it should include a hate crime. Attempted murder should be another. Not sure what kind of a sentence they are going to get but if it was me, it would be a stripping of the nationality, 10 year sentence followed by swift deportation to Kosovo. After reading what they had to say in court, it's obvious that they are a major threat to society.
08:55 July 7, 2010 by boby
What a waste of time and money. Let them go.

When sweden becomes a Muslim state, they will have streets named after them.
09:09 July 7, 2010 by truthworthy
because he has burns doesn't make him guilty. anyway good on them to stand for what they believe. Vilks is not Islam's greatest enemy, he is just little pig looking for some fame but he forgot that the waters he is trying to navigate are dangerous ones and Muslims will not joke about their beloved prophet.

the government of Sweden should not waste time and money on this pig. there are other priorities that deserve the resources.
09:19 July 7, 2010 by here for the summer
Is this a cultural specific trait to tell such an unbelievable story while justifying an action they deny ? Their statement remind me of the official Iraqi spokesman who proclaimed victory and as the tanks rolled into Bagdad.
09:24 July 7, 2010 by blursd
All I have to say is this ...

If I went on international TV and showed a picture of Moses sodomizing a pig, and the Pope with a naked child on his lap would I have millions of Jews and Catholics calling for my death (and actually follow through with it)?

Just saying ...
10:25 July 7, 2010 by ali_bin_umar
A christian will never be harmfull to a muslim in any form till the time not poisoned by the JEW. Behind all the suffering of today's muslim world, jews are involved directly or indirectly.
11:02 July 7, 2010 by calebian22
Umar,

I assume by indirectly you actually mean that the Jews are involved because they exist. Considering the violence that just occurred in Kyrgyzstan was sunni on sunni this must be your meaning.
11:07 July 7, 2010 by Nachos
It's pretty telling that our Muslim friends have responded by condoning the attempt on Vilks' life. If there is anyone out there who still supports Sweden's current asylum/refugee/immigration policy after reading this and other related threads, then please have your head examined.
11:42 July 7, 2010 by RobinHood
Those who support this very dangerous crime, on this forum and elsewhere, should be interviewed by the police and doctors. Their residence permits checked carefully and their psychiatric condition evaluated. If there are grounds to deport them, or incarcerate them for their own psychiatric health, or for the safety of the public, then that should be done. Sweden will then be a better and safer place.
11:43 July 7, 2010 by clear
Many argue that depicting Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] is their basic human right, given to masses by the law of many countries. But, this freedom of speech comes with limitations; e.g freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution but there are exceptions to these general protection, including the Miller test for obscenity, child pornography laws, speech that incites imminent danger, and regulation of commercial speech such as advertising.

Within these limited areas, other limitations on free speech balance rights to free speech and other rights, such as protection from imminent or potential violence against particular persons (restrictions on fighting words), or the use of untruths to harm others (slander). Distinctions are often made between speech and other acts which may have symbolic significance.

Now for those who are depicting Prophet Mohammad [PBUH], they clearly know that this will create hatred, mass violence and worst possible impact on Muslims' feelings. All the responses coming from Muslims depict clearly that they DISAPPROVE these useless exercises and world should give respect to their feelings as whole world gives against crual act of Holocaust.
13:36 July 7, 2010 by calebian22
Clear,

Yelling fire in a crowded room is not protected by free speech because the desire for self preservation will cause panic and chaos. Drawing a picture of a dead man does not incite imminent danger by itself. The only danger is that 6th century people get their panties in a twist and try to kill people over the picture.
13:57 July 7, 2010 by clear
@calebian22;

Here you are thinking like all others. what I am trying to convey simply is if one action is not liked by 1/4 part of the world and causing to heart them, rest of the world should also respect their feelings also even though they are "6th century" people yet they are human beings. Despite they also tried to register their disapproval through peaceful means but no one cared about them and started pushing them against wall and now when they retaliate they are "bad" guys.

And if you are not ready to give respect to a dead man, then I am very sorry to say but then why to bother if some one accpets Holocaust or denies it, after all those poor people are dead now, so why not leave them too?
14:03 July 7, 2010 by isenhand
"the world needs to wake up from its long nightmare of religious belief," Steven Weinberg, Nobel laureate in physics
14:12 July 7, 2010 by eZee.se
The comments, although predictable are pretty hilarious in these threads.

The brothers... should be examined and I'm pretty sure they could get away on an insanity plea from the sounds of it ;)

@clear,

That does not really make a lot of sense, if someone draws a stick figure (no features) then an arrow to it and writes "Muhammed" that person should/could be killed? (I saw this online by the way)
14:37 July 7, 2010 by pjtaipale
"truthworthy":

>Vilks is not Islam's greatest enemy, he is just little pig looking for some

>fame but he forgot that the waters he is trying to navigate are dangerous

>ones and Muslims will not joke about their beloved prophet.

>

>the government of Sweden should not waste time and money on this

> pig. there are other priorities that deserve the resources.

I think you are pretty much missing the point. The Swedish authorities are not wasting money for Vilks, who you call pig. They are using money and effort to protect the rule of law and citizens' rights to be free of violence, and freedom of expression. They're not as successful as they really ought to be, but at least they try a bit.

As to joking about the prophet, I believe it will eventually be necessary for the Muslims to acquire a sense of humor.
15:10 July 7, 2010 by calebian22
Clear,

Denying a historical incident like the Holocaust and violent outrage over a harmless drawing is not comparable. Maybe one has to utilize 6th century thinking in order to understand. Apparently I am out of luck, since I use rationality in my daily life.

As for respecting Mohammed. He is nothing to me or 3/4 of the rest of the world. Demanding respect through violence is never successful.
15:35 July 7, 2010 by Swedesmith
I'm deeply insulted by Viks portrait of Mohammad as a dog. I like dogs.
16:06 July 7, 2010 by clear
calebian22,

the reason I compared Holocaust is becuase that crual act was committed to Jews just because those days they were considered "bad" guys like muslims are considered now. There were many arguments in those days enough to prove them "bad" but histroy proved all that was an insane phobia and I am sure time will prove also same for muslims. Just take the mapp of the world and see in how many countries muslims are being killed and mostly just because they are muslims. Isn't it an other Holocaust being commited to muslims?

And when you say 6th century mentality, look buddy, there are always ups and downs on nations. Muslims are the same who gave solid basis of science and technology to the present day world. When they were at their peak, people were being punished in Europe just far taking bath and were burned just for drinking coffee because in those days "developed" people like you who use rationality in life thougt its a satanic drink because its drink of muslims and now I am much sure the first thing you do in the morning is drinking "satanic" drink.
16:09 July 7, 2010 by Rick Methven
They are clearly innocent and victims of mistaken identity

"Both brothers have denied their involvement, even though Mensur Alija reportedly suffered serious burns on the night of May 15, when the attack occurred.

He has claimed he was involved in a barbecue accident."

The poor boy was most probably outside Vilks house on his way to hospital after the wild pig, with a mask of Vilks, he was roasting leaped off the BBQ and burnt him. The only thing he did wrong was that he forgot to kill the pig before putting it on the fire
17:46 July 7, 2010 by calebian22
Clear,

You bring up the Holocaust because you want the muslims to be the victim in the current situation. Nice try, but no cigar. Violence over a picture is ridiculous.

As for the technological advancements of the muslim world 1500 years ago is up for debate, but really has no bearing on the current issue. Murder or calls for murder in the 21st century over a cartoon is beyond absurd. I call it 6th century mentality because it is precisely what your warlord Mohammed would have done and did. Maraud and kill when something stands in your way.
17:50 July 7, 2010 by MTH
No body should be killed for ctitisizing a prophet either Mohammed or Jesus or whatever, THIS IS WHAT GIVES A BAD REPUTATION TO MUSLIMS!!!
18:42 July 7, 2010 by ali_bin_umar
Holocaust is just fabricated story invented by jews to justify their cruel and brutal actions.
19:28 July 7, 2010 by Rahelli
ali_bin_umer you are wrong jewish nothing to do with this Jewish are smart and strong because the GOD of Israel blessed them beside jews are chosen people its written in the bible just live jewis alone long live sweden and long live israel
19:57 July 7, 2010 by Abbot
It's a case of penis envy with ali-bin-umar. Tiny, little Israel is so much more powerful than all the Muslim countries in the world combined that all he can do is whinge about it and make ridiculous (and illegal - regarding the Holocaust) statements here on this forum
21:30 July 7, 2010 by here for the summer
@ali_bin_umar your posts should be deleted based upon their racist antisemtic nature
22:20 July 7, 2010 by Nachos
Not sure if anyone else has noticed but it's good to see that the Muslims are once again, showing their racist and bigoted ways. I am officially stripping them of their right to call anyone a "racist" or "bigot" any further as it's apparent to anyone with a brain exactly who the REAL racists and bigots are.

What they should have done was just shut their mouths and let the ignorant, self-hating European left-wing lunatics defend them on this forum and in public. This way, the Muslim bigotry would stay hidden and the left-wing lunatics could continue to push their agenda for them. But no, the Muslims simply cannot control themselves (as usual). Thanks for exposing yourselves for everyone to see!
00:16 July 8, 2010 by ali_bin_umar
@all offended by my comment#22...Why someone feels an itch if I use the right of FREEDOM of expression...nothing is antisemtic...its my personal opinion just like Lars Vilks had expressed his opinion ... Islam(Quran), simply teaches restrain and patience in such cases as done by Lars Vilks. Anyone who is chanting for his death are absolutely wrong.
02:55 July 8, 2010 by wolverine2k
#27

So you finally admit that moha-mad was wrong when he killed his tribe and opponents according to the hadiths.

Good. Now spit on that bastard and welcome to the modern world.
04:47 July 8, 2010 by travels
Sweden has brought to itself a huge problem it, unfortunately, will never be able to get rid of. Maybe it's time to stop bringing in immigrants that are so utterly different (and have such a backward mentality) than the historical citizens of Sweden, wake up!!
17:06 July 8, 2010 by Andersson
@travels.. the real problem started in 1948 when an illegal state was created by killing thousands of innocent people... and we see the after affects of the same now.
18:12 July 8, 2010 by Querist
.

"Both brothers have denied their involvement..."

Question: Isn't lying considered a sin in Islam?

.
18:37 July 8, 2010 by travels
@Andersson; Hitler would be proud of you. Is there anything you won't blame on Jews and Israel?. Muslims extreme fanatism is their own, their lives being guided to even the smallest detail by Allah and Mohammed has nothing to do with anybody else but their own religion and mentality. Let them take some responsibility for their own lives as opposed to blaming their failings on others, such cowardice and blatant discrimination, shame on you! So Israel is also at fault for idiots like these brothers not being able to cope with freedom of speech, how ridiculous!
22:04 July 8, 2010 by here for the summer
@anderson and Clear ( or clearly not anderson maybe mohamad ) this has nothing to do with Jews. This is about free speech and tolerance of free speech. Clear is right that at one time Europe was backward and perhaps at the same time Muslim countries were less backward. But this is now and killing people for expressing ideas your religion doesn't like is backward and can not be accepted.
15:37 July 9, 2010 by bcterry
Islam, is simply the sickest entity in the history of mankind.

Festering inhumanity.

Let's have a look, at the one they claim is the "the most beautiful pattern of conduct". and "example for mankind to follow," with "exalted standard of character".

Simply a joke.

"What Would muhammad Do".
15:41 July 9, 2010 by reader in USA
I am bewildered by countries that pride themselves on freedom and let people migrate that have a complete indifference to that freedom.

Every Muslin in Sweden believes, as these brother, that anyone that disagrees with their philosiphy of life should be injured in some way.

Don't blame the brother, blame political leaders that don't protect ttheir countries freedoms and citizens.
16:08 July 9, 2010 by bcterry
18:12 July 8, 2010 by Querist

"Both brothers have denied their involvement..."

Question: Isn't lying considered a sin in Islam?"

Hell no, it's mandated.

Look up taqiyya, and kitman.
20:30 July 9, 2010 by John Joel
Well done trustworthy for getting first prize for the most stupid comment..... I Quote :-

"anyway good on them to stand for what they believe".......

end Quote

I suppose you feel the same way about the bombings of March 11 2004 in Madrid Spain where 10 bombs packed with nails and dynamite exploded on four trains heading into central Madrid. The blasts killed 191 people and injured nearly 1,800 & of the bombings in London on July 7 2005 where a further 52 innocents also lost their lives to so called people that were supposedly standing for what they believed.

Do you also feel the same way looking back in US history when the KU KLUX KLAN were carrying out lynchings or as they often stated standing for what they believed

you wouldn´t happen to be a moslem yourself would you ????
00:04 December 1, 2010 by Chickybee
20 years to get a passport and this should be based on:

Good social integration

Giving back to the community

Crime-free record

Speaking Swedish

I think that anyone can be Swedish now? What does this say about Sweden?
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