• Sweden edition
 
Vilks cites KKK to defend talk to anti-Muslim group

Vilks cites KKK to defend talk to anti-Muslim group

Published: 31 Aug 2012 12:36 GMT+02:00
Updated: 31 Aug 2012 12:36 GMT+02:00

Swedish artist Lars Vilks has defened his decision to speak at an anti-Islamic conference in New York on September 11th, claiming he would also accept an invitation from the Ku Klux Klan.

Vilks, the Swedish artist who enraged Muslim groups with his depictions of the Prophet Muhammad as a dog, agreed earlier this month to speak at a conference organized by the anti-Muslim group Stop Islamization of Nations (SION).

Last week, however, an art gallery in northern Sweden booted him from a planned group exhibition because of his decision to accept the SION invitation.

Several of the other participating artists pulled out in solidarity with Vilks, stirring up a debate in Sweden this week about artistic freedom and Islamophobia.

The art exhibition, which was due to open on September 30th, has since been cancelled.

In a lengthy interview published in the Aftonbladet newspaper on Thursday, Vilks defended his decision to speak at the SION event.

"If the Ku Klux Klan had invited me, I would have gone," he told the paper.

In the lengthy Aftonbladet interview, Vilks said that SION is a "demagogic" organization that "cannot be disregarded".

"They have a growing political influence. Their campaigns generate violent attention," Vilks said.

SION, an international network of counter-jihadist groups, was formed in January 2012. The group's inaugural summit, which Vilks is due to speak at, will take place in New York on the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

SION's president, the controversial author and blogger Pamela Geller, has warned of the "Muslim agenda to grind away at our liberties until America is under Sharia law".

She once suggested that Malcolm X was President Obama's father and called him a "jihad president".

Vilks was invited to the SION summit to speak about the global storm caused by his 2007 drawings showing the head of the Prophet Muhammad on a dog's body.

Speaking to Aftonbladet, he explained that he is participating in the conference as an artist and that his visit is part of an ongoing art project.

"I'm obviously going to say that I'm there as an artist. That it's a part of my art project. 'You are a work of art'," he said.

Vilks has received a series of death threats and is currently under round-the-clock surveillance by the Swedish Security Service.

However, he explained that he does not see Muslims as a threat.

"Islam doesn't stand a chance against modernization," he said.

"I regard it as a temporary hysteria."

Speaking about immigration in Sweden, Vilks said he thinks that it's too large in relation to the resources".

"I don't have any opinion on how many people are let in, but they must be taken care of. People think I hate Muslims and immigrants, but I don't have a problem with people from other countries," he said.

Vilks also lamented official Sweden's approach to multiculturalism as "unbearable".

"You're supposed to celebrate Midsummer, but then you can't because you need to have other groups represented so that we don't appear to be racists," he said.

"But multiculturalism isn't something that can be stopped. It comes with internationalization automatically," he told Aftonbladet.

The Local/nr

Follow The Local on Twitter

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

14:47 August 31, 2012 by whoye
this guy actually makes a lot of sense. the analogy would be; when police officer comes up to you on the street asking personal questions like "who you are?; what do you do? why? and so forth" and even though you are a law abiding citizen and you can "cooperate" fully with the "Authority" yet still you feel harassed and feel the urge to argue with him, not to do what he tells you to do. It might be little childish and maybe unnecessary but it's the way to go
15:33 August 31, 2012 by Frobobbles
The title is wrong. Wilks did not cite KKK. Cite means to mention in support or confirmation.
15:46 August 31, 2012 by musiktjej
Wilks is the perfect example of a person who lives in the middle of nowhere, in a very insular society and is basically afraid of his own skin.

I can not BELIEVE the Swedish society is paying for his protection??? WHY? He should take sole responsibility for his actions....own up and take the consequences of his actions!!!
16:25 August 31, 2012 by jostein
A bit silly of theLocal to qoute Vilks in such a haphazard manner. Vilks tends to be extremely deliberate in his statements and actions. Especially when saying something he knows is controversial, such as using KKK for some point. I mean, theLocal simply ends up looking stupid and sloppy.

(i havent personally checked out what cleverism Vilks comitted this time but its always there, if you bother to look.)
16:27 August 31, 2012 by bcterry
"He should take sole responsibility for his actions....own up and take the consequences of his actions!!! "

The consequence of being murdered for exercising his right to free speech?

How charming.

That may the violent norm in the barbaric fascist states ruled by the "religion of peace" , but it has no place in the civilized world.
16:37 August 31, 2012 by respect4ALL
why would few immigrants haters talk about thiz guy. what about those salaries? tens of them. hiring lots of security officers and paying them millions per year for a person who propagate hatred and tensions every time he opens his mouth.

he's not a worthy guest at a university or big institution, but worth invited by devils like him.
16:48 August 31, 2012 by rami_20
"Several of the other participating artists pulled out in solidarity with Vilks, stirring up a debate in Sweden this week about artistic freedom and Islamophobia."

The one has nothing to do with the other. While artistic freedom and freedom of speech should be guaranteed, that doesnt mean we, or in this case the gallery, has to like what is said or produced. Ironic that the other participants wont allow the gallery to express themselves :-)
17:23 August 31, 2012 by skatty
"If the Ku Klux Klan had invited me, I would have gone",

I wonder if Vilks means that he supports KKK opinions, or to accept KKK invitation support freedom of speech?

I think he is mixing up freedom of speech with hate speech; everybody knows what KKK stands for!
17:55 August 31, 2012 by truthworthy
This guy is a racist bigot and coward who cannot show his true intention by hiding under the name of art. He is obviously Islamophobe and hates Muslims and immigrants. SD is actually better than him because they state what they stand for.

Freedom of speech is one thing. Freedom to abuse other people is another. He is a waste of our taxpayer money. Sweden should dump this a*hole and do not waste police resources.
18:19 August 31, 2012 by bcterry
"Freedom of speech is one thing. Freedom to abuse other people is another."

What other people did he abuse, and how did he abuse them?
18:49 August 31, 2012 by Svensksmith
@musiktjej

"He should take sole responsibility for his actions....own up and take the consequences of his actions!!! "

He drew a picture. What should the consequences be for that?
20:15 August 31, 2012 by foxpur
I have noticed a trend here that the problem isn't really about freedom of speech as you all seem to think...

It's a matter of definition of Religious Rights.. which, by definition, is in conclift with freedom of speech There are 2 points and have their own issues:

1) Freedom of speech says you can say whatever you want about anything as long as you make sure it is your personal opinion.

2) The follower of Islamic Believe have in their Qur'an that there will be no images of the Prophet Muhammad in any form.

Those 2 issues are at obvious conflict. And interestingly there is nothing really in most other cultures to come close to that. So the only ones who WILL take office is the Muslims. They actually have to because it is spelled out in their religious text that this is what they are supposed to do.

So...Freedom of speech that is aimed at a religious group on a way VERY obviously going to cause problems borders on "inciting a riot" because you KNOW that is what will happen BEFORE you do it.... well... I can't say I am surprised Muslims hate him. What did her THINK was gonna happen?

I am not a Follower of Islam, and I don't approve of then going on a muder speet for what his did... BUT, I do think there should be consideration of a hate crame because there is really no other way this could have turned out.
21:33 August 31, 2012 by bcterry
"1) Freedom of speech says you can say whatever you want about anything as long as you make sure it is your personal opinion.

2) The follower of Islamic Believe have in their Qur'an that there will be no images of the Prophet Muhammad in any form."

So what?

Vilk's picture was his personal opinion, was it not?

What gives them the right to dictate to anyone, what or who is beyond criticism?

8:55 (Asad) Verily, the vilest creatures in the sight of God are those who are bent on denying the truth and therefore do not believe.

Asad (8,58)

Many of us who find that one example every bit as offensive and insulting as they find the pictures.

What gives them the right to insult others, while others do not have the right to criticize whatever part of their mythological nonsense or self proclaimed so called "prophet" they see fit?

No one, or anything, is beyond criticism, and religions are certainly not exempt.

There are are over 500 examples of intolerance and bigotry in the koran, that are very insulting and offensive to those they are directed against.

Link,

"Intolerance in the quran"

How do you expect they would react if the tables were turned?

Let's have a look at an example.

Link,

"Hate Speech? (Not According to CAIR)"

They have a right to hate Vilks, as much as he has a right to criticize an obvious fascist ideology and they leader.

But neither have the right to respond with violence.
22:19 August 31, 2012 by Morenikeji
To those of you who are celebrating this bigot masqurading behind artistic freedom, remember that less than seventy years ago there were people like him making sense of fascism and justifying Hitler. Sweden's action during that period is still a source of embarrasment to thinking Swedes up till today. There is a clear line between art and deliberate racial-religious provocation. Mr Vilks is not Salman Rushdie, despite his efforts to be categorized as such. He is nothing but a tormented soul seeking fame at all cost. And now that he has admitted that he would not hesitate to travel with KKK, I think there shouldn't be any doubt left in the mind of anyone as to the type of person he is.
10:39 September 1, 2012 by frenchviking
I am really amazed that anyone could defend people that threaten to kill someone because he made a drawing, whatever the drawing was...

I read a comment saying that since the coran forbids images of the prophet it is a normal reaction. But i would be surprised if the coran said that it is ok to kill or threaten to kill someone for any reason...

I am not a muslim, nor do i follow any religion actually although my familly was catholic like most french famillies. But i have grown up with muslim friends, and i never heard them threaten anyone when french newspapers published funny drawings of the prophet or of jesus christ or other religious personalities... That is anyone's right to draw and publish what they want. No one forces anyone to buy it.

Now there are a certain amount of primitive monkeys who hide behind religion to propagate hate and violance, the people who threaten this guy with his life are part of that group, and i am happy to finance his security through my tax money. I would also like to see these idiots made clear by our government that threatening people of death is against the law and will be punished.

I also saw comments about the kkk, another example of backward monkeys who hide behind religion... Or wasp (white anglo saxon protestants)... And there are many more... Like the taliban and al kaida... Different religion, same crap...

Unfortunately that gives a bad image about regular muslims or christians. I wish we could see more official statements from religious leader to make clear that those monkeys arenot representative of what religion stands for and that they are not recognized as muslim or as christians... That would make things clear...
10:47 September 1, 2012 by Grokh
if hitler or stalin invited someone to speak on behalf of human rights would it mean that person supported them... ofc not.

i think vilks said that meaning he will speak to anyone who will listen since his message is legitimate.

F.-ck anti blasphemy laws and anyone who threatens free speech with death shouldnt be walking the streets.
11:01 September 1, 2012 by frenchviking
I forgot to add one thing, freedom of speech is our most valued freedom. We must protect it. If this stops, all other freedoms will also be removed. That is where it starts. And where it has always started. Cut communication and education and you can manipulate people. That is why i think we have to protect people who are restrained from expressing themselves, even if we do not agree with what they have to say.

Remember hitler and the burning of some books... And women who are not allowed to educate themselves or go out...

One year ago, a french paper was attacked by a couple of terrorists, i would call them idiotic monkeys. The paper had published funny drawings of mohamet, as they normally do for jesus, god, and any famous person or religious personality. So these idiots thought they had the right to burn their office down and threw molotov cocktails in the office. No one was hurt but the building was destroyed.

Actually that paper is run by people who have always defended minorities, including muslims. But they are also a paper that loves to criticize anything and anyone and do so through a lot of drawings. Theycan apear offensive to some people, but if you have a sense of humour it can also be very funny. I do not agree with their political views, but sometimes i enjoy laughin at some pictures and jokes in their paper...

What was done was criminal .

I actually subscribed to their paper for one year to express my support, despite the fact that i disagree with many of their political views. Just to protect our freedom of speech.

For me paying to protect this guy here s the same thing. This is one of the few good things that are done with our tax money!
14:40 September 1, 2012 by acidcritic
Any people who tortures and insults women is dangerous and unreliable. Muslims customarily do that. Therefore, they must not be neither trusted nor allowed to mass settle in Europe. As was the case of the catholics in the midle ages, muslims intend to impose its religious beliefs by force. They are a real danger to civilization
17:02 September 1, 2012 by Swedish Cat
@ French Viking.

Thank you, I agree with you except for the fact that it is not fair to the monkeys being compared to these people. Animals are honest and descent creatures. :o)

Freedom of speech is one of the most valuable things we have in Sweden and would say that most refugees are running away from their countries / dictatorships for just that reason and are accepted here. No we do not want to bring that in here as well.

Last time I checked Muslims are not allowed to read foreign uncensored news papers. How is it then OK that they read this article published in Denmark??

I do not believe that Viiks was a racist when published those pictures however I understand that he might not be so humble any more being treated to his life..
20:16 September 1, 2012 by Baroness.Fredericks
Islam owns scores of Nations around the globe, including Sweden. You do not "dare" to be Swedish anymore. Just try it! You will be arrested or worse. Hate crime laws were created, not to protect you, but to protect Islam. Because they know, that once you find out who they really are, you won't like them. That's why hate crime legislation was put into all Western Nations. It's a first step to your own end. Scream and cry all you want. Nothing will save you, because all the real patriots are dead and gone. You'll be asked to change your flags next, because it already "offends" Islam. They are crucifying Christians again, look it up! Even though they have their own sections of the world where they create havoc, shed plenty of their own blood often, use tyranny, brutality and fear to control their people, they are not satisfied. They seek what you have as well and nobody is going to defend their own people in the Western Nations. They are too progressively politically correct and have turned into sheeple, not people. Ready for their own slaughter. Debate all you want. Call names, draw pictures, scream and shout. Nothing will save you. Women are cattle in islam. Just slaves, sex toys, and even marrying female children is not enough for them. They worship death. I know Islam very well for five decades. You "should" fear islam, especially if you don't really know what it is, underneath all the smiles and so called peace! They use stealthy tactics that you have not a clue about. You are putting your heads, and that of your family's on a chopping block. Go ahead. Keep defending Islam forsaking your own Nations, history, cultures and customs. They love it! You are a joke to them and when looking at it through their eyes, I see it too. You won't have time to feel sorry. It's already too late. They own you, lock, stock and barrel, as one would say.
01:30 September 2, 2012 by Uncle
truthworthy

"This guy is a racist bigot.... He is obviously Islamophobe and hates Muslims and immigrants"

My dear somalian buddy, shoving everyone, who speaks against your racist, chauvinist, intolerant towards sexual/religious/ethnic minorities "religion" into "racism" is such an old school, that even most excited communists are not buying it any more.

Moreover, shoving opposition to this pile of garbage that turned your country into a living hell and your people into those who can escape, while climbing on dead bodies of their own people and those who cannot, "hatred against immigrants" is infantile and quite in line with your high quality education. (hope you understood the long sentence. If not, I could break it down to smaller pieces).

"Freedom of speech is one thing. Freedom to abuse other people is another. He is a waste of our taxpayer money"

In this case, the entire muslim population who does nothing in Sweden, but abuses women, children, Jews and homosexuals shall be relieved of the burden of tax money support (7 years of it on average).

Also I loved the "OUR taxpayer money" given that 60-65% of islamic working age citizens of Malmö are unemployed and are actually feeding on these taxes like locust (SVT, 2011). I tend to believe that these statistics are not so different for the entire area of Sweden.

He is protected, because your buddy "peace lovers" tried to break into his house with axes (common argumentation of your comrades in faith), so I prefer to take the support money from your axe wielding masses and give Vilks all the protection he may require and still say what is on his mind.
01:34 September 2, 2012 by Swedish Cat
@ Baroness Fredericks

I would not give them all that cred. Yes I am sure that this is what the fundematalistic ones following the Sharia are aspiring to do but if they had the capacity or the brains it would already have been done. The problem is that Sweden has such a complex being scared of being called anything with -ism (Racism, fascism, male masochism..I can go on) and we are being to week not to be taken the absolutely Mickey out of due to that. I wish we could at least mix our immigrants with Muslims from countries that does not come from the worst dictated backward countries. This is what is feeding racism as the only Muslims Sweden know are the real fundamentalistic ones.. Not a realistic view of the average Muslim. We need to come to the conclusion ourselves that ist is not racist not to be a free meal for the etire thirld world. What you put up with is what you will end up with.
10:09 September 2, 2012 by godnatt
@ Morenikeji

Ironic then that it's the peace loving Muslims who've run the Jews out of Malmo like it's 1938...

You're on the wrong side of the analogy.
14:19 September 2, 2012 by cogito
@frenchviking (#18)

Well said. Was the French paper Charlie Hebdo? If so, I, too will subscribe.

Always liked them anyway.
20:16 September 2, 2012 by frenchviking
It was, and they ship abroad for litle extra money... I receive mine every week and although i am very happy in sweden, it is nice to get a french paper, reminds me of home!
22:27 September 2, 2012 by haladeen
F.U.C.K all religions but mostly F.U.C.K islam!!! how 'bout that?
06:34 September 9, 2012 by Occam's Tool
Right now, folks, the Swedish Government is attempting to return a woman who converted to Christianity from Islam back to the Dar-El-Islam to stand trial.

You either believe in freedom of speech or freedom of religion, or you don't. I believe Sweden does not. I'm an American Jew who is a political Conservative. I live in rural Northern Minnesota. I love Swedish Americans; finest kind.

But I can tell you that I would not feel safe, as a Jew, visiting Sweden nowadays, and I believe it will get worse. You folks have got to learn to defend your rights or they WILL be taken from you. Name one decently Democratic Islamic country with freedom of religion where religious minorities feel perfectly safe nowadays. Name one where gays feel safe.

The Baroness is correct. I would STRONGLY recommend that every Swede read Kipling's "The Gods of the Copybook Headings."

G-d Bless and good luck. (By the way, strongly think about legalizing kosher meats---the Rabbinic inspection for signs of disease in animals is stronger than what Sweden does. Jews, as you know, are fairly good on medical issues---we've won over a quarter of all Nobels in Medicine, despite the fact that Sweden's population and the world Jewish population are roughly similar. In fact, think about making Swden more Jew friendly if you want Sweden to do better.)
Today's headlines
Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag visits a school in Tensta, one of the neighbourhoods mentioned when he and his colleagues first floated the new start zone proposal. File: TT

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input

Sweden has abandoned a plan to ease taxes for small companies in blighted areas after the European Commission challenged its legality. READ () »

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'
A typical Swedish Easter egg. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'

A Swedish microbiologist has warned that traditional Swedish Easter eggs laden with candy are an open invitation to the spread of bacteria and viruses. "Is this really a good idea?" he asked. READ () »

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour

PICTURES: A truck got wedged inside a tunnel in central Stockholm on Thursday, with authorities concerned the accident may have damaged cables in the tunnel's ceiling. READ () »

Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
A Swedish Easter witch holding daffodils. File photo: TT

Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter

In India, I'd notice Easter only from the traffic jam outside the churches, but here witches, egg hunts, and feathers mark the Christian holiday. The Local's Deepti Vashisht brings you the various shades of Swedish Easter. READ () »

Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Chemtrails?: Shutterstock.

Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe

A Swedish MP who launched an official government investigation into the existence of chemtrails tells The Local why he thinks Swedes deserve the truth, even if it may leave some conspiracy theorists unsatisfied. READ () »

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall's Nuon bid
Fredrik Reinfeldt answers the constitutional affairs committee's questions. Photo: TT

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall's Nuon bid

Sweden's prime minister on Thursday said Vattenfall itself, not its owners the Swedish state, had responsibility for the loss-making Nuon deal. READ () »

'Kockums submarine raid may be illegal': lawyer
Photo: TT

'Kockums submarine raid may be illegal': lawyer

A Swedish lawyer says the Swedish military may have broken the law when it raided the Malmö premises of German defence giant Thyssen Krupp. READ () »

Good weather could blight Easter traffic
Easter traffic two years ago on the E4 motorway. File: Jessica Gow/TT

Good weather could blight Easter traffic

Traffic experts have cautioned Swedes heading to the countryside for what should be a sunny Easter, warning that the most serious accidents often take place when the weather is clement. READ () »

Saab offers Gripen lease to Malaysia
Jas Gripen jets in flight. File photo: TT

Saab offers Gripen lease to Malaysia

Swedish defence giant Saab has offered to rent out fighter jets to Malaysia. READ () »

What's On in Sweden

What's On in Sweden

Check out what's happening with The Local's guide to the main attractions and events in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö - in association with DoToday. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Advertisement:
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
ESL
Sponsored Article
Learning Swedish the easy way
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

754
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com