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Lars Vilks attacked during lecture

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Lars Vilks attacked during lecture
18:01 CEST+02:00
Artist Lars Vilks, who caused controversy by drawing cartoons that depicted the prophet Muhammad as a dog, has been attacked while giving a lecture at Uppsala University.

Vilks, who has been the subject of numerous death threats, was attacked while speaking at the university’s philosophy faculty on Tuesday afternoon. He was not badly hurt.

“The man was sitting in the front row and suddenly came rushing towards me. He headbutted me, and I was thrown against the wall and dropped my glasses,” he said.

According to local newspaper Uppsala Nya Tidning, the atmosphere in the lecture theatre became rowdy after Vilks showed a film with sexual content.

“A crowd of people pushed forward. When a police officer tried to stop them he was hit. As things stand, two people have been arrested,” said police commander Tommy Karlsson.

Vilks was taken to a secure location following the attack.

“I have not been injured, just a bit knocked about,” he said.

Vilks became notorious in parts of the Muslim world for portraying the Islamic prophet Muhammad as a roundabout dog.

The publication of the drawings in the Nerikes Allehanda newspaper led to death threats from a number of organizations, including an al-Qaeda-affiliated organization which offered $150,000 for his murder. Vilks was consequently forced to accept police protection.

An alleged plot to kill Vilks was revealed in March: American Colleen R. LaRose was charged with trying to recruit terrorists to murder the artist. At the same time, seven people were arrested in Ireland over a plot to kill Vilks, although four of those detained were later released.

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