Prophet Mohammed cartoonist `head-butted`

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - 13:43

Stockholm: Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks,
who sparked controversy by drawing Prophet Mohammed was
attacked while giving a lecture at a university, police said.

"The man was sat in the first row and suddenly he
rushed at me. He punched me in the head and I lost my
glasses," said Vilks, adding that at the very most he was "a
little bruised."

Police said around 250 people were present at the time
of the attack at the University of Uppsala, north of the
Stockholm.

"When Lars Vilks arrived, five persons started to
protest against him with screaming. They calmed down and the
lecture continued.

"When Lars Vilks talked about religion and showed a
film, 20 persons tried to attack him, probably offended by the
film."

Police evacuated the lecture hall but some
demonstrators resisted forcing officers to use tear gas. Two
people were arrested.

In 2007, Swedish regional daily Nerikes Allehanda
published Vilks` satirical cartoon to illustrate an editorial
on the importance of freedom of expression.

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

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

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - 13:43

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