The BBC alludes to a technical hitch in the Swedish government’s attempts in 2007 to ‘promote understanding’ between Muslims and their naughty neighbours.
The story is in the news again because of this.
Seven people have been arrested in the
Nice of the BBC to clarify they weren’t planning to kill a Swedish cartoonist for depicting any of all those other Muhammeds that there seem to be so many of in the news these days.
The four men and three women are all Muslim immigrants, according to media reports, though a police statement did not confirm this.
Cartoonist Lars Vilks had depicted the Prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog in the Nerikes Allehanda newspaper.
Islamic militants put a $100,000 (£67,000) bounty on his head.
Now, now, that’s not militancy.
It’s open-handedness perhaps, or high-rolling, or free-spending, or falling short of the ecumenical ideal, but putting up money to kill a human being for drawing a cartoon can’t fairly be called ‘militancy.’
I just wish that the BBC or I could think of a better word for it...
Mr Vilks was quoted as saying he was unfazed by the arrests, which he said he thought could be linked to two death threats he had received by telephone in January.
I don’t know about you , but I’d like a little context about how a man under several death threats and whose life had been actively plotted against feels ‘unfazed,’ relaxing though the BBC makes it all sound. But with a tiny £800,000,000 per year news budget, I don’t suppose that the BBC had the resources to answer such a question. Or pose it.
Or conceive of it.
RTE said those in custody were originally refugees from
You know, one think I’d just hate would be to be slaughtered like a lamb by having my throat cut by someone who didn’t have the proper paperwork.
"I'm not shaking with fear, exactly," he told Swedish news agency TT after Tuesday's arrests.
"I have prepared in different ways and I have an axe here in case someone should manage to get in through the window."
I have got to get some of that Swedish stuff, whatever it is, and start taking it now.
He sounds so relaxed, you know? He doesn’t seem fazed at all by the thought of what the other six would have done whilst he was trying to dislodge the axe from the flopping body of Assailant Number One.
In 2007 a group linked to al-Qaeda in Iraq offered a $100,000 reward for killing Mr Vilks, and a 50% bonus if he was "slaughtered like a lamb" by having his throat cut.
It offered another $50,000 for the murder of Ulf Johansson, editor-in-chief of the regional newspaper, Nerikes Allehanda.
At this point, one might expect the BBC to invite comments, and open a Have your Say page with a title like;
Have you ever been threatened with death by exsanguination or beheading by Muslims for producing a cartoon or any other item of edgy popular culture? We’d like to hear your story.
Of course, one would only expect that in a world where humans had directly evolved from dinosaurs or in which Michael Foot’s slanders of the anti-Appeasement Tories never became part of official history, but not in this, fallen world of ours.
Oh, and the BBC helpfully explains what might have inspired seven human being to plan to murder someone who drew a cartoon, and also provides some much-needed context at last:
In January, one of the cartoonists whose drawing appeared in Jyllands-Posten, the Dane Kurt Westergaard, was targeted in his own home, allegedly by a Somali radical Muslim with an axe.
Mr Westergaard, who escaped unharmed, had depicted the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb in his turban.
Mr Vilks told The Associated Press news agency that the telephone threats in January had come from "a Swedish-speaking Somali. He reminded me about what had happened to Westergaard and threatened with a follow-up and that 'now it's your turn'."
So far, so dhimmi.
But the BBC droid then mentions this:
At the time, Swedish officials expressed regret at any hurt caused to Muslims' feelings, but said the government could not prevent the publication of such drawings because of media freedom rules.
To clarify this, you can follow a side link to this piece from 2007.
Mr Reinfeldt said he told the ambassadors that under the Swedish constitution, politicians were not allowed to "interfere with how the media [works] and what it chooses to publish".
Hear that sound?
That’s the sound of the liberal world government (eastern Scandinavian Branch) admitting that a minor technicality alone prevented them from allowing the head-lopping, bomb-planting, child-murdering, Jew-hating Religion of Peace from silencing another mild (and possibly ironic) allusion to something Islamic.
I was born in a country and to a civilisation that had beaten fascism and Nazism and whose leadership were at least prepared to pay lip service to the idea that freedom of expression is a valuable human right: not one in which a head of government apologizes that religio-political tyranny in Sweden has been delayed by some trivial technical detail such as the national constitution.
It won’t be delayed for long.
Picture from here.