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article imageSwedish cartoonist draws Prophet Muhammad as a dog, wins award

By Nancy Houser     Mar 15, 2015 in Entertainment
Cartoonist, Lars Vilks, drew Prophet Muhammad as a dog in 2007, causing Denmark to become the terrorists' map of "preferred targets." Becoming fearful for his life, he lives under heavy guard in Sweden. For this, he has won a prize for courage.
With Copenhagen targeted in a gun attack last month, the cartoonist recently made his first public appearance at the Danish parliament; his first appearance since last month's gun attack. Lars Vilks was awarded a prize of courage from a free press group. However, the cartoon of Prophet Muhammed as a dog offended the terrorists and Muslims alike.
The gunman, Omar El Hussein, was a radicalized gunman with links to gangs. The attacks killed two people, a synagogue, and the Copenhagen debate where Lars Vikis was attending. He was not thought to be part of any terrorist cell as the had just been released from prison. Hussein was shot dead by the policeman and prompted a massive security operation in the city.
Danish Free Press Society
The award given to Lars Vilks was the Sappho award, associated with the right-wing Danish Free Press Society. Vilks is connected with the Swedish left. The symbol of the award was for being a freedom of speech.
The Vilks cartoon was published in 2007, a year after a series of depictions of the Prophet Muhammad in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten paper prompted protests by Muslims around the world.
"I am an artist and my artwork is probably difficult to understand. Many have tried to understand what that dog is about. But I don't even understand it myself.Some believe that it is a form of blasphemy, but I say that it is what art is all about. I show my things to the world and then the world must interpret it," said Lars Vilks to BBC.
Sweden and Denmark have long been areas of peace and security, areas that are now changed. In a way, that still remains part of the culture. A Jewish guard had been shot by the gunman, with people of different faiths forming a long "ring of peace" around his body outside the synagogue.
Muslims regard visual representation of the Prophet as blasphemous.
More about Lars vilks, Swedish cartoonist, Sweden, Denmark, Copenhagen
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