To say that the swedish cartoonist, Lars Vilks, seems a bit paranoid is to completely underestimate the circumstances surrounding this rather controversial character. Needless to say, it is with good reason that this 63-year-old artist had recently secured his property with a homemade panic room and a booby-trapped work of art; after all, not only does he have a $100,00 bounty hanging over his head, but just this past Tuesday, seven people were arrested in Ireland for their alleged plot to kill the scoundrel responsible for that infamous image of the Prophet Muhammad.
Now currently living in southern Sweden, Lars is armed with a razor-edged axe in case the electrified-barbed-wire sculpture doesn’t get the job done. And in the event that this plethora of defensive measure fails, he rests assured with the knowledge that he always has a safe space to hide.
This humble old artist may have caused some Swedes to consider Mr. Vilks’ threat as a national threat against the constitutional right to freedom of speech, while Lars himself sees the ploy as a failed attempt by a rather “low-tech” cluster of individuals. But, whatever the case may be, out of their fear of letting the image disseminate across the globe, newspapers have elected against running the cartoon on their websites. As it stands, they reportedly cited the Islamic prohibition of any physical representation of the Prophet as a very good reason to end a potentially lethal controversy.