Lars Vilks responds to cartoon comparing Denmark with Nazis
Artist Lars Vilks says to Radio Sweden that he does not like Steve Bell's cartoon comparing Danish immigration policy to Nazism, but that such satire is part of free speech.
"I am quite tired of these Nazi associations. It's quite unfair, as you just diminish the whole story of the Holocaust by comparing it with Denmark, which is just having the same rules as other countries for asylum seekers," he says.
The cartoon, published in the liberal British paper The Guardian, has prompted calls for it to be withdrawn. The speaker of the Danish parliament (Folketinget) has asked for an apology and for the cartoon to be withdrawn, reports Danish TV2. The Danish folketinget speaker is Pia Kjærsgaard, formerly head of the main anti-immigration party, Dansk Folkparti.
"Of course they can say that, but you have the right to freedom of speech and you have the right to do that," comments Swedish artist Lars Vilks. "You can protest against it, but to demand that it is withdrawn is going too far."
"The Guardian have taken a stand for this and they have started a debate and I think this is how things should be done," says Lars Vilks.
In 2007 Lars Vilks published, as part of his work satirizing religion, a drawing showing the Islamic Prophet Muhammed as a dog. After this was seized on by extremist Islamist groups, he was targeted by death threats.
In February 2015 an attacker killed film director Finn Nörgaard outside a venue in Copenhagen where Lars Vilks was speaking.