Swedish Newspapers Publish Controversial Prophet Picture

On Wednesday several Swedish newspapers showed their support for Lars Vilks and the constitutional right to freedom of expression by publishing his cartoon from three years ago depicting the Prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog.

The picture was first published in Vilks' local newspaper Nerike Allehanden in August 2007 and outraged many in the Muslim world. It led to a 100 thousand dollar bounty being put on his head by a leader of a group with links to al-Qaeda in Iraq. The audio threat was posted on the internet.

At the time, Swedish security forces placed Vilks under protection while prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt moved to diffuse tensions by calling a meeting between representatives of 22 Muslim countries over the issue which in Sweden was defended as a person's right to freedom of expression.

On Wednesday the drawing was reproduced in the newspapers Expressen, Dagens Nyheter and Sydsvenskan.

"A threat against him (Lars Vilks) is in extension, a threat against all Swedes," wrote an unsigned text on the leader page of DN.

The picture was even shown on public service television channel SVT's Kultural news programme on Tuesday night.


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