Protesters throw eggs at Muhammad cartoonist

AP News
Posted: Feb 22, 2012 5:58 AM
Protesters throw eggs at Muhammad cartoonist

A Swedish artist who angered Muslims by depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a dog was pelted with eggs during a university lecture when he presented another drawing of Islam's revered prophet, police and the artist said Wednesday.

Lars Vilks told The Associated Press that he was not harmed in Tuesday's attack at Karlstad University in central Sweden and that he continued his lecture on the limits of free speech after police evicted the protesters from the building.

Vilks, who has received numerous death threats from radical Islamists, said about a dozen people started yelling and hurling eggs at him when he presented a sketch showing Muhammad and 19th-century Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen at a beer factory.

"They were just waiting for the right moment to go to attack," he told AP.

The 65-year-old artist said he made the drawing in 2006, inspired by the debate that year over 12 Danish newspaper cartoons of Muhammad, which sparked furious protests in Muslim countries.

Images of the prophet, even favorable ones, are considered blasphemous by many Muslims.

Karlstad police spokesman Per Strom said the attackers had been identified and the incident was being investigated, but no arrests have been made.

Though there was a police presence at the lecture, the audience had not been searched because such measures must be announced in advance, Strom said.

Vilks has faced a string of threats and violence over his more well-known drawing of Muhammad as a dog in 2007.

In 2010, he was forced to abandon a lecture at another Swedish university when protesters rushed toward the stage and scuffled with police.

Last year, a woman from Pennsylvania pleaded guilty in a plot to try to kill Vilks, and a year earlier two brothers were jailed for trying to burn down his house in southern Sweden.

Vilks said he won't be deterred from making public appearances.

"I've experienced this so much now. It is what it is. You have to expect these things," he said. "I have good protection and it works the way it should."