Cliff Kincaid has an excellent report on our SION International Freedom Conference on September 11 as freedom was under attack in Libya and Cairo.
"Swedish Artist Laughs in the Face of Islamist Death Threats" AIM, Cliff Kincaid,
September 17, 2012
Lars Vilks, the Swedish artist who drew Islam’s prophet
Muhammad with the body of a dog and lives under a constant death threat,
was in New York City on 9/11, as anti-American violence started to
unfold in the Middle East. He described how the Islamists have
repeatedly tried to injure or kill him over the last several years.
Vilks spoke at an “International Freedom Defense Congress” sponsored
by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer amid tight security, proving that
the problem regarding Islam isn’t a drawing or a film but rather an
ideology that sanctions violence against its perceived enemies and which
has a presence on American soil.
Geller hired her own security team, at great expense, which worked
with the New York Police Department and hotel security. She was told
that New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, himself under media
attack for surveillance of Muslims, even held a meeting to discuss how
to handle Vilks’ appearance.
The event demonstrated that, whether it’s a drawing, a cartoon, or a
film, the Islamists will always look for something or someone to riot
about and use as an excuse to kill. But rather than reaffirm our First
Amendment rights, the Obama Administration has made it clear that they
want to silence those who criticize the “religion of peace.”
Four Americans have already died in Libya at the hands of Muslim
terrorists, who obviously coordinated their attacks on the occasion of
9/11, but Obama officials want to pretend in the face of all available
evidence that it was a spontaneous uprising in response to a film that
had been on the Internet since July.
This pathetic response means that more Americans are now at risk of
losing their rights—and their lives—because of the failure of Obama’s
pro-Muslim foreign policy.
What is coming to America, courtesy of the Obama Administration, is
more scrutiny of and threats against those who are labeled Islamophobes
by such groups as the Southern Poverty Law Center and the George
Soros-funded Center for American Progress.
Europeans are already experiencing these frightening developments, as
critics of the prophet Muhammad are being physically attacked,
murdered, or subject to prosecution for “hate speech.”
In order to counter this threat here and abroad, Pamela Geller and
Robert Spencer launched the “International Freedom Defense Congress” of
Stop Islamization of Nations (SION), on whose board I serve. It is
designed to safeguard our constitutional rights before they are stripped
away by an administration working hand-in-glove with the Organization
of Islamic Cooperation, a group of Muslim countries which wants to
silence critics of Islam.
The conference videos are at Geller’s Atlas Shrugs YouTube channel.
Despite the gravity of the situation, and pressure from the United
Nations to cancel the conference, which was held at the Millennium U.N.
Plaza Hotel, Vilks delivered an entertaining and even funny talk, noting
how Islamic fanatics have been so consumed with hatred of him that they
burned a flag that was supposed to be Swedish but had the wrong color
scheme. They burned the correct flag in a subsequent demonstration.
Vilks said five years ago it was possible to publish a drawing of
Muhammad in a mainstream paper. Today, because of all the violence and
threats, it is not. The drawing, however, is still available on the
Internet and was included in the slide show that accompanied his presentation.
Vilks spoke as bodyguards were stationed at various places throughout
the conference room. Media came from around the world to record and
photograph his presentation. One part of his slide show described how he
travels and speaks today only in the company of bodyguards. Indeed, his
remarks included a slide show of the attacks on him over the last five years.
The attacks on and threats against Vilks have been relentless.
He was the target of an Islamic religious decree called a Fatwa,
which placed a bounty of $100,000 on his head, with an extra $50,000 if
his throat was slit. A member of the al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabab recorded a video
threatening to behead him. Colleen Renee LaRose, also known as Jihad
Jane, an American citizen from Philadelphia, pleaded guilty to
conspiracy to murder Vilks, while a suicide bomber also targeted him for
In one case, Vilks’ home was set on fire by Jihadists who poured gasoline through a window and set the house on fire.
Vilks, who was not home at the time, joked, “I lost one curtain—I
just have one at my window now—and one of my plants. But it recovered.
It was badly burned but I nursed it.”
He said the Jihadists accidentally set themselves on fire and left
personal identification papers at the scene of the crime, leading to
their arrest and imprisonment. They were treated for self-inflicted
burns at a local hospital, where they claimed they had been holding a
Vilks was also pelted with eggs and attacked when he tried to deliver a lecture at Karlstad University in Sweden.
What continues to happen to Vilks and others in Europe is coming to
the United States, as the Obama Administration openly sides with global
Islam against our God-given First Amendment right of free speech.
“Overshadowed in the turmoil of international events, party politics,
and the desperate efforts by the old media to elect Democrats is a
singularly appalling fact: a badly-produced YouTube clip that insults
Muhammad inspires much more anger and outrage in our leftist leaders
than acts of war against America,” writes
Scott Swett at the American Thinker website. “Worse, by adding their
voices to the Islamic rage chorus, they help to justify the violent
actions of our enemies, and legitimize their excuses for their vicious
In this way, the Obama Administration and its leftist allies prepare
the way for more violence and terrorism against critics of Islam.
Writing at WorldNetDaily under the title, “Leftist brownshirts and their Islamic thugs,” just before the conference, Geller said,
“The left is increasingly bent on shutting down and shutting up freedom
fighters, and yet there has been scarcely any discussion of this
creeping fascism in the public sphere. We are relinquishing our most
cherished freedoms, our unalienable rights, with nary a whimper. What is
wrong with everyone?”
Geller and Spencer are leading the movement of freedom fighters here and abroad. They must be protected and supported.
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