More cartoon related violence hit Europe. This afternoon, a Copenhagen cafe hosting a free speech forum featuring a Swedish cartoonist who had drawn the Prophet Mohammed in 2007 and been under threat ever since was attacked:
Danish police said that one man, age 40, had been killed and three police officers wounded, but that the gunman had been unable to enter the Krudttoenden cafe.
At least two men were involved and they drove off in a Volkswagon. A massive manhunt is underway.
The event, “Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression,” hosted Lars Vilker, the “blasphemous” Swedish cartoonist. Attendees and police believe he was the intended target. His offense? Drawing the Prophet as a dog, which, in all honesty, is about as offensive as it gets. Dogs are lowly animals to Muslims. When George Bush came to Islamabad, the biggest anger towards America I saw in a six month stint there was that the Secret Service had taken a full floor of a hotel for its bomb sniffing dogs. Not drones killing innocents, dogs getting five-star hotel treatment is what pissed off average Pakistanis the most.
Coming after last month’s Paris attack on the weekly satirical cartoon magazine Charlie Hebdo, which killed 17 over a three day siege, Europe seems to be truly in the middle of a low-level sectarian war between Islamic extremists and free speech advocates and the West in general. This small war will lead to more restrictions on basic Euro freedoms, more needless Muslim death overseas and nothing good in the near term.
Incredibly, the attack did not deter the forum organizers from finishing the event:
Remarkably, she said, the seminar continued after the shooting.
Pour one for the Scandinavians tonight.