I titled this post "The Statue of Lars Vilks" although no such statue exists -- not in Lars Vilks' native Sweden or anywhere else.
I wanted to see what the words looked like; if, in black and white, they provide the formula for a society conceived in liberty and dedicated to preserving it.
Such a society might well commission a statue to honor this "mild-mannered, friendly and polite professor of art history," as Fjordman describes the 68-year-old cartoonist who so believes in freedom of speech that he never stops exercising it -- no matter how many threats, assaults, and attacks on his life he must endure. These attacks come not from other believers in liberty, of course, but from believers in Islam.
Prime ministers and presidents who also believe in liberty would honor Vilks -- just as they would have already honored Geert Wilders of the Netherlands and Lars Hedegaard of Denmark and Elisabeth Sabbaditsch-Wolff of Austria and some others -- by bestowing a flurry of medals and ribbons. There would be posies and curtsies from schoolchldren; honorary doctorates from universities. Vilks' art would be exhibited in museums throughout the free world. His home in southern Sweden would become, shall we say, a mecca for friends and defenders of liberty who wanted to shake his hand and offer thanks.
Today, however, there is nobody home.
At the end of March, police in Sweden told Vilks that he can never go home again. According to The Local:
Lars Vilks, who has been in hiding since the attacks in Denmark [in February], says he has been moved between three different locations and was told by police this week that he could not go back to his house....
After being briefly allowed to collect some belongings several weeks ago, police supervised as a removal company packed up the rest of his possessions on Tuesday afternoon.
"Police did not want me to be there, they watched as everything I had there was moved. I had to make some quick decisions about the stuff I wanted to keep," he told The Local on Wednesday.
"I am still living in hiding. No one really knows what they [the police] are planning and discussing. They haven't found a solution. They want to put me in a place where it is safe to keep me for a long time. My last house was very close to the road and you could reach it too quickly or get away. You would have needed a whole army there," he added.
And where is this house? In the Sunni Triangle of Iraq? Helmand Province, Afghanistan? Yemen? Istanbul? The Gaza Strip?
Nope. Lars Vilks' house is in Sweden. But it is a Sweden no longer merely under siege but nearly completely occupied, where Swedish police yield to Islamic law in an act of submission (Islam) that is not just country-wide but culture-wide.
And it doesn't stop. Just a few days ago, Vilks' invitation to speak at event at the Finnish parliament was canceled out of fear of attack by more believers not in liberty but in Islam. Submission becomes habitual where defenders of liberty are not hailed as leaders but treated like outcasts.
Earlier, Fjordman wrote in with more detail about how this new normal works.
A few journalists got to meet the artist Lars Vilks in a mobile home on a Swedish field. They were guarded by dozens of armed policemen, dogs and with a helicopter standing by. It was deemed too unsafe to meet Vilks anywhere else, so they settled for a mobile home or caravan. Vilks has been evacuated from his former home in southern Sweden after the Copenhagen terror attacks on February 14.
Åsa Linderborg, a former Communist activist and now a leading columnist at the left-leaning daily Aftonbladet, was present at this meeting. Linderborg questions how much the security surrounding Vilks costs, or should cost. There is obviously some security around the royal family and senior members of the government. Yet the most threatened person in all of Sweden today is not King or Prime Minister. It is a mild-mannered, friendly and polite professor of art history.
Artists are generally considered Leftists almost by definition. But then Professor Vilks decided to draw some cartoons of a man who may or may not have lived in the seventh century AD. As a result, there have been several attempts by militant Muslims to murder him. Lars Vilks has to be protected by armed police even when he visits the bathroom. He is now a homeless person, virtually a refugee in his own country.
Meanwhile, every single day Sweden lets in more Muslim immigrants who could potentially attack Islam-critics or others. The influx of asylum seekers is now so large that Sweden barely has housing enough for all of them. This mass immigration is very costly and drains the country's finances. At the same time, the understaffed police force can hardly keep up with the rise of foreign mafias and public gang shootings in Swedish towns. A single Swedish city, Gothenburg, has produced more Jihadists fighting for the Islamic State (ISIS) than all of Italy, and a number comparable to that of the entire USA.
New Normal, 2015 AD.