In defence of Lars Vilks and freedom of expression

On Monday 7 June 2010 the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, Germany and Scandinavia joined Lars Vilks in a press conference in Stockholm to condemn the threats and violent attacks against the Swedish artist who drew a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad. In May, Islamist thugs tried to burn down his home after he showed a film about Islam and Homosexuality during a lecture at Uppsala University.

The press conference was packed to capacity. It was chaired by Afsaneh Vahdat (Council of Ex-Muslims of Sweden) with Lars Vilks, Mina Ahadi (Council of Ex-Muslims of Germany), and Fariborz Pooya (Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain) all making contributions. Lars Vilks stressed the need to stand firm against the threat and curtailment of the freedom of expression and criticism of religion. Mina Ahadi said that freedom of expression was a result of the Enlightenment and must be safeguarded. Fariborz Pooya said Vilks was not alone in his fight against political Islam and called for “unconditional freedom of expression.” He stressed the importance of distinguishing between Islamic states in their attempt to undermine freedom of expression and limit citizen’s right to free expression and the majority of people who are labeled as Muslims in European countries who are the first victims of this movement.

The press conference was widely covered in the national media in Sweden.

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