Swedish artist Lars Vilks portrayed the Prophet Muhammad’s head on a dog causing leaders in Pakistan and Iran to denounce his work as offensive to Muslims and most probably linked to “Zionist influences.” Despite their attempts to stir hate against Swedes, only 300 demonstrators showed up for a protest meeting in Stockholm. Mohamed Omar, editor of the Muslim periodical Minaret brushed off Iranian and Pakistan complaints. “Iranand Pakistan are just playing to the Muslim gallery. Ordinary Muslim in Sweden are the ones who have to suffer the consequences.” He noted the Swedish newspaper used the illustration as part of a story. “It’s irrational to regard their decision is being offensive to Muslims.” The Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt backed freedom of the press.
Most Swedish Muslims either were not concerned or not aware of the picture. Perhaps, the
West exaggerates the importance of fundamentalists who claim to speak for “the Muslim people.” No one speaks for any “people.”