In defense of free speech.
The doggies are on tour not to offend Muslims or Islam but to make a serious point of principle. Muhammed may be important to Muslims, but freedom of expression is important to Westerners. Restricting expression is a political act and if done in the name of religion then religion becomes a legitimate subject of political debate, satire and criticism.
A roundabout way to promote free speech
Posted by: Redaktion April 25, 2013
Plywood doggies inspired by Swedish artist Lars Vilks go on tour
By Chris Knowles
The Roundabout Dog Tour is inspired by the artwork of Swedish artist Lars Vilks. It intends to visit 60 European cities to highlight the importance of free speech. As in many campaigns before it, art is used to highlight the issues. Lars Vilks produced his Roundabout Dog series of drawings in response to the atmosphere of censorship that has enveloped Europe in recent years. He has been demonised, threatened and lost his livelihood because of the stand he took.
The drawings themselves are not on tour. Instead, the tour involves a plywood mock-up of the roundabout dog and it is this mock-up that visits the various cities. The plywood roundabout dog was created by a Swedish society called Free Speech Europe. It is non-political and promotes freedom of expression by supporting those who have been “blacklisted” or persecuted because of their political or artistic expressions.
The Tour emphasises the right of Westerners to follow Western values in Western countries. Sadly, there will be those who claim that the tour is a deliberate act of provocation. They will say nothing about the provocation from those who tried to censor Mr. Vilks by threatening his life. Censorship by threat of violence is not a Western ideal and the only way to stop such threats is to defy those who do the threatening. The tour represents this defiance, courage in spite of threats!