Jihadi Clerics Rejoice In Death Of Swedish Cartoonist Lars Vilks In Car Accident: May He Burn In Hell Like He Burned Our Hearts With His Mockery Of Our Prophet

October 5, 2021

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Over the past few days, jihadi clerics on Telegram rejoiced in the death of Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, famous for his satirical depictions of Prophet Muhammad, who was killed in a car accident on October 3, 2021.

Abu Hafs Al-Mauritani, a Mauritanian Islamic scholar and poet previously associated with Al-Qaeda, shared on his Telegram channel a Russia Today (RT) news story highlighting Vilks' death. Al- Al-Mauritani commented on the story: "Do you remember the Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks who years ago was famous for his satirical depictions of the Prophet? [...] He died burning in a horrible car accident in Sweden, along with two of the policemen who were assigned to protect him, according to Swedish media."

The cleric cited a Quranic verse in which Allah tells the Prophet Muhammad: "We will suffice you against the mockers."[1]

"From Idlib," a jihadi Telegram channel that disseminates news from Syria, cited a statement about Vilks' death by Abu Shu'ayb Talhah Al-Musayyar, an Egyptian cleric who was previously affiliated with Ahrar al-Sham and Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS). The cleric who is currently operating as an independent cleric in Idlib, commented on Vilks' death by saying: "The Swedish criminal who cursed the Prophet has perished by burning, after thinking that the police will be able to protect him from the punishment of Allah. Thank Allah and praise Him for His blessing, and we ask Him for more [blessings]. Allah Akbar and pride to Islam."

The channel posted Al-Musayyar's statement alongside a video purportedly documenting the car accident that killed Vilks.[2]

Idlib-based cleric Abu Yahya Al-Shami, who presents himself as a researcher and expert in "shari'a politics," published a post claiming that the car accident that killed Vilks was punishment from Allah, who promised painful torment to those who mock His Prophet.[3]

Al-Shami wrote: "I recall so many of those sacred ideas from the Quran and the true promises [that Allah has made], as I read the news about the perishing of the Swedish cartoonist who cursed the Prophet and defamed Islam in general."

He then listed the following Quranic verses to support his argument that those who defame the Prophet will be subject to divine punishment:

"Wherever you are, death will overtake you, even if you are in well-built towers."

"And those who offend the Messenger of God will have a painful torment."  

"Indeed, those who will hurt Allah and His Messenger, Allah shall curse them in this world and the hereafter, and He has prepared for them a humiliating punishment."

"So, Allah has come to them from whence they did not expect."

Idlib-based Islamic scholar 'Abdallah Al-Shaybani published a post praying for Vilks to burn in hell, noting that despite the security measures placed around him, he was unable to avoid Allah's retribution.[4]

"What an unbeliever he was. Lars Vilks[,] who was behind the insulting caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad[,] was killed along with two policemen who have been protecting him since 2007, in a car collision."

He added: "the criminal [Vilks] and his guards were killed in fire in this world[...] [but] their punishment of the Hereafter will be more severe and more lasting."

Syria-based Saudi jihadi cleric 'Abdallah Al-Muhaysini described Vilks' death as a just outcome for someone who defamed the Prophet.

"Glory be to my Lord, how just He is. The cartoonist who mocked our master [i.e., Prophet Muhammad], peace be upon him, died today by burning, just like he burned our hearts with his mockery."

Al-Muhaysini cited a Quranic verse suggesting that Vilks will face an even worst fate in the hereafter. The verse read: "And We will let them taste the worldly retribution before the greater retribution, perhaps they will repent."

It is worth noting that on October 4, 2021, several jihadis affiliated with Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) also published on posts on Telegram celebrating the death of Vilks.[5]

HTS religious official Abu Mariyah Al-Qahtani, whose real name is Maysarah Al-Jubouri, published a post reporting on the news to his followers, saying: "The Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks has perished, he died burning."

Al-Qahtani also posted a nasheed (Islamic song) praising the Prophet and vilifying those who insult him: " Your enemies end up as nothing, but you shall remain dignified like a flag. Your history is a sun that shines more clearly, you are a living [model] for the nations."[6]


Bassam Sahyouni, a former member of HTS's Shura council and a professor at Idlib University, also celebrated Vilks' death with a Telegram post that read: "The cartoonist Lars Vilks, who was behind the caricatures defaming Prophet Muhammad [...] was burned to death inside his car."[7]

Sahyuni further cited a Quranic verse to mark the occasion: "And those who offend the Messenger of Allah will have a painful punishment."


Vilks was placed under police protection after one of his 2007 caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad sparked outrage among Muslims. In February 2013, the magazine published by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Inspire, featured a "Wanted Dead or Alive" poster, which listed the names of several cartoonists, including Lars Vilks.



[1] Telegram, October 3, 2021.

[2] Telegram, October 4, 2021.

[3] Telegram, October 4, 2021.

[4] Telegram,  October 4, 2021.

[6] Telegram, October 4, 2021.

[7] Telegram, October 4, 2021.

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