As posted on Pharyngula, Swedish Cartoonist Lars Vilks was attacked during a University lecture. After this event, his website was hacked and firebombs were planted in his house.
David Frum points out that the crowd of spectators who outnumbered the protesters 10 to 1 remained passive during the protest, while the police were slow to respond to protect the speaker. This silence and lack of enforment from authorities is despressing.
Daily life in Sweden and other European countries is increasingly governed by an unwritten set of rules very different from the country’s formal law.
The formal law forbids assault and upholds free speech rights. The actual rules of the game, however, concede that certain assaults and certain violations of free speech rights may proceed with impunity. Police arrested two men for disrupting the Vilks event; both were released without charge.
I do think silence is what allows these kind of pre-enlightenment mentality to continue.