Did you know that Lars Hedegaard, a leading Danish critic of Islamic extremism in his country, survived an assassination attempt yesterday? I didn’t. It wasn’t reported widely here. Danish police are now searching for a suspect they describe as foreign-born. Mark Steyn comments:
In that previous post on Lars, apropos our free speech battles, I quoted a prominent Toronto talk-show host:
Can we get over the idea that it’s “dangerous” to be Mark Steyn. It’s actually rather benign and highly profitable.
And I responded:
Well, it’s dangerous to be Lars Hedegaard, or Lars Vilks, or Geert Wilders or Ayaan Hirsi Ali – while there’s surely nothing safer than peddling “dangerous” “edgy” cobwebbed multiculti pieties and knowing that, whatever words you utter, there will never come a day when you’ll be called on to bet your house and your savings and perhaps your life on them.
That’s what Lars did this morning, in one of the oldest free societies on earth. On the Continent, for the few who talk about Islam and Europe life is not “benign and highly profitable” but comes at a very steep price.
Steyn updates his post to quote the Danish prime minister as deploring the attempt by this would-be murderer to silence Hedegaard’s freedom of speech. Steyn notes acidly that this would carry a lot more weight if the Danish government hadn’t already convicted Hedegaard for “hate crimes” in using his freedom of speech — a conviction unanimously overturned by the Danish Supreme Court, by the way.