AN outspoken Danish critic of Islamic zealotry, Lars Hedegaard, narrowly escaped death earlier today when a gunman fired at him at his home in Copenhagen.
Police said tonight they were “looking into everything” regarding the failed assassination attempt.
Police inspector Jørgen Skov said at a press briefing:
We have many investigation angles. It could be anything. Lars Hedegaard is a well-known person. There could be a political motive, but we don’t know yet.
Hedegaard was at home this morning when he answered his door thinking there was a post delivery. The man at his door held a package and wore a red jacket similar to the ones worn by Post Danmark employees.
When Hedegaard opened his door, the suspect pointed a gun at him and fired. The shot missed and Hedegaard fought off the attacker. When the suspect’s gun jammed, he fled the scene. Said Hedegaard, 70:
I went on the attack and attempted to punch him in the head. He dropped his pistol in the entryway and I tried feverishly to lock the front door. I couldn’t because he had stuck his foot in the door. He got the gun again and stood and fumbled with it to try to fire a shot. I tried once again to attack and then he took off.
According to Hedegaard, President of the Free Press Society who has often spoken out against Islam, the motive was clear:
This is after all what one can expect when you attempt to express your opinion in this country. It comes as a surprise that I should be shot at, but apparently I should be.
Police are gathering material from Hedegaard’s Frederiksberg residence, including DNA and fingerprints. They have described the suspect as a man around 25 years old, 175-180mm tall with dark hair and dark stubble. He is characterised as looking “southern or maybe Arabic” and speaks Danish without an accent.
Hedegaard’s outspoken criticism of Islam was in the spotlight in 2011, when the Eastern High Court found him guilty of racism for making comments in December 2009 that included:
They rape their own children. You hear it all the time. Girls in Muslim families are raped by their uncles, their cousins, or their fathers.
He was fined 5,000 kroner (£570) in 2011 for making a series of insulting and degrading statements about Muslims.
He also said that:
When a Muslim man rapes a woman, it is in his right to do so.
The May 2011 decision by the high court overturned an earlier decision by the Frederiksberg District Court that ruled that while it found Hedegaard’s comments insulting, he was not guilty because he thought he was making them in a private conversation.
Hedegaard’s Free Press Society believes that free speech is:
Being threatened, primarily by religious and ideological interests and international pressure groups.
It claims that Islam is the “most dangerous threat at the moment” to free expression.
The Spectator‘s Douglas Murray, a friend of Hedegaard, said:
Thankfully Lars has not been hurt in the attack. The Danish Prime Minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, has condemned the attack, saying ‘It is even worse if the attack is rooted in an attempt to prevent Lars Hedegaard using his freedom of expression’. One irony of which is that the Danish state did everything it could over recent years to prevent Lars using his freedom of expression.
And just to prove that Hedegaard “unacceptable” remarks about Muslims weren’t way off the mark is a report that a “celebrity” Saudi preacher accused of raping and torturing his five-year-old daughter to death has been released from custody after agreeing to pay “blood money”.
Fayhan al-Ghamdi had been accused of killing his daughter Lama, who suffered multiple injuries including a crushed skull, broken back, broken ribs, a broken left arm and extensive bruising and burns.
Social workers say she had also been repeatedly raped and burnt.
Fayhan al-Ghamdi admitted using a cane and cables to inflict the injuries, after doubting his five-year-old daughter’s virginity!
Rather than getting the death penalty or receiving a long sentence for the crime, Fayhan al-Ghamdi served only a few months in jail before a judge ruled the prosecution could only seek “blood money”.
Fayhan al-Ghamdi, who regularly appears on television in Saudi Arabia, is said to have agreed to pay £31,000 to Lama’s mother.
Hat tip: Great Satan (Hedegaard report) and Graham Martin Royle and BarrieJohn