Photo credit: ICLA
Regular readers need no introduction to Lars Hedegaard, the Danish free speech activist who has worked tirelessly for the Counterjihad for many years. He is the chairman of Trykkefrihedsselskabet (the Danish Free Press Society) and the editor of the newspaper Dispatch International (for which I do occasional editing).
This morning an attempt was made to assassinate Lars at his home in Copenhagen. If the assailant’s gun hadn’t jammed, I might have been writing Lars’ obituary instead of this report. As it is, Lars is unharmed, but in shock over what happened. The police believe two men were involved in the attempted murder, and both of them are still at large.
The Danish media have not hesitated to describe the culturally enriched appearance of the main attacker, and some reports describe him as a Pakistani. Danish television says that all politicians in the parliament are talking about the situation. Normal work has been suspended.
This brief notice was posted this morning at the International Civil Liberties Alliance website:
We have just received the shocking news that a gunman has tried to assassinate free speech campaigner Lars Hedegaard. Mr Hedegaard was awarded the ICLA Defender of Freedom Award at our conference in the European Parliament back in July 2012. A report can be found at Nyhederne.
A more comprehensive account was published by Citizen Times:
Danish historian and journalist Lars Hedegaard Jensen, chairman of the Danish Free Press Society recipient of the 2012 ICLA “Defender of Freedom Award”, today narrowly survived an assassination attempt without harm. Police are investigating the case urgently.
At 11:21, a man rang the doorbell at the private home of Lars Hedegaard, pretending to deliver a package. After having handed over the parcel, the man brought out a gun and fired two shots at Lars Hedegaard. Both shots missed, after which the gun jammed. After a short fight, the would-be assassin tried again to fire the gun, but when it still failed to function, the attacker fled and is still at large.
Lars Hedegaard, founder and chairman of the Danish Free Press Society and editor of the recently launched newspaper Dispatch International, has been brought to safety, while Danish police has deployed some 30 officers around his home searching for the perpetrator. He is thought to be 25 to 30 years old, Arabic-looking with dark hair, wearing a red, postman-style coat.
Political reactions condemning the attempt on a high-profile critic of Islam have been swift and firm.
According to the English-language The Copenhagen Post:
Islam critic survives assassination attempt
Assailant’s gun jammed after firing first shot – police now searching for two men wearing ski masks seen climbing into Copenhagen Zoo
The renowned anti-Islam journalist and scholar Lars Hedegaard reportedly survived an assassination attempt outside his home on Pelargonieviej in Frederiksberg this morning.
According to Ritzau, the assailant fled when his gun jammed after firing the first shot at around 11:20.
“A man shot at the victim but he missed and the bullet went over his head,” police commissioner Lars-Christian Borg told Ritzau. “When he tried to fire again, the pistol clicked and the assailant ran away.”
While Borg would not confirm the identity of the assassin’s target, a neighbour of Hedegaard’s told Politiken newspaper that he was the target.
“He told me that a man had approached him with a package and when he went to take it the man fired at him,” the neighbour told Politiken.
After first sealing off Hedegaard’s street, police have now also cordoned off Copenhagen Zoo after two men wearing ski masks were seen jumping over the wall to the zoo into the hippopotamus enclosure.
Berlingske newspaper reports that witnesses reported hearing what sounded like a gunshot at around 13:50.
Police say the man that fired the shot was wearing a red coat, is around 30 years of age and has dark skin and thick, dark hair.
Update: Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff has issued the following statement about today’s events:
It is with utmost disgust and abhorrence that I condemn the cowardly, but thankfully failed, attack on my friend and colleague Lars Hedegaard, the brave Danish advocate of freedom.
This assassination attempt is once again a prime example that there can be no dialog between the adherents of the Islamic faith and the rest of us. The tenets of the Islamic faith demand that those speaking the truth about Islam and Sharia law must either convert or be killed. We must urgently realize at this point just how far our freedoms have been eroded: more and more no-go Sharia zones in both the UK and Denmark; assassination attempts on critics of Islam; lawfare against critics of Islam; all of which is aimed at silencing those who stand up for freedom of speech and Western liberal principles.
Make no mistake: we will not be silenced nor will we give in. We are resolved in our stand against the forces of evil. We are resolved to continue our quest to reassert our God-given rights. We are for freedom. We love freedom. We will not submit.
Additional news coverage of the story: