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Defending Free Speech in an Islamic Europe

“Keep the Faith. Don’t be intimidated. You might as well be killed standing than crawling on your knees.” – Lars Hedegaard

LISTEN to this interview with Lars Hedegaard Founder of the Danish and International Free Press Societies that aired on the Lisa Benson show, Sunday, March 13, 2016:

Hedegaard discusses his struggle and survival fighting a Palestinian émigré shooter disguised as a Danish postman in an attempted assassination in February 2013 by who fled Denmark. Today he lives under 24/7 protection of the Danish security police in what he calls “a near Fort Knox-like complex.” He addresses Denmark’s inundation in the current massive wave of Muslim immigration, desperate assertion of border control and repression of free speech concerning the Islamization of Europe.  See our original interview with Hedegaard published in the New English Review Press collection, The West Speaks. 

Hedegaard was forthright, honest about his experience in the face of the attempt on his life in February 2013 by a Palestinian émigré, a well educated engineer who had become radicalized.  The perpetrator, “BH”, as Lars discussed on the program fled Denmark only to be arrested in Turkey in April 2014, later traded to release Turkish diplomats in Mosul, Iraq in October, despite Danish extradition requests. “BH” could have ended up in Syria with the Islamic State, as did a colleague who Hedegaard said had been killed by the Americans recently. Almost Kafkaesque  was Hedegaard’s discussions of the fines levied recently on him and others in the Danish Free Press Society publishing group, other Danish  media and Pegida.dk for revealing “BH’s” true identity.

His discussion of the political and social environment in neighboring Sweden, that we heard from Kent Ekeroth, Sweden Democrat and Riksdag parliament deputy in our interviews with him, is appalling. Hedegaard spoke of Geert Wilders being denied speaking in Sweden by hordes of protesters, persecuted Jews of Malmo fleeing Sweden for safety and the rapine misogyny of Muslim migrant males inflicted on unwary Swedish girls and women.  In Sweden, today, “it is nearly impossible to hold an open meeting.”

Hedegaard gave to truth to power about the ineptness of the current center right ruling coalition government in Denmark.  He suggests that the public outrage in his country presages a move to the right politically in the hopes that might stanch Islamic immigration and bolstering free speech from intimidation by the EU and sharia Islamic blasphemy.

While Denmark’s Jews may not be as threatened as our Sweden’s; nevertheless, Hedegaard cited the recent occurrence of a 16 year girl Islamic convert from Kundby, Denmark and her 24 year old boyfriend, an ISIS returning fighter ‘mentor’, caught attempting to bomb a Jewish Day school in Copenhagen. More of that, as Hedegaard opined, might spur sending Denmark’s 6,400 Jews to Israel, Canada or the US which as he pointed the Jewish community made many contributions to the Scandinavian country.

Hedegaard readily admitted that he is not a man of the right by virtue of his former Marxist political background that he now rejects. Nevertheless, he believes that background has enabled him to analyze the dangers of Islamization to his country, Europe and the West.  His response to a final question about what message he wanted to send to the Lisa Benson Show program listeners, “Keep the Faith. Don’t be intimidated. You might as well be killed standing than crawling on your knees.”  Brought a rejoinder from host Benson about a General saying, “keep up the fire.” That reminded this writer of how Danish editorial cartoonist, Kurt Westergaard, responded to a similar question in a 2009 interview , “free speech, use it!!”

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.