On February 14-15, 2015, Copenhagen, Denmark was hit by two closely related terror attacks in the space of a few hours. The first one hit a debate meeting about free speech and religion. The second targeted a synagogue and a local Jewish community. The presumed perpetrator of these twin attacks, the militant Muslim Omar El-Hussein of Palestinian Arab heritage, was eventually shot and killed during a confrontation with the police.
Some early reports suggested that Omar El-Hussein was a “lone wolf” terrorist. This is highly questionable. It was probably he who fired the actual shots that killed two men and wounded several others. Yet that does not mean that he acted in total isolation.
Within a few weeks, five young Muslim men had been formally charged with aiding the gunman Omar in his attacks, either by providing him with equipment he used or by trying to get rid of equipment for him.
Omar the terrorist certainly was not alone with his Islamic beliefs. Originally a violent criminal rather than a religious Jihadist, he seems to have become radicalized during his stay in prison. He apparently shared a prison cell with a supporter of the Islamic State (ISIS).
Assertions have been made by media sources that the terrorist may have visited a radical Copenhagen mosque preaching hatred of jews just one day before his attacks. These claims remain uncertain. What is clear is that his acts were motivated by commonly held Islamic beliefs, inspired by Islamic texts.
To some Muslims, Omar the murderer is a “great hero” who deserves “a place in paradise.” Hundreds of people attended his funeral. Not all of them were relatives. Some of those who were present probably attended Omar’s funeral not in spite of, but because of the fact that he was a terrorist and murderer. A few radical Muslims admitted this openly.
It is interesting to notice that Omar El-Hussein was a petty criminal before becoming a terrorist. It seems as if the step from violent crime to violent Jihad is not always that big. As I have observed in some of my previous essays, looting and stealing the property of non-Muslims has been part of Jihad from the very beginning. In fact, so much of the behavior of Muhammad himself and the earliest Muslims could be deemed criminal that it is difficult to know where crime ends and Jihad begins.
Muslims make up a vastly disproportionate number of prison inmates in countries such as France and Britain. Some Muslims become further radicalized in jail, while some violent criminals convert to Islam behind bars. The Danish psychologist Nicolai Sennels has worked with criminal Muslims. He noticed that they rarely feel any sense of remorse for the crimes they have committed. Instead, they see themselves as victims of outside forces, scheming infidels or the will of Allah. Muslims are never guilty of anything. They are always victims.
Jyllands-Posten is one of the largest newspapers in Denmark. On September 30, 2005, it published a series of drawings of Islam’s founder and alleged prophet Mohammed. I was one of the very first people to write about this case in English. Already in October 2005, I was posting essays in support of Jyllands-Posten and free speech at my old blog.
Yet it took several months before the case really exploded on the international scene. Ahmad Akkari is a former radical Muslim. In late 2005, he traveled along with several others in Muslim countries to whip up anger over the Danish Mohammed cartoons. Unfortunately, this succeeded. In 2013-2014, Akkari publicly apologized to the Danish nation and distanced himself from his previous actions.
By early 2006, protests against the Danish Mohammed cartoons were becoming huge and violent in multiple Muslim countries. Several Islamic terror plots to massacre the staff of Jyllands-Posten have later been exposed and prevented. Some of the cartoonists have received death threats. One of the Danish artists, Kurt Westergaard, has been attacked by a militant Muslim in his own home. He managed to hide in a panic room and survived.
A decade after the Jyllands-Posten Mohammed cartoons controversy, the Jihad against artists and writers continues. It claimed new victims in Paris on January 7, 2015, when two armed militant Muslims brutally massacred the staff of the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The Jihadist terrorists killed 12 people because the magazine had published satirical cartoons showing Mohammed. An amateur video of the assailants’ subsequent gunfight with the police showed the men shouting: “We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad. We have killed Charlie Hebdo!” This was followed by attacks against Jewish targets in Paris.
On May 3, 2015, two Muslims attempted an attack in Garland, Texas on an exhibit featuring cartoons depicting Muhammad. Fortunately, the police killed the Jihadists before they could carry out a massacre. The event was organized by the group American Defense Freedom Initiative, led by the conservative Islam-critical writers Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. It was attended by the Dutch politician Geert Wilders. Bosch Fawstin, a former Muslim, won the contest for the best Mohammed cartoon.
This attack did not trigger the same mass media sympathy as the attack on the left-wing magazine Charlie Hebdo had done a few months earlier. Some accused Geller, Spencer and Wilders of having provoked this Islamic terror attack. Even alleged conservatives such as the businessman Donald Trump, or Bill O’Reilly from Fox News, denounced Geller and Spencer.
It is widely believed that the Swedish artist Lars Vilks was the primary target of the terror attack at the Krudttønden cultural center in Copenhagen on February 14, 2015. He had been an artist and art historian for many years. But then Professor Vilks decided to draw some cartoons of a man who may or may not have lived in the seventh century AD. As a result, militant Muslims want to murder him. Vilks has to be protected by armed police even when he visits the bathroom. He is now virtually a refugee in his own country.
Since the Copenhagen attacks, Vilks has now also been evacuated from his former home in southern Sweden. In the spring of 2015, a few journalists were able to meet him in a mobile home on a Swedish field. They were guarded by dozens of armed policemen and dogs, with a helicopter standing by. It was deemed too unsafe to meet Vilks anywhere else, so they settled for a caravan. Åsa Linderborg, a former Communist activist and now columnist at the left-leaning daily Aftonbladet, was present at this meeting. Linderborg questions how much the security surrounding Vilks costs, or should cost. There is obviously some security around the royal family and senior members of the government. Yet the most threatened person in all of Sweden today is not the King or the Prime Minister. It is a mild-mannered and polite professor of art history.
I have been fortunate enough to meet Lars Vilks several times. He immediately struck me as a very pleasant man, friendly to virtually everybody he meets. He is highly intelligent and educated. Yet he has none of the snobbishness you sometimes see in artists. Like Raoul Wallenberg before him, he is doing his best to save his nation’s honor in a dark age. And like Wallenberg before him, Vilks is paying a heavy price for doing so.
Meanwhile, every day Sweden lets in more Muslim immigrants who could potentially attack Islam-critics or others. The influx of asylum seekers is so large that the country barely has enough housing for all of them. At the same time, the understaffed police force can hardly keep up with the rise of foreign mafias and public gang shootings. A single Swedish city, Gothenburg, has produced more Jihadists fighting for the Islamic State than all of Italy, and a number comparable to that of the entire USA.
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is one of the most brutal groups on the entire planet. They routinely engage in suicide bombings, mass beheadings, massacres of civilians, mass rape and open slave auctions. This savagery seems to attract a disturbing number of Muslims. It certainly does not repel them. One observer in Britain warned that the barbaric Jihadists of the Islamic State have become “pop idols,” similar to what The Beatles were decades ago: “The boys want to be like them and the girls want to be with them.”
In the 1960s, British youngsters were singing songs written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney of the English rock band The Beatles. Today, “British” youngsters are cheering for beheadings and Jihadist massacres. What a difference fifty years and a lot of demographic replacement makes. This transformation proceeded even faster elsewhere. Sweden went from Abba to Allah in less than four decades.
In response to this, Swedish authorities have engaged in very controversial policies of providing returning ISIS Jihadists with generous support from state institutions, including housing. Meanwhile, a decent, kind and honorable man such as Lars Vilks is homeless in Sweden, due to credible death threats from Jihadists.
Such is the state of freedom of speech today. The Jihad continues. Unfortunately, so does the appeasement.