In my home country of Denmark, the reaction to the failed murder has mainly been one of horror. Nearly all leading politicians and media have condemned it. To be sure, some newspapers have availed themselves of this opportunity to emphasize what a despicable racist I am, but at least they express their satisfaction that I’m not dead.
Not so in Sweden, where I work most of the time. The Swedish media have either hinted that I have invented the incident in order to set myself up as a martyr—which would have required a major conspiracy involving the Danish police and Security Service—or they seem disappointed that my delivery man was not a better marksman.
Unfortunately, the attempt on my life is one in a wave of political assassinations or attempted assassinations that has swept Europe since Ayatollah Khomeini issued his so-called fatwa against Salman Rushdie in 1989. Some have been killed—among them the Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn and Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh. Others, like writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali, have been forced to flee Europe or go into hiding.