The "racist" and the unknown man

The attempted murder of an “Islamophobe” is part of the scene in today’s Europe. Among those targeted have been such obvious “right-wing extremists” as secular feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, gay hedonist Pim Fortuyn, and coke-snorting anti-monarchist Theo van Gogh. While I was in Copenhagen paying a visit to Lars’s Danish Free Press Society, a young Chechen jihadist opposed to all this outrageous Islamophobia prematurely detonated while assembling his bomb in his hotel room, and we all had a good laugh. But sometimes, as on Lars’s doorstep, the jihad wannabe is less incompetent and gets a little closer.

How does one report an assassination attempt on a writer for expressing his opinion? Most North American media didn’t report it at all. The BBC announced, “Gunman Targets Islam Critic Hedegaard” — which is true, although one couldn’t but notice that the Beeb and the Euro-press seemed far more interested in qualifying the victim’s identity (“Islam critic”) than in fleshing out the perp’s. And then there were the Swedes. Across the water from Lars’s home town, most prominent outlets picked up the story from the national news agency, TT, the local equivalent of the Associated Press. Here’s how they began:

“Lars Hedegaard, once convicted for racism, has been subject to an assassination attempt. An unknown man reportedly shot at Hedegaard outside his Copenhagen home.

The author Hedegaard is one of the few Danes who is a certified racist, as he some years ago was fined by a High Court for having stated in a blog interview that Muslim fathers rape their children. He was later acquitted by the Supreme Court.”