The attempted assassination of Lars Hedegaard made headlines around the world. The vocal critic of Islam was shot at outside his apartment building by an individual posing as a postman. The incident only seemed to reinforce his claims about the threat that Islam poses to the freedom of speech, and it echoed the high profile 2004 assassination of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh.
The assassination attempt spurred a debate among Danish intellectuals about whether free speech was under threat in Denmark. Many who condemned the publishing of the Mohammed cartoons have since admitted that no-one should risk losing their life for speaking their mind. There was a significant twist later in the year, however, when an artist was convicted of racism for her statements about Muslim men. Then this was followed by the emergence on the national scene of ‘ghetto poet’ Yahya Hassan, who many said was getting away with his inflammatory anti-Muslim poetry simply because of his Lebanese background. Just as Hedegaard’s assassination attempt remains unsolved ten months later, there is no end in sight for the larger debate.