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Hedegaard lashes out following failed assassination attempt
Lars Hedegaard has criticised the country’s politicians and media following the failed attempt on his life last week.
In a statement published on the Danish Free Press Society's online magazine, Sappho, on Saturday, he directly condemned national newspaper Politiken and the country’s political parties for doing too little against what he views as problematic immigration and attacks on the freedom of speech.
“Politiken’s editor-in-chief Bo Lidegaard may well say he’s happy to hear I’m alive,” Hedegaard wrote. “But he was also quick to explain how much of a miserable creep I am, due to my ‘nonsensical, hateful and degrading statements about Muslims in Denmark’.”
Hedegaard went on to defend himself, referring to his acquittal on racism charges by the Supreme Court, and insisted that his views are not against individual Muslims, but rather against the religion they follow.
“Muslims are, in my opinion, victims of a sick political ideology that is more akin to Nazism and communism than anything else,” Hedegaard continued.
Hedegaard went on to accuse Denmark's political parties of failing to remove the so-called 'racism paragraph' from the penal code, which prosecutes anyone who “ridicules a lawfully-existing religious community, punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to four months".
“Politicians won’t take action against immigrant Muslims who have not come to here to integrate … but because Denmark is a good place to receive social assistance,” Hedegaard wrote. “All the while they disseminate their barbaric beliefs and threaten the lives of Danes.”
Hedegaard also made special reference to Dansk Folkeparti (DF) and Liberal Alliance as the only political parties who “dared to stick their necks out” on national immigration issues.
DF's Pia Kjærsgaard was quick to join Hedegaard’s criticism of the government, posting a statement on her Facebook page that called for the removal of paragraph 266b of the penal code, the 'racism paragraph'.
“Why don't we see the abolition of the blasphemy clause?” Kjærsgaard posted online. “Shouldn't we get rid of paragraph 266b so that we can freely express our views without being accused by the media-hungry radicals … of breaking the so-called racism paragraph?”
Despite Hedegaard and Kjærsgaard's criticism of Denmark's blasphemy laws, Danes are generally supportive of the regulations in place and do not want the laws to be repealed, according to a study carried out by liberal think-tank CEPOS in September 2012.