I know this will probably seem unbelievable but apparently there has been an act of terrorism committed by a member of Islam (the religion of peace) against freedom of speech in a European country. It boggles the mind to think that such an unlikely event could possibly occur. As we all know Islam, throughout its long history has gained a worldwide reputation for spreading tolerance, peace, and harmony throughout the world. We’ve seen clear evidence of this by how well predominately Muslim populations get on with non-Muslims such as Jews, Hindus, Christians, atheists etc, and their tireless efforts to promote equal rights for women and sexual minorities such as homosexuals.
Yep, it’s truly shocking to think that something like this could happen, but apparently it did.
A gunman killed one person and wounded three in Copenhagen on Saturday when he tried to force his way into an event discussing Islam and free speech in the wake of the January attack on theFrench satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
Hours later, police reported another shooting, near a synagogue in downtown Copenhagen, though it wasn’t immediately clear whether the incident was linked to the earlier shooting. A civilian was killed and two police officers were shot in the arms and legs, the Associated Press reported. The gunman got away in both cases.
Subsequently, Copenhagen police said they killed a man who shot at them near a train station and were investigating whether he was connected to the two earlier incidents, according to the AP.
After the first shooting, police had said they were hunting a man who sprayed dozens of gunshots through the plate glass windows of the Krudttoenden cafe in central Copenhagen, where Swedish cartoonistLars Vilks and France’s ambassador to Denmark, François Zimeray, were attending the free-speech conference. Neither Mr. Vilks nor Mr. Zimeray was injured.
Authorities didn’t disclose the identity of the victim, saying only it was a male in his 40s who was present at the conference. One witness said the man may have been smoking outside the cafe when he was killed. Police said the motive for the shooting remained unclear, but that it was possible that Mr. Vilks was the target. The artist achieved notoriety nearly a decade ago for trying to exhibit caricatures of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad as a dog.
“Denmark has today been hit by a cynical act of violence,” said Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt. “Everything suggests that the shooting in Osterbro was a political assassination and thus an act of terrorism.”
The initial attack unfolded Saturday afternoon around 4 p.m. local time.
Inna Shevchenko, the Ukrainian feminist activist, had just taken the floor and was talking about one of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists killed in January when three or four gunshots went off.
For a second, the 50-strong audience didn’t pay much attention, thinking it was some firecrackers, Agnieszka Kolek, a Polish artist and free-speech activist who was present, said in a telephone interview.
But the gunfire intensified and bullets began piercing through the windows, spreading panic inside the cafe. Curtains prevented participants from seeing their assailant but “we heard him shout ‘Allahu akbar,’ ” Ms. Kolek said.
Mr. Vilks’s bodyguards worked to evacuate him while police officers guarding the conference began shooting back at the gunman, she said.
Like others, the French ambassador, Mr. Zimeray, said he crawled on the floor toward a backdoor emergency exit. He is “in complete shock,” French Foreign Ministry spokesman Roman Nadal said.
Ms. Kolek said police and other witnesses later told her how the gunman—minutes before the shooting—had been seen trying to enter the cafe through the back door.
“If he had made his way in, we would all have died,” she said.
One police officer and two bodyguards were wounded in the cafe attack, police said. The suspect then hijacked a car and abandoned it a five-minute drive north of the attack, police added. “We don’t know if it’s an act of terrorism, but we’re investigating it as an act of terrorism,” said Jorgen Skov, head of Copenhagen police.
While police had initially said they were seeking two suspects in the cafe shooting, interviews with witnesses on the scene later led them to believe there was a sole perpetrator, said police spokesman Steen Hansen. Police said the suspect was a tall, athletic man of between 25 to 30 years old, dressed in a dark parka.
The shootings are potentially the latest in a cycle of violence connected to depictions of the Prophet Muhammad, which many Muslims regard as blasphemy.
January’s terror spree in and around Paris began when two brothers burst into the offices of Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people—including 10 staffers—in what one of the gunmen later said was retaliation for images the newspaper had earlier published of the Prophet Muhammad.
In response, Charlie Hebdo decided to print another caricature of the Prophet Muhammad in a “survivors” issue the following week. That in turn led to waves of anti-French protests that have swept parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
While most of those protests were peaceful, some turned violent. In Niger, 10 people were killed, as rioters torched churches, wrecked bars and blocked several major roads during two days of demonstrations against Charlie Hebdo.
The Charlie Hebdo attacks circle back to Copenhagen. The controversial caricatures that the French newspaper first printed in 2006 were reprints of others that earlier had been printed by a Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, in what the newspaper said was a defense of free speech.
Most mainstream newspapers in Denmark reprinted some of Charlie Hebdo’s most contentious drawings after the attack, but Jyllands-Posten didn’t, citing concerns for its employees’ safety.
The paper was the target of a foiled terrorist attack in 2010, when five men were arrested for planning to kill as many of the newspaper’s staff as possible. One of its most famous cartoonists, Kurt Westergaard, who penned a depiction of Muhammad wearing a bomb in his turban, was also targeted in a failed murder attempt at his home in 2010.
French President François Hollande deplored Saturday’s attack and expressed his solidarity with Denmark’s Ms. Thorning-Schmidt, his office said. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve will head to Copenhagen on Sunday morning, his office said.
Ms. Thorning-Schmidt said police were on full alert across the country and all resources had been deployed to catch the perpetrators. “We face some difficult days when our unity will be tested. But in Denmark, we will never bow to the violence,” she said.
At the Krudttoenden cafe, Ms. Kolek said she convinced participants to resume the conference for a moment after the deadly attack.
“I went on the stage and said: They are not just trying to kill us, they want to shut down freedom of speech.”
This sort of thing is beginning to happen more and more frequently and yet we still refuse to address the obvious problem. The way I see it, Europe has more than done their part for the Muslims we’ve allowed in. I’ve seen from personal experience that plenty of them have accepted the olive branch we’ve extended and are willing to integrate and respect our laws and customs. These people (some of whom I count among my friends) are a welcome addition to our countries and deserve the opportunities to become valued members of our societies.
At the same time, I’m not going to ignore the obvious reality that not all of them are like that. There is a very large portion of these people who simply aren’t compatible with our societies. In a sane and functional society, we would have strict criteria for allowing outsiders in (interviews, background checks etc). I’m confident that the good ones who are capable of integrating would still get through while those who have obvious compatibility issues would not. Even if some managed to slip through, if we were to be stricter with the terms of staying (deporting those who fail to find work within a certain time-frame, who are involved in criminal activity, or who preach hatred against us), we could at least minimise the chances of more incidents like this occurring.
What’s it going to take to wake people up to the reality of what’s going on? Will it take an open declaration of war against us within our own borders? Even then, will people wake up in time? Or are we doomed to eventually live under an oppressive Saudi-like regime, where white European women and girls are raped in the streets for not dressing modestly enough (and then receive 50 or 60 lashes as punishment for getting raped), gay people are executed for their sexual preferences, and all kinds of other human rights abuses occur?
The fact is, our European societies are objectively superior to a society like the one I’m describing. We don’t need to justify this superiority to our “guests”. It should be obvious to them if they choose to come here. If they don’t see it when they come here and they wish to change it to be more like the society they left, then they shouldn’t be here and should instead return to wherever they came from. When is enough enough, and when will we finally expel those who are incompatible with our society? We still have time now, but the clock is ticking.