Today, Valentine's Day, a cafĂ© in Copenhagen hosted a discussion on "Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression". Islam knows not "freedom of expression", and the inclination of a certain proportion of its adherents is to respond to any "discussion" by opening fire.
Why wouldn't they? As President Selfie told the UN General Assembly, "The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam." The fanatics of Islam take him at his word, and act accordingly.
So at that cafĂ© this afternoon they came in shooting and yelling "Allahu Akbar!" - which is Arabic for "Can't we all just get along?" Three policemen are wounded and one member of the public - a 40-year-old man - is dead. And, in a small hitherto peaceable Scandinavian kingdom, another little bit of European cultural life and artistic spirit shrivels and dies.
The principal speaker was the Swedish artist Lars Vilks, with whom I had the honor to share a stage in Copenhagen four years ago when I was given the Danish Free Press Society's Sappho Award. If you don't know Lars, here's what I had to say about him a while back:
They have a tradition in Sweden of roundabout dogs - canine scultptures that pop up mysteriously on Swedish roundabouts - and Lars Vilks decided to do a drawing of Mohammed as a roundabout dog. He wound up with a fatwa on his head. And one night he came home to find the jihad boys had firebombed his kitchen. As they escaped across the field heady with the thrill of their glorious victory, they noticed that in the course of setting Mr Vilks' home alight they'd also accidentally set their trousers on fire, and, after some effort to extinguish their smoking pantaloons, were forced to discard them. Unfortunately, in abandoning their pants and scampering off through the icy night in their jihadist underwear, they neglected to remove the charred driver's licenses and other identifying documentation, from which police were able easily to track them down. When Mr Vilks told this story in Copenhagen, the whole room was roaring with laughter.
Indeed. Afterwards we all went to dinner. And it emerged that in the course of the day a one-legged Chechen from Belgium, seething with resentment at Lars and the rest of us infidels, had prematurely self-detonated in his Copenhagen hotel room while assembling his package. And we all had a grand laugh about that, too. As I said that day:
Muslim terrorists are like Yosemite Sam in the Loony Tunes cartoons, forever shoving the stick of dynamite in their own pants â€“ until one day Yosemite Ahmed manages to get it right. After the bombing of the British Conservative Party conference in 1984, the IRA taunted Mrs Thatcher: "You have to be lucky every day, we only have to be lucky once." Those jihad incompetents with the smoking trousers would modify the line: We only have to be competent once - and no matter how many years roll by they'll keep trying.
Today they were competent. And so a Danish citizen is dead because he went to a discussion on free speech.
This is usually the point at which we're expected to do the not-all-Muslims-want-to-shoot-you-dead shtick. And that's true. But Islam itself has no feeling whatsoever for the spirit of free speech. For example, Bushra Qasim Khan doesn't want to shoot anyone dead herself, but, via Blazing Cat Fur, we learn this:
Copenhago: Firing is continue. May Allah help those gun men. End the blasphemers.
Bushra Qasim Khan is a Pakistani "journalist" who claims "knowledge is oxygen".
As much as I loathe these fanatics, I despise even more Obama and the European political elite that gives them succor and trades our liberties to appease madmen. They have seeded a cancer in the heart of the west that will consume us all.
My thoughts and prayers are with my Scandinavian friends. I have spent the last week in America listening to the most fatuous and drooling eulogies for a retiring so-called "satirist" who has never in his life told a joke that mattered, who has never once strayed beyond the cozy media-Democrat comfort zone of dreary snarking at those Republican rubes, and even then has to make funny faces to get a laugh. By contrast, Lars Vilks is a true satirist, and is insisting on no more or less, in a darkening Europe, than the right to choose what he laughs about. I know which of these men has genuine courage.
Our host in Copenhagen in 2010 was Lars Hedegaard of the Danish Free Press Society. He opened the door a couple of years later to find a man posing as a postman who shot at him and, fortunately, missed. The would-be killer is now in Turkey, which is refusing to extradite. There were five of us on stage that day - Lars Hedegaard, Lars Vilks, the comedians Shabana Rehman and Farshad Kholghi, and me. Two of the five have since been shot at, and a third has had her family restaurant firebombed. For Yosemite Ahmed, that 60 per cent hit rate is not unimpressive, and gives me pause.