Americans do not know: The Death Penalty has been reintroduced in Europe. A growing number of individuals are living with formal or informal fatwas over their heads.
Europeans know, but do not want to know. Especially people with responsibility and the need to know. Their feigned ignorance produces a vacuum where Öffentlichkeit should have been.
It is important that Americans realise what is happening in Europe.
I’ve just come back from a visit to Lars Hedegaard, the persevering former leader for the Danish Free Speech Society whom was attempted assassinated on his own doorstep in februar 2013. Coming into his flat, I realised that he lives just like the artist/cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who drew the famous bomb in the turban-cartoon; cameras, steeldoor, bathroom turned into a secure bunker, with alarm, of course. A similar arrangement did not prevent a Somali man from breaking into Westergaards house with an axe. The bathroom was his salvation.
You start to think weird thoughts when your home is, not your castle, but more like a fortress. You are constantly reminded that you are under threat. A ring on the doorbell, and you jump. You will feel jumpy every time when you must check the camera to see who is coming up the stairs.
This is happening to free people in a free society. Or rather; what used to be free people in free societies. Neither the people, nor their societies are free anymore.
The majority of the public prefer to forget about this. It is not their threats. But it will be if they don’t behave. And they behave. Instinctively the fate of Lars Hedegaard, Lars Vilks and Kurt Westergaard are at the back of people who deal with information processing of some sort.
International press routinely refer to the quiet, carefree, safe Scandinavia. It is a lie. This myth is nurtured to draw comfort from the conviction that some spots still are tranquil, untouched. Their psychological needs dictate their reporting.
The sad fact is that «the troubles» are to be found everywhere, in every country.
How many in Europe live like Hedegaard, Vilks, Westergaard? Almost the whole of Jyllands-Posten do. Their workplace has been transformed into a high security prison. A couple of years ago a Swedish trio arrived in Copenhagen planning to hit Jyllands-Posten, beheading everyone they could find and throwing their heads out on the main city square.
Imagine what such plans do to people making a newspaper every day! No wonder Jyllands-Posten no longer has the stamina to do an encore on the cartoons. They’ve had it.
But after all they are an organisation. The others are all alone.
So is the Egyptian-German writer and scholar Hamed Abdel-Samad, who also must live under protection. So must Geert Wilders.
Western media only refer to him as rightwing or worse. They omit that one of the Netherlands’ most popular politicians is living under constant protection, on a military base. The threat is one thing, this silence is another. It makes the press an accomplice.
This strikes me as utterly absurd and ominous. Under normal circumstances, people in power and position would recognise that these threats are also a threat to society. It is not just those individuals’ lives that are at stake here.
But the press and media prefer to ignore it.
Where is the list of people in Europe who are living lives so constrained they are almost living in prisons? Quite a few, and often important people, people who have made a contribution to society.
Free societies cannot allow external forces to impose their will on them, without suffering serious consequences.
This message was brought home to me when I visited Lars Hedegaard and saw his home.
As a European, I refuse to accept that non-legal forces can reimpose the death penalty in Europa. They threaten my children’s future and the society I used to know. Shame on all the politicians and intellectuals who turn a blind eye. They will come to regret it.