My friend Lars Hedegaard is a dapper, courtly publisher and editor just turned 70. Like many Scandinavians, he speaks very evenly modulated English, but, insofar as I can tell, his Danish is no more excitable. A cultured, civilized fellow, he was for most of his life a man of the left, as are the majority of his compatriots, alas. But, as an historian and a chap who takes the long view, he concluded that Islam posed a profound challenge to Scandinavian liberalism. And so at a stroke he was transformed into a “right-winger.”
The other day in Copenhagen, he answered his doorbell and found a man in his early twenties who appeared to be “a typical Muslim immigrant” pointing a gun at him. He fired from a yard away, and, amazingly, missed. The bullet whistled past Lars’s ear, and the septuagenarian scholar then slugged his assailant. The man fired again, but the gun jammed, and, after some further tussling, the would-be assassin escaped. He has yet to be found.