On September 14, under pressure for having sent Westergaard out of the country, the PST passed the buck: Hugubakken said it was the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) that had made the decision to cancel Westergaard’s appearance and send him back to Denmark. However, in an interview (also posted on September 14) with the editors of Sappho, the website of the Danish Free Press Society, Westergaard seemed to confirm that the decision had indeed been made by the PST.
But that’s not all, folks. As it happened, on September 12 — the day Westergaard returned to Denmark from Oslo — a devout young Muslim activist named Mohyeldeen Mohammad arrived in Oslo from Saudi Arabia. This was the same fellow who, in February of last year, gave a speech at a huge Oslo rally protesting a cartoon of the prophet Muhammed (not Westergaard’s) that had appeared in Dagbladet. “When will Norwegian authorities and their media understand the seriousness of this?” Mohyeldeen Mohammed had thundered before a highly receptive audience of around 3000 Muslims in Oslo’s University Square. “Perhaps not before it is too late. Perhaps not before we get a September 11 on Norwegian soil.” He added, unpersuasively: “This is no threat, this is a warning.”
(After the cancellation of Westergaard’s appearance at Litteraturhuset, one could not help reflecting that the same PST which put the kibosh on it had allowed that rally in University Square to go on without a hitch.)
In the year and a half since his now-famous speech, Mohammed, who immigrated to Norway with his Iraqi parents at age three, had publicly praised Osama bin Laden, declared that gays and infidels deserve the death penalty, and celebrated the death of Norwegian soldiers in Afghanistan. Then, in early September, he flew to Saudi Arabia to study the Koran. He was arrested at the airport in Medina, and after being detained and questioned for several days, was sent by Saudi authorities back to Norway, arriving at Oslo Airport, as noted above, on September 12.
No reason was given for his detention and return. The natural conclusion, however, was that Mohammed, while not too extreme for Norway, is too extreme for Saudi Arabia.
This, then, is Europe in the year 2011. On the very day that Norwegian officials hustle a hero of free speech out of the country for fear that his exercise of that freedom will lead to violence, they welcome back home an outspoken champion of violence and a sworn enemy of liberty who has just been deported by one of the world’s most oppressive nations.
The PST’s cowardice and lack of moral responsibility are — to put it mildly — deeply dispiriting. And with this sad episode, the ever-darkening long-term prospects for the survival of freedom in Norway grow even dimmer.