“ISLAM” WAS DISCUSSION TOPIC WHEN GUNMAN OPENED FIRE, KILLING ONE
by Sharon Rondeau
The gathering was reportedly arranged by a Swedish artist, Lars Vilks, who Fox reported was “under police protection” at the time. The UK Telegraph reported that the group assembled had been having a “debate on Islam” in the Osterbro section of Denmark’s capital city.
In 2007, Vilks had reportedly drawn a caricature of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.
The French ambassador to Denmark was reportedly in attendance at the event but was unharmed.
Leaders from Great Britain and France expressed their solidarity with Denmark in the wake of what has been termed a terror attack.
In response to the attack, Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt released a statement in which she said, in part:
Denmark was today hit by a cold-blooded act of terror. Everything points toward the shooting in Østerbro being a political assassination and thus an act of terror.
Elsewhere in the world, Islamic militants associated with the Islamic State, or ISIS, on Thursday reportedly seized control of media outlets, displeased that they had been “broadcasting music.”
In the United States in June 2013, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee told citizens that if they posted derogatory statements online about Islam, they are “subject to federal jurisdiction.” His edict was protested by approximately 1,000 citizens, some of whom came from out of state to voice their opposition.
In April 2010, an American cartoonist who launched a free speech effort in which participants would draw depictions of Muhammad changed her identity after receiving death threats and has been in hiding ever since, according to the FBI.
Update: A second terrorist attack occurred in Copenhagen near a Jewish synagogue several hours after the attack on the cafe. It is unclear at this time if there were any deaths, although USA Today reported that “One person was shot in the head and the two officers were shot in the arms and legs in the later attack.”