Mohamed Geele was sentenced to nine years in prison by a Danish court for attacking Kurt Westergaard at his home in Aarhus, Denmark last year. He will also be deported to his native Somalia after his jail sentence is finished. Geele was convicted on charges of attempted murder and terrorism for his attack on Westergaard, a cartoonist who caricatured the Prophet Muhammad.
This is a victory for free speech and freedom of expression in Denmark and throughout Europe. Although Geele could have been sentenced to life in prison a punishment of nine years behind bars followed by deportation is sufficient enough to be a deterrent to other Islamists inclined to murder or maim those who criticize or satirize Islam, Muhammad, Allah or any combination thereof, which is to say all of them. It is a clear statement by the Danish Criminal Justice System that it will uphold and enforce the law and that such attacks are neither acceptable or permissible in a free, democratic, secular, Western country such as Denmark. It tells Islamists that they will be held to account if they threaten, intimidate or harm people who express themselves in ways they don’t like.
Free speech and freedom of expression are being assaulted by Islamists all over Europe, not only in Denmark. The conviction and sentence in the Danish court may serve to ameliorate the situation somewhat, which is all to the good. In the war between freedom and oppression every victory is important. And don’t be fooled, there is a war going on.
We may even see more criticism and satire because of the conviction and sentence. What an added victory that would be.
Caricatures of Muhammad…the more the better.