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Lars Man Standing, Final Score
by Mark Steyn
I've written previously about Lars Hedegaard of the Danish Free Press Society, my host in Copenhagen in 2010. Lars was charged, acquitted, re-charged, convicted and fined 5,000 kroner for remarks about Islam made during a conversation in his own home. He appealed to the Danish Supreme Court, and late on Friday they struck down his conviction 7–0.
But the relevant provision of Danish law remains in place, and Lars can never get back the years of his time that this disgusting prosecution consumed. Restraints on free speech and individual liberty in the name of identity-group rights are now routine in much of the Western world. If it weren't for the First Amendment, the American Left would do as the Euroleft does on freedom of expression. At America's wretchedly conformist college campuses they already do.
And for every Lars Hedegaard willing to push things all the way to the Supreme Court, the broader lesson of his "victory" is that the average Dane understands the price of raising certain subjects is too high. As I put it in my rollicking foreword to Geert Wilders' lively new book, for every contrarian spirit such as Lars, "there are a thousand other public figures who get the message" — best just to steer clear, keep your head down.
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