6 Feb 2013

Gunman targets Danish writer critical of Islam

10:32 am on 6 February 2013

A Danish writer and prominent critic of Islam has survived an assassination attempt outside his home in Copenhagen.

Lars Hedegaard says he opened the door to a man of Middle Eastern appearance in his 20s dressed as a postman, who opened fire with a pistol, narrowly missing his head.

The 70-year-old was not injured in the attack. He heads the Free Press Society and International Free Press Society, and was fined in 2011 for insulting statements about Muslims.

The IFPS, founded in 2009, launched an international campaign to support the Dutch far-right anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders's right to criticise Islam, the BBC reports.

Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt condemned the attack, saying: "It is even worse if the attack is rooted in an attempt to prevent Lars Hedegaard using his freedom of expression."

Denmark has been a target for Islamist militants since the Jyllands-Posten newspaper printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005.

Many Muslims were offended by the drawings, which violated an Islamic tenet banning the portrayal of his image.