Lars Hedegaard acquitted on anti-Muslim hate speech charge – Mad Mel still not entirely happy

Over at her Daily Mail blog (which used to be hosted by the Spectator until they got hit by a costly libel action) Melanie Phillips hails as “a victory” the decision by Denmark’s Supreme Court to overturn the conviction of Lars Hedegaard on a charge of inciting hatred against Muslims.

Mad Mel’s only criticism is that Hedegaard was acquitted on the technicality that he had made the offensive statements in the course of an interview which he claimed he had no idea would be published and therefore had “no intention of disseminating his remarks to a wider audience”. Whereas Phillips evidently believes Hedegaard should have the absolute right to incite hatred against Muslims without any restriction whatsoever.

It appears to have escaped Phillips’ attention that Article 266b of the Danish Penal Code, under which Hedegaard was charged, was originally introduced in 1939 in order to defend Denmark’s Jewish community against the incitement of hatred by far-right antisemites. Presumably Phillips thinks that was a mistake.