Danish-Palestinian Poet and Critic of Islam Assaulted
18 year old Yahya Hassan, a Danish poet of Palestinian Arab descent, was assaulted on Monday at Copenhagen's central train station and suffered a head injury. Hassan has been a vocal critic of Denmark's Muslim population over its refusal to integrate into Danish society.
Hassan's 24 year old attacker was arrested and faces minor assault charges. Danish police spokesman Ove Bundgaard Larsen said Hassan was attacked from behind and took 5 to 8 punches in the face and body.
In his poetry Hassan criticizes Danish Muslims of abusing social benefits, beating their children, and clinging to the Koran, and further accuses his Palestinian Arab immigrant parents and their generation of having led him to quit school and commit petty crimes.
Hassan's poetry has earned a wide readership. His book "Yahya Hassan" has sold more than 17,000 copies since its October 17 publication. Ahram Online reports that according to industry sources, most poetry books in Denmark sell under 500 copies.
But the book has also earned him numerous death threats. The threats are such that Hassan has police protection when giving public readings.
Analysts have reported on the violence in Copenhagen, saying it is just as dangerous to be a Jew there as it is to be a Jew in Arab countries.
Meanwhile concerns over radical Islam in Europe have contributed to a rise in support for nationalist leaders such as Geert Wilders of Holland, an outspoken critic of Islam.
Wilders last week announced an alliance with French leader Marine Le Pen in which they will attempt to oppose the EU by forming a Euroskeptic bloc from within the organization. The alliance plans to push a conservative agenda against immigration.