Last Thursday, I gave a lecture on the jihad threat at the Grand Hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland. Shortly thereafter, a young Icelandic Leftist registered his disapproval of what I said by poisoning me.
It happened after the event, when my security chief, the organizers of the event, and Jihad Watch writer Christine Williams, who had also been invited to speak, went with me to a local restaurant to celebrate the success of the evening.
At this crowded Reykjavik establishment, I was quickly recognized. A young Icelander called me by name, shook my hand, and said he was a big fan. Shortly after that, another citizen of that famously genteel and courteous land also called me by name, shook my hand, and said “F**k you.”
We took that marvelous Icelandic greeting as a cue to leave. But the damage had already been done. About fifteen minutes later, when I got back in my hotel room, I began to feel numbness in my face, hands, and feet. I began trembling and vomiting. My heart was racing dangerously. I spent the night in a Reykjavik hospital.
What had happened quickly became clear, and was soon confirmed by a hospital test: one of these local Icelanders who had approached me (probably the one who said he was a big fan, as he was much closer to me than the “F**k you” guy) had dropped drugs into my drink. I wasn’t and am not on any other medication, and so there wasn’t any other explanation of how these things had gotten into my bloodstream.
For several days thereafter I was ill, but I did get to Reykjavik’s police station and gave them a bigger case than they have seen in good awhile. The police official with whom I spoke took immediate steps to identify and locate the principal suspects and obtain the restaurant’s surveillance video.
Iceland is a small country. Everyone knows everyone else. And so as it happened, I was quickly able to discover the identity, phone number, and Facebook page of the primary suspect, the young man who claimed he was a “big fan.” I don’t intend to call him. Icelandic police will be contacting him soon enough, if they haven’t done so already.
However, I did look at his Facebook page, and as I expected, I saw nothing that might indicate that he really was a “big fan” of my work, or that he held any views out of the mainstream -- which is, courtesy of Iceland’s political and media elites, dominated entirely by the Left.
The most likely scenario is that this young man, or whoever drugged me, heard that a notorious “racist” was coming to Reykjavik, by chance saw me in the restaurant, and decided to teach me a lesson with some of the illegal drugs that are as plentiful in Reykjavik as they are anywhere else.
I should have seen it coming. After all, my visit had triggered a firestorm of abuse in the Icelandic press, all based on American Leftist talking points. Every story about my visit had the same elements: the notice that the SPLC claims that I purvey “hate speech,” which is a subjective judgment used to shut down dissent from the establishment line; the fact that I am banned from Britain, with no mention of the key detail that I was banned for saying that Islam has doctrines of violence (which is like being banned for saying water is wet) and for the crime of supporting Israel; and the false claim that I incited the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik to kill (in reality, I’m no more responsible for Breivik’s murders than the Beatles are for Charles Manson’s). After the event, one article even featured a big photo of Breivik, but quoted nary a thing I said that evening.
Not a single Icelandic media outlet that ran a story about my coming or about the event itself contacted me for comment, much less for rebuttal to the charges they made against me. One TV station did air an interview with me in which the interviewer refused to believe that I did not feel responsible for the Breivik murders, and asked me about them again and again.
After the event, articles in the Icelandic press included quotes from the 50 protesters, but none included even a single quotation or description of anything we had actually said. None quoted any of the 500 brave Icelanders who braved the hatred of the politically correct elites to come to the Grand Hotel to hear me and Ms. Williams – a staggeringly large number in a country of 300,000 people.
It’s clear: jihad and Islamization are not subjects that Icelandic politicians and media opinion-makers want Icelanders to discuss.
That’s all the more reason why it must be discussed.
But meanwhile, I learned my lesson. The lesson I learned was that media demonization of those who dissent from the Leftist line is direct incitement to violence. By portraying me and others who raise legitimate questions about jihad terror and Sharia oppression as racist, bigoted Islamophobes, without allowing us a fair hearing, the media in Iceland and elsewhere in the West is actively endangering those who dare to dissent. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Center for American Progress and the rest who devote so much money, time and attention to demonizing “Islamophobes” are painting huge targets on our backs.
Of course, they think they’re doing something noble. Not only does the Left fill those whom it brainwashes with hate, but it does so while portraying its enemies as the hatemongers, such that violent Leftists such as the young man who drugged me feel righteous even as they victimize and brutalize conservatives.
There is no doubt about it: I’m certain that whoever poisoned me in Iceland went away feeling happy over what he had done. If he told anyone what he did, I’m sure he was hailed as a hero. I’m also aware that many who read this will be thrilled at the fact that I became seriously ill. That in itself is a sign of how degenerate and evil the Left has become.
All over the West, as Leftist students riot and physically menace conservative speakers and Leftist spokesmen indulge in the most hysterical rhetoric to defame their foes, politicians cower in fear and decline to discuss these issues, only ensuring that the problems I identified when I spoke in Reykjavik will continue to grow in Iceland and elsewhere.
As they were rising to power in Germany, the Nazis indoctrinated their young followers with the same message: those who oppose us are evil. Those who brutalize them are doing a great thing. The Left’s demonization of its opponents today will lead to exactly the same thing. It already has for me, in beautiful Reykjavik.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Iran. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.