The murder of the film director Theo van Gogh provoked a free speech controversy in Denmark. The Danish Liberal Party decided to give its annual liberty prize to the Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Ali wrote the manuscript for the director’s recent film Submission, which portrayed the sexual domination of Muslim women in a controversial manner. While – almost – unanimously condemning the murder, a number of Danish Muslims criticized the party and called for stricter legislation on religious blasphemy, arguing that freedom of speech was regularly misused to slander Islamic religion and the Prophet. Their timing was bad. It invariably linked the discussion of freedom of speech with the assumed condolence of murder. Also, the choice of van Gogh’s film as a test case was particularly disastrous in Denmark. In a speech the Prime Minister wondered how

we have come to a point where giving a freedom prize to a person who fights the subjection of women is regarded as a provocation. Those who call it provocative have not understood the core of the Danish freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in our country means that you can openly and freely criticize anything and anybody.

(Cited in Mortensen, 2004)