Here's an interview conducted with Christopher Hitchens by Michael J. Totten, in which Hitchens rightly laments the mentality of blaming the victim when attempts are made on the lives of cartoonists, writers, and others for supposedly offending Muslim sensibilities. Hitchens pretty much nails the issues on this occasion.
While I'm still talking about this, I see that I made an error in my earlier post on the topic. While Holm certainly appears to believe that the attack on Kurt Westergaard's life can be blamed on the Danish suspicion of religion and the Danes' ongoing unwillingness to back down - and this apparently includes the attitudes of Westergaard himself and his editors - it is clear that she sees the responsibility to apologise as having initially fallen on the Danish prime minister at the time of the publication of the cartoons in Jyllands Posten. This was slightly easier to miss in the article as first published, and as I believe I first read it, and the logic of the article is far from clear. But I still should have picked up on this point.
But none of that lets the author off her hook of shame. Indeed, such a suggestion displays a shocking misunderstanding of freedom of speech and the proper role of governments in Western democracies. If a private individual makes comments or draws a cartoon or expresses herself in some other way that offends people, and if the offending expression is published by a private organisation such as a privately-owned newspaper, then the government is not responsible for it. In most cases, the government will have no legal authority to control what has been said, and any event governments should be upholding their citizens' freedom of speech and expression - including their freedom to engage in satire that might be offensive to some or seem unreasonable to others.
As for the idea of Westergaard or Jyllands Posten, or the Danish government, or the Danes in general, backing down now, after the horrifying attempt on Westergaard's life - the very idea is repugnant.
Hitchens is correct to relate this episode to the notorious fatwa that was issued against Salman Rushdie in 1989, over the publication of The Satanic Verses, at which time many public intellectuals in the West disgraced themselves by blaming the victim.
There is too little unambiguous defence of free speech by Western intellectuals, and far too much undermining of it by people who should know better. There is too much capitulation to violence, authoritarianism, and highly illiberal attitudes to free expression. As Hitchens says, this kind of capitulation must be stopped.