Yahya Hassan, the 19-year-old poet who rocketed to national fame with his debut book, was assaulted Saturday night at a Copenhagen club.
Hassan, who earlier this month officially entered politics as a member of the newly-created National Party, wrote about the incident on Facebook.
“This weekend I was at a discotheque in Copenhagen with some friends. I was standing there speaking with a woman when someone suddenly pulled hard on my ponytail from behind. I turned to face the person in question and put an arm out in front of me to keep him at a distance while another person punched me in the face. I gave what could be described as a frontal kick at the two most aggressive people in front of me,” he wrote, adding that his bodyguards then intervened.
Hassan said he would officially report the assault to the Copenhagen Police later on Monday and National Party leader Kashif Ahmad said that the young poet decided to visit the emergency room after waking up in pain Sunday morning.
“It is disheartening that Yahya cannot go about his business in peace and without facing an imminent threat, and that this has happened so many times. He is in pain and I have asked Yahya to rest for a few days. It is sad for him and the party,” Ahmad wrote on the party’s Facebook page.
Hassan has lived under the protection of the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) since his self-titled collection of poems set sales records and created a media frenzy for its criticisms of elements of Denmark’s immigrant communities and of Islam.
In November 2013, Hassan was assaulted in Copenhagen Central Station by a then 24-year-old man who attacked the poet for being an “infidel”.
In March 2015, Hassan was found guilty of assault for an incident in Aarhus in which he allegedly punch a local man outside of a restaurant. The poet filed an immediate appeal against the decision.
In recent months, Hassan has turned his critical gaze away from Islam and immigrants and toward Denmark’s right-wing politicians and national press, who he contends have turned on him now that he no longer “fits in to their agenda” as he wrote in a recent Facebook update.
Earlier this month, Hassan announced that he is running for parliament as a member of the National Party. The party was founded in November 2014 by Ahmad and his two brothers, all of whom have Pakistani heritage.
The party is currently attempting to gather enough signatures to qualify for a spot on the ballot in this year’s election, which must be held no later than September.
Boosted by Hassan’s popularity, the party says it has gathered over 9,600 verified signatures, putting it close to halfway toward the necessary 20,260.