According to this little profile of Michel Houellebecq, the man is a bit of a card, who likes to say provocative things and boasted he had "never had a coherent idea in his life." He had a good line in court about having never studied the French penal code, as he suspected it probably wasn't a very fascinating read.
I see in this discussion here that David Lawton called the writer's ordeal a blasphemy trial. That aspect of the story reminds me quite a bit of the Ezra Levant case, where the real issue is not that his accusers object to the bomb on Muhammad's head - they object to the fact that someone published a drawing of their prophet contrary to Muslim law.
But the article about Houellebecq's personality, that reminds me more of Theo Van Gogh. Having just read Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, I immediately thought of the late Dutch filmmaker, who was also kind of a wild and crazy guy who would say just about anything that popped into his head. These loose cannons are the ones in Europe who seem to be in the most danger.