Geert Wilders revives contest for cartoons that mock Muhammad
Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker reveals his plans despite fears the move could spark attacks
We must do it. Every country, every people, everyone who longs to be free from sharia oppression must stand their ground. Every one of us should participate in an annual Muhammad cartoon contest.
Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders has revived his plan to hold a contest for cartoons caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad, more than a year after cancelling such an event out of fear for attacks in the Netherlands.
In a tweet late on Saturday, Wilders called on people to send in their Muhammad cartoons.
“Freedom of speech must prevail over violence and Islamic fatwas,” the leader of the largest opposition party in the Dutch parliament wrote.
Wilders cancelled a similar contest in August last year after police arrested a man who had threatened to kill him over his plan.
At the time, plans to hold the contest prompted large demonstrations in Pakistan, organised by Islamist party Tehreek-e-Labbaik, which called on Islamist countries to sever all ties with the Netherlands.
Images of the Prophet Muhammad are traditionally forbidden in Islam as idolatrous. Caricatures are regarded by most Muslims as highly offensive.
In 2005, Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published cartoons of Muhammad that sparked demonstrations across the Muslim world as well as several attempts to kill either its editor or cartoonist Kurt Westergaard.
Ten years later, in Paris, a pair of Islamist gunmen killed 12 people at the offices of the magazine Charlie Hebdo, also known for publishing satirical cartoons of Muhammad.