Wilders calls off cartoon contests after flood of death threats
Geert Wilders has called off the Mohammed cartoon contest due to safety concerns. In a statement on Twitter, Wilders confirmed that he had received death threats.
Published: September 2, 2018, 7:13 am
The Dutch counter terrorism unit NCTB had warned the PVV leader that a high-level cleric in Pakistan had put a price on his head. Also, just days ago, a Pakistan national in The Hague had threatened to kill Wilders. The disgraced cricketer, Khalid Latif, was apprehended in the Netherlands.
On Thursday it emerged that Dutch nationals travelling to Pakistan were being warned to avoid demonstrations against the cartoon competition and to “keep a low profile”. The Dutch foreign ministry issued the revised travel warnings on Wednesday following riots against the contest in several cities, including Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.
Wilders tweeted in response: “The cartoon contest proved once again that Islam and freedom are incompatible. We use the pen, they use the sword. We draw cartoons and they threaten us with violence and terror. Islam does not belong to us. We must de-Islamise in order to stay free!”
The cartoon contest proved once again that Islam and freedom are incompatible.
We use the pen, they use the sword.
We draw cartoons and they threaten us with violence and terror.
Islam does not belong to us.
We must deislamize in order to stay free!
— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) September 1, 2018
“But it is about more than just me,” Wilders said. “Others are also at risk because of the threats made by extreme Muslims who see not just me but all of the Netherlands as a target.”
Wilders said he did not want Muslims to use the cartoon competition as an excuse for Islamic violence. “Innocent people should never be the victims of Islamic terror,” he noted.
The Dutch port and dredging sector has cancelled their trade mission to Pakistan, set for early November, the same week that the winners of Wilders’ competition would have been announced.
Cancellation of blasphemous contest is a great moral victory of Muslim Ummah: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi pic.twitter.com/MxRzrRS6Y9
— Govt of Pakistan (@pid_gov) August 31, 2018
The government of Pakistan shared the remarks made by Foreign Minister Qureshi after the cancellation of the contest on their official Twitter account: “Cancellation of blasphemous contest is a great moral victory of Muslim Ummah.”
But Wilders responded on Twitter: “Don’t claim victory too soon. I am not finished with you yet. I will expose your barbarism in many other ways.”
Pakistani pop star Rabi Pirzada has meanwhile called for cartoonists who draw the Prophet Mohammed to be “hanged immediately”.
She described cartoons of the prophet as “the worst act of terrorism” and said “freedom of expression can never justify blasphemy”. Pirzada, interestingly, has a very Western appearance and does not wear a hijab. She also confused the Netherlands with France.
“We strongly protest against disrespect of Our Beloved Prophet (PBUH) in France. Making cartoon of Prophet is the worst act of terrorism. The Sketch makers must be hanged immediately,” she tweeted.
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