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Dutch MP cancels blasphemous cartoon contest

Dutch MP cancels blasphemous cartoon contest

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Aug 31, 2018 - 16:49

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Dutch MP Geert Wilders has cancelled a planned contest inviting people to submit a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) following death threats and large-scale protests.

“To avoid the risk of victims of Islamic violence, I have decided not to let the cartoon contest go ahead,” the far-right opposition politician said in a written statement on Thursday night.

Wilders, who for years has lived under round-the-clock protection because of death threats sparked by his fierce anti-Islam rhetoric, said he does not want others put in danger by the contest he planned for November.

News of the competition sparked angry protests in Pakistaninfo-icon and an alleged death threat against Wilders this week from a 26-year-old man, reportedly a Pakistani, who was arrested on Tuesday in The Hague.

Yesterday, Afghanistaninfo-icon Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani telephoned his Dutch counterpart and asked him to do all he could to halt the anti-Islam cartoon contest.

A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) quoted Rabbani as saying that disrespecting sacred human values was against the standards of humanity and freedom of expression.

He asked Stef Blok to immediately stop the planned blasphemous cartoon completion which had hurt the feelings of over 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide.

The Dutch foreign minister distanced his government from the cartoon contest and said he would do all under his country’s laws to stop the event.

Dutch Prime minister Mark Rutte last week questioned Wilders’ motives. “His aim is not to have a debate about Islam,” he said. “His aim is to be provocative.”

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