Alleged anti-Islam Dutch politician Geert Wilders has cut short a Prophet Muhammad cartoon drawing contest just hours after announcing it on December 29. “Mission accomplished. End of contest,” Wilders tweeted above a drawing that was declared the winner.
The controversial politician who is also the leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV) in the Netherlands, says the reason behind the contest is to bring light to the fatwas that remain unpunished and the lack of defense for freedom of expression. Visual depiction of the Prophet Muhammad is forbidden in Islam and it is considered highly offensive to draw images of the prophet.
Similar contests in the past
Wilders also called off a Prophet Muhammad drawing contest last year in August after a 26-year-old man from Belgium had threatened to kill him over the competition.
In 2005, Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published 12 editorial cartoons with the title, “The Face of Muhammad,” including an image of the prophet with a bomb in his turban. The images sparked deadly protests in the Muslim world as well as calling for boycotts of Danish products, most noticeably in Pakistan. The artist who drew the controversial images, Kurt Westergaard now lives under police protection after surviving an axe attack.
In 2015, France’s satirical weekly newspaper, Charlie Hebdo was attacked by two brothers over its constant publishings of Prophet Muhammad cartoons, including nude images in 2012. A total of 12 people were killed and 11 others injured as the al-Qaeda-linked attackers opened fire at the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris.
Wilders ongoing agenda
Wilders has been dubbed the Dutch Donald Trump and is seemingly openly an Islamophobe. In 2017, he labeled Moroccans in the Netherlands as “scum” during his campaign rally, calling for fewer Moroccans in the country. “There is a lot of Moroccan scum in Holland who make the streets unsafe. If you want to regain your country, make the Netherlands for the people of the Netherlands again, then you can only vote for one party,” he said.
The PVV was founded in 2006 by Wilders who reportedly declared that the biggest “problem” in the Netherlands is Islamization. The far-right party has called for the banning of Islamic symbols, mosques and the Quran in the country. Wilders produced a short film called “Fitna” in 2008. “Fitna” is an Arabic verb that means to “seduce, tempt, or lure” in order to separate the good from the bad.
The film attempted to demonstrate that the Quran motivates its followers to hate all who violate Islamic teachings.