Anti-Islam Dutch politician Geert Wilders has said he will ask the Dutch parliament to exhibit the same cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed that were displayed in Garland, Texas, claiming to be sending a message against the violent suppression of freedom of speech.
Wilders said he is “going to request parliament to exhibit the same cartoons as those that were displayed in Garland,” and also added that he plans to “send a message that if you use violence to suppress free speech, the only effect is that we’ll do it even more.”
On Sunday, two gunmen were shot dead in Texas after they opened fire outside a contest for depicting the Prophet Muhammad that was organised by a far-right group known for sponsoring Islamophobic ads on public transport systems in America.
The event, billed as the “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest,” was sponsored by the New York-based American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) group.
The Dutch politician was present as the event’s keynote speaker criticising Islam, and left shortly before the shootings took place.
Wilders is the founder and leader of the Party of Freedom that was established in 2006. He is well known for his hard-line stance against Islam and was recorded as saying that he doesn’t “hate Muslims” but “hates Islam.”
The 51-year-old is facing charges for discrimination in the Netherlands after television footage was published in March 2014 showing Wilders asking a group of people if they wanted “fewer or more Moroccans in your city and in the Netherlands?” and the crowd responds by shouting, “Fewer, fewer!” in reply to which Wilders makes a statement claiming he will “organise” it.