Dutch politician Wilders to show Prophet Muhammad cartoon

Dutch Member of Parliament Geert Wilders to show Prophet Muhammad cartoons after parliament rejects exhibition

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Anti-Islam Dutch member of parliament Geert Wilders said that he will broadcast a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad on TV in response to the government’s rejection of an exhibition of the same cartoons that were displayed in the parliamentary building of Garland, Texas.

Wilders released a statement saying “it would have been appropriate if the Dutch parliament, in which I have been elected, would have permitted to exhibit the cartoons in question.”

“Since the Bureau of the board of the Chamber has rejected my request, I will soon show some of the cartoons on national television, during the broadcast slot allowed to my political party,” he added.

“Terrorists have to realize that they will never win and how important freedom of speech is for us in the Netherlands."

Wilder’s demand for an exhibition came one month after two gunmen were shot dead in Texas after they opened fire outside a contest for depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

The exhibition, called the “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest,” was organised by the New York-based American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), a far-right group known for sponsoring Islamophobic ads on public transport systems in the United States.

The Dutch politician was present as the event’s keynote speaker criticising Islam, and left shortly before the shootings took place.

Wilders previously said he is “going to request parliament to exhibit the same cartoons as those that were displayed in Garland,” adding 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.”

Wilders, the founder and leader of the Party of Freedom that was established in 2006, 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 him asking a crowd of people if they wanted “fewer or more Moroccans,” to which the crowd responded by shouting, “Fewer, fewer!”

Wilders was then seen to reply saying he will “organise” the reduction of Moroccans in the Netherlands.

TRTWorld and agencies