Dutch politician Geert Wilders cancels Muhammad cartoon contest after death threats

Dutch politician Geert Wilders, best-known for his anti-Islam views, said he canceled an event where people would draw cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad because of death threats.

People burn a mock up of Holland's flag with a photo of Dutch politician Geert Wilders in Karachi, Pakistan, on Thursday. Photo by Shahzaib Akber/EPA-EFE
People burn a mock up of Holland’s flag with a photo of Dutch politician Geert Wilders in Karachi, Pakistan, on Thursday. Photo by Shahzaib Akber/EPA-EFE

Islam showed its true face once again with death threats, fatwas and violence,” Wilders said in a tweet. “However, the safety and security of my fellow countrymen comes first.”

The planned event sparked a large-scale protest in Pakistan that was organised by Tehreek-e-Labbaik , a political party dedicated to the punishment of blasphemy and implementing sharia law.

More than 10,000 people participated in the march, where protesters chanted, “we will die to protect the honor of the Prophet,” while some held a large banner that said the event was a “peaceful protest,” Deutsch Welle reported.

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TLP leader Peer Afzal Qadri demanded that either the drawing contest be stopped or the Dutch envoy to Pakistan leave the country.

One man was arrested for allegedly threatening Wilders after he posted a video to Facebook announcing his intent to attack the politician.

“Only that blasphemer [Wilders] is my target,” the man reportedly said in the video. “I believe that God will help me succeed … they’re making jokes about our Prophet.”

ByRay Downs