Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker cancels blasphemous contest
ISLAMABAD: Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders has announced to cancel the planned blasphemous caricatures contest on late Thursday, a scheme that had angered many Muslims particularly in Pakistan.
He said that he made the decision after he said he had received several death threats. A man was arrested by police two days earlier on suspicion of wanting to assassinate Wilders.
Dutch politician Wilders in June announced plans to stage the blasphemous competition in parliament later this year. He claimed he had received 200 entries.
But Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte distanced his government from the cartoon competition, saying it was not a government initiative.
Rutte last week said he supported free speech in the Netherlands but believed the competition was “not respectful” and aimed only to provoke.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that the country’s ambassador to the Netherlands also confirmed cancellation of the controversial contest.
The planned contest had sparked protest demonstrations in Pakistan. Following the cancellation of the competition, the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) called off its protest rally which had set out for Islamabad from Lahore earlier this week.