Dutch anti-Islam politician revives controversial ‘draw Muhammad’ cartoon contest

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Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders has revived a controversial competition to draw cartoons caricaturing Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.


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“Freedom of speech must prevail over violence and Islamic fatwas,” he tweeted on Saturday night, as he called on people to send in their Muhammad cartoons.

On Sunday morning, he said international attention of the contest had allowed him to make a point about the importance of freedom of speech.

“Mission accomplished. End of contest”, he wrote in a caption for a picture of what he said was the winning drawing, depicting an angry-looking man with a beard dressed in black.

Many Muslims consider images of Muhammad to be idolatrous and caricatures depicting him have provoked violent responses.

In August last year, the leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV) cancelled the event after police arrested a man who threatened to kill him over his plan, saying he was concerned other people could be put at risk.

At the time, the plans had prompted angry demonstrations in Pakistan organised by Islamist party Tehreek-e-Labbaik, which called on Islamist countries to sever all ties with the Netherlands.

In 2005, Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten provoked demonstrations across the Muslim world, as well as several attempts to kill either its editor or cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, by publishing several cartoons of Muhammad, including one depicting the prophet with a bomb in his turban.

Four years ago, a pair of Islamist gunmen killed 12 people at the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, which had published satirical cartoons of the prophet.

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