Islamophobic Dutch deputy continues to insult Muslims

DAILY SABAH WITH WIRES
ISTANBUL
Published 04.06.2015 23:20

Dutch politician Geert Wilders, known for his anti-Islam sentiments, vowed to show cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) on television during time reserved for political parties, after the Dutch parliament turned down his request for an exhibition of cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) be shown in parliament.

"I will soon show some of the cartoons on national television during the broadcast slot allowed to my political party," Wilders said.

Representatives of Muslim communities in the Netherlands told Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency (AA) that Geert Wilders's request for a cartoon exhibition depicting Prophet Muhammad is a "provocation." Ejder Kose, a lawyer and deputy chairman of the Center for Public Debate, told AA that Wilders's initiative could be considered a hate crime and that it "will be important to define the limits of freedom of expression."

Wilders, a prominent Dutch politician and the founder and leader of the far-right Freedom Party (PVV), is widely known for his anti-Islam and anti-immigrant stance. He gave an anti-Islam speech at a Texas event shortly before an attack. The event, called the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest, was sponsored by the New York-based anti-Muslim and pro-Israel American Freedom Defense Initiative group took place in Garland, Texas earlier in May. Two gunmen opened fire near the venue and wounded a security guard before they were shot and killed by police. In the past, he triggered protests in the Muslim world for a short film he broadcast online that juxtaposed verses from the Quran with videos of violence and terrorism.

Anti-Islam caricatures and events that are allegedly being held in the name of the freedom of speech and free society are considered as a way to insult the Muslim community, as many Muslims consider the depiction of provocative cartoons of Muhammad sacrilegious.

The frequency and notoriety of hate crimes and violent attacks on Muslims has increased globally during the past decade, especially after the deadly attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Jan. 7. Intolerance, hatred and discrimination of religious and ethnic minorities show that these problems have yet to be dealt with seriously. The threat posed by many French militants affiliated with the radical Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has led to growing intolerance for the Muslim community. The misrepresentation of Islam by militant groups like ISIS, al Qaida, Boko Haram and the Taliban trigger more fear and anti-Muslim sentiments, not only in France, but in many Western countries. As these militant groups have carried out violent attacks and killed many, people in Europe are more inclined to act violently against Muslims and immigrants while supporting far-right political parties.

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