LAHORE – Pakistani cricketer Khalid Latif has announced a reward of Rs 3 million to kill the Dutchman behind a blasphemous cartoon competition that depicts Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be upon Him).
In a video shared on Facebook, the 32-year-old batsman announced to put a Rs3 million bounty on the head of firebrand Dutch politician Geert Wilders and American cartoonist Bosch Fawstin while expressing his pain and anguish over the sacrilegious artwork in the Netherlands.
On June 12, the Dutch Party for Freedom, led by Geert Wilders and known for its opposition to Islam and Muslim immigration to the Netherlands and Europe in general, announced that it would hold a contest for caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in its offices in the Dutch parliament.
PVV is the second-largest party in the Dutch House of Representatives.
Wilders tweeted that he had received clearance from the Dutch counterterrorism agency – National Coordinator of Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV) – to hold the competition in his party’s parliamentary offices.
Dutch Counter-terrorism Agency NCTV gives green light to Muhammad cartoon contest in secured PVV quarters of Dutch Parliament later this year.
So that’s what we’re going to do and organize! With cartoonist/ex-Muslim Bosch Fawstin!
Freedom of speech is most important of all!! pic.twitter.com/hOYdQBRLRl link
— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) June 12, 2018 link
The contest is to be judged by American cartoonist and former Muslim Bosch Fawstin, who won a similar contest in the US in 2015.
The initiative quickly provoked furious responses and calls for its cancellation that were shared on social networks, as well as overt threats from Muslims against Wilders and other contest participants.
Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders of the PVV party speaks to his supporters during a PVV demonstration against the policy of Prime Minister and his cabinet in Rotterdam.
In 2015, two French terrorists who had sworn allegiance to al-Qaeda killed 12 people at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s offices with the terrorists notably seeking to punish the staunchly atheist magazine for printing cartoons of the Prophet (PBUH).
The attack was the first in a wave of terror attacks in France over the past three years that have left more than 240 people dead.
Meanwhile, Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a religio-political party, has decided to come at roads and “stay on the streets until either the publication of blasphemous cartoons in the Netherlands end or the government immediately ends diplomatic ties with the Dutch”.
TLP, which emerged as the fifth largest political party in the General Elections 2018, urged the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government to not only “discontinue diplomatic and commercial relations with the Netherlands” but also “demand from other Islamic countries to do the same”.
Moreover, Maulana Khadim Rizvi-led TLP also demands that since the said competition’s judge is an American national, “therefore, strict measures should also be taken against the US”. According to the sources, the party “will take to the streets at 2 pm on Wednesday (August 29) and begin from Data Darbar Lahore its march towards the capital.”
Today, in his maiden address to the Senate, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that his government will raise the issue of blasphemous caricatures in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) while putting the blame of such incidents on lack of unity among the Muslim countries.
PM Imran called it a “collective failure” of Muslim countries for the absence of an international policy against blasphemous content.
The prime minister said that though the government will raise the issue with the UN, he didn’t think it would be of much use, adding that his government will raise the matter in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and formulate a collective policy which could then be presented at international forums.
Earlier today, the Senate passed a resolution to bring the UN’s attention to the matter regarding the controversial announcement by the leader of Dutch Freedom Party.
“This House strongly condemns the venomous, vicious and contemptuous decision of Geert Wilders, the notorious Islamophobe, belonging to the Dutch Party of Freedom, to hold a ‘Draw Muhammad Cartoon Competition’ to be held later this year in Netherlands,” read the resolution.