A Pakistani migrant male has been jailed for ten years in the Netherlands for his plot to launch a terror attack against Dutch firebrand Geert Wilders in revenge for his organising a ‘draw Mohammad’ free speech event.
The ten-year sentence for the Pakistani male — identified in the trial only as ‘Junaid I.’ due to Dutch privacy laws — is significantly higher than the six years requested by the public prosecutor, the judges in the case noting a longer period of incarceration was required because of the seriousness of the crime.
The court had previously heard how Junaid had repeatedly said he wanted to kill Geert Wilders, whose Party for Freedom is the second largest in the Netherlands, that he beleived the death of Mr Wilders would be a good thing, and that the attention he was gaining from the trial was improving his public standing back home in Pakistan. For these reasons and because he believed Junaid still presented a terrorism risk, the judges in the case said a longer sentence was in order.
Junaid I. argued throughout the trial that he had not wanted to kill Mr Wilders, but rather had travelled to the Netherlands from Pakistan to protest against the lawmaker, reports Algemeen Dagblad. Despite the claims, the court had previously found the 27-year-old guilty of preparing a terror attack, and his intention to murder Mr Wilders.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 16, 2017
The apparent flashpoint for Junaid was a draw Mohammed cartoon competition being organised by Mr Wilders in the Netherlands in 2018, which was cancelled for security reasons around the time of the arrest of the Pakistani migrant. The Pakistani government issued a statement celebrating the cancellation at the time, the nation’s senate having already passed a resolution to condemn the event.
Mr Wilders praised the court Monday afternoon after the judgement was read out.
Cartoons of Mohammed, who is considered to be a holy prophet in the Islamic faith and who it is blasphemous to depict in any form, have become a flashpoint between freedom of speech activists and those otherwise concerned by the broader Islamisation of Western society on one hand and religious fundamentalists on the other hand who have reacted with extreme violence to cartoons.
In 2015 11 cartoonists, writers, and editors at French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were murdered at their place of work by Muslim gunmen in a revenge attack over the paper’s occasional publishing of satirical cartoons of Mohammed. Later the same year, a freedom of speech event in Copenhagen featuring an artist who had made cartoons of Mohammed was targeted in a shooting, the attacker going on to continue his rampage at the city’s Jewish museum.
Dutch Mosques Demand Geert Wilders Be Banned from Twitter https://t.co/c6mitxDX4e
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 6, 2018
Again in 2015, a free speech event in Garland, Texas featuring a draw Mohammed competition and attended by Geert Wilders was targeted by Muslim extremists who were killed by law enforcement.
Speaking to Breitbart London after the Garland attack, Wilders said of his determination to stick to his freedom of expression principles: “We should do exactly what it is terrorists want to stop us from doing – otherwise the message we send to terrorists is that violence and the threat of violence can be effective. And this cannot be the case… We should use the paper and pen to win over those who use guns.
“You should be able to depict Mohammad without a death sentence. We live in the West, not Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.”
Geert Wilders has lived under constant police guard and in a safe house for years because of the numerous death threats, actual plots, and attempts on his life arising from his critical stance on Islam, comments which have times landed him in hot water with the Dutch courts. In late 2016, Mr Wilders was found guilty of inciting discrimination and fined 5,000 euros for comments he made about Moroccan migrants — Mr Wilders for his part dismissed the trial as politically motivated, and the ruling seems to have done little to impact his position in Dutch politics.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 13, 2015