The government of Pakistan has celebrated the cancellation of a cartoon competition facilitated by Dutch anti-Islamisation politician Geert Wilders in which participants were encouraged to draw the Islamic prophet, Mohammed.
The government released a tweet on Friday on their official Twitter account with a comment from Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi saying: “Cancellation of blasphemous contest is a great moral victory of Muslim Ummah.”
— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) August 31, 2018
The tweet was slammed by Mr Wilders who replied several hours later, “Dont [sic] claim victory too soon @pid_gov I am not finished with you yet. I will expose your barbarism in many other ways.”
The announcement of the cancellation was released on Thursday with Wilders claiming that the contest was putting Dutch citizens around the world at risk of violent attack from Islamists and others.
“To avoid any risk of victims of Islamic violence, I decided to cancel the contest,” Wilders said adding: “People’s safety comes first.”
Wilders’ comments came after a 26-year-old man in the Netherlands was arrested after being suspected of preparing an attack against a politician in relation to the contest. The man, who was found with a Pakistani passport on him, was arrested on Tuesday after posting a video on social media encouraging other Muslims to support his actions.
The threat is not the only one that has been directed against Wilders from a Pakistani national. Earlier this week, a disgraced cricket player from Pakistan offered a bounty of three million Pakistani rupees (£189,000/$244,000) for the killing of “the Dutchmen” behind the contest.
Blue-ticked Pakistani pop singer Rabi Pirzada also called for the death of anyone involved in the contest, though inaccurately claimed the contest was occurring in France, writing: “Making cartoon of Prophet is the worst act of terrorism. The Sketch makers must be hanged immediately.”
Freedom of expression can never justify blasphemy.We strongly protest against disrespect of Our Beloved Prophet (PBUH) in France. Making cartoon of Prophet is the worst act of terrorism.The Sketch makers must be hanged immediately.
اور ہماری زبان میں لکھ لعنت کتے کی شکل والے پر۔ pic.twitter.com/cYarCR8kVa
— Rabi Pirzada (@Rabipirzada) August 27, 2018
The Pakistani Senate also passed a resolution condemning the contest, accusing Wilders of “inciting hatred, racial prejudice, unrest, conflict and insecurity in a world that has already seen much bloodshed, racism, extremism, intolerance and Islamophobia”.