A Dutch Politician has cancelled an anti-Islam contest in the Netherlands after he said he received death threats from Muslims from as far away as Pakistan.
Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch Opposition Freedom Party had announced what he called a Prophet Muhammad cartoon drawing contest in the Netherlands.
Geert Wilders had cancelled the anti-Islam contest after the move sparked protests in Pakistan as well as attacks on his person.
A far-right politician, known for his anti-Islamic and Anti-immigration rhetorics, he announced that he did not want others endangered by the contest he planned for November through a statement issued on Thursday.
“To avoid the risk of victims of Islamic violence, I have decided not to let the cartoon contest go ahead,” an excerpt from the statement read.
The planned anti-Islam contest sparked angry protests in Pakistan and a 26 year old Pakistani National was arrested at The Hague on Tuesday for issuing death threats on the Dutch Politician who had organised the anti-Islam contest.
According to reports from Al-Jazeera, the detention of the Pakistani National who threatened Wilders was extended for two weeks by a Netherlands Court on Thursday.
According to a statement issued by prosecutors, an investigating judge ordered that the suspect be held while investigations commenced on charges leveled against him including; charges of making a threat, making preparations for a murder as well as incitement.
Reacting to the Anti-Islam contest, A Dutch Political Scientist at the Queen Mary University of London reiterated that the anti-Islam cartoon competition was a tactic by Wilders to get media attention in the face of waning public support.
“He is not truly interested in a cartoon contest but this is a way for him to generate media attention; he hopes that will eventually translate to votes.”
Thousands of angered Muslims had marched in Protest against the planned anti-Islam contest because Physical depictions of the prophet are forbidden in Islam and deeply offensive to Muslims; the Pakistani Government had told the crowd of protesters that it would challenge the anti-Islam contest at the UN.
The Protesters, about 10,000 of them who happened to be supporters of the Tehreek-i-Labaik Pakistani party called on the government to cut diplomatic ties with the Netherlands on account of the cartoon contest.
The Dutch government however has distanced itself from the competition, as Prime Minister Mark Rutte clarified that Wilders who is leader of the opposition Freedom Party, is not a member of the government.
According to Wilders, the anti-Islam contest announced in June had received 200 entries so far; the winner was supposed to receive a cash prize.