Dutch anti-Islam politician Wilders shows Mohammed cartoons on national TV
During a three minute broadcast slot allocated to Wilder's Freedom Party, the politician promoted the “freedom of speech” action by presenting a slideshow of Mohammad cartoons accompanied by piano music.
According to the right-wing politician, he assumed the responsibility for revealing to the world the taboo nature of Islam after visiting the exhibition in May in the USA. The broadcast coincided with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
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“The only way to show terrorists that they are not going to win is to do exactly what they do not want us to do,” Wilders said. “I do not broadcast the cartoons to provoke; I do it because we have to show that we stand for freedom of speech and that we will never surrender to violence. Freedom is our birthright. Freedom of speech must always prevail over violence and terror.”
The populist politician also explained that he was “forced” to air the provocative caricatures after the Dutch Parliament refused to host the exhibition.
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The broadcast already attracted criticism, with Aissa Zanzen, spokesman for the Council of Moroccan Mosques in the Netherlands, calling Wilders’ action a publicity stunt.
“Wilders is out to provoke Muslims and he has done everything he can to do that,”he said.
Prior to broadcast, the Dutch government took precautionary steps, sending out 140 diplomatic cables worldwide preparing their embassies for the potential ramifications. In their brief, the Dutch government emphasized that the broadcast was Wilder’s private initiative.
The Muhammad caricature cartoon competition in Texas, organized by Pamela Geller of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, had Wilders as its keynote speaker. Just after the Dutch politician left the scene, the event was attacked by two Islamist extremists who were shot dead. The Islamic State took the responsibility for the attack.