Pakistani Senate has unanimously slammed an anti-Islam Dutch cartoon contest planned by a Dutch legislator thus making it the first strong reaction by the newly elected government. There was a formal protest by Senators from the upper house against the announcement made by Dutch leader MP Geert Wilders who proposed to hold a caricature competition depicting Prophet Mohammad in Netherlands.
Prime Minister Imran Khan vowed to raise the issue in the United Nations General Assembly as it showed a common failure of the Muslims world. Imran Khan stated that, “Very few in the West understand the pain caused to Muslims by such blasphemous activities. Our government will raise the matter in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and get the countries there to come up with their collective policy that could then be brought up at international forums”.
Geert Wilders has been known critic of Muslims and Islam at large and had announced his plans to hold a cartoon contest on Prophet Mohammad in November. The government of Netherlands had however distanced itself from the event. The last date for entry is August 31st and Wilders has claimed to have received over 200 entries. Wilders leads the second-largest party in Dutch Parliament. The winner will be declared in Hague at his Freedom Party Office and will be awarded a cash prize of $10,000.
Islam forbids physical depictions of Prophet or God. The Dutch ambassador had been summoned by Pakistan to file a protest against the competition and described it as a deliberate attempt to malign and defame Islam. As per Pakistan’s blasphemy law, anyone found guilty of insulting Prophet will get a compulsory death penalty.