Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker holds Prophet Mohammad cartoon contest

Geert Wilders, a Dutch anti-Islamic lawmaker from 'Party for Freedom' held a cartoon contest on Saturday, inviting caricatures of Prophet Mohammad

The 56-year-old anti-Islam Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders, called for submissions of caricatures of Prophet Mohammad on Saturday. He announced a similar contest last year, only to retract it later, due to fear of attacks. He announced the winner caricature, early Sunday morning.

Invited Prophet Mohammed's caricatures

Geert Wilders
Twitter/Geert Wilders

Party for Freedom is the largest opposition party in the Dutch Parliament. "Freedom of speech must prevail over violence and Islamic fatwas", Geert wrote on social media, Reuters reported.

The far-right lawmaker, declared a dark drawing of a bearded man, with a wrinkled brow, wearing a black turban, as the winner, on early Sunday morning.

Mohammad caricature contest

Similar contest announced, last year

The far-right politician announced a similar contest, in August, last year. He cancelled it later after police arrested a 26-year-old man who had threatened to kill him, over the controversial contest. The plan to hold the contest led to widespread demonstrations in Muslim-majority countries, mostly in Pakistan.

Pakistan's Islamist party Tehreek-e-Labbaik, which led the demonstrations called on Prime Minister Imran Khan to severe all ties with the Netherlands. Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the leader of Pakistan's Tehreek-e-Labbaik Islamist party, issued a fatwa (religious edict) against Wilders.

A day after Geert announced the cancellation of the contest, an Afghan national stabbed two American tourists at Amsterdam's main train station, in order to "protect Prophet Mohammed". He was sentenced to 26 years in jail in October. In November a Dutch court sentenced a Pakistani man to 10 years behind bars for planning to assassinate Wilders.

Islam prohibits pictures of Prophet Mohammed

Prophet Mohammed's images are forbidden in Islam as idolatrous is considered highly offensive by Muslims. In 2005, Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published cartoons of Muhammad that sparked demonstrations across the Muslim world as well as several attempts to kill either its editor or cartoonist Kurt Westergaard.

In January 2015, Islamist gunmen killed twelve people in the office of Charlie Hebdo's office in Paris. The magazine had published satirical cartoons of Mohammed.