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Geert Wilders: Far-right politician explains why he is showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohamed on Dutch TV

The far-right politician says that the planned broadcast is "not a provocation" and sends "a message" to terrorists that that violence and threats are ineffective

Tom Brooks-Pollock
Saturday 20 June 2015 14:48 BST
Geert Wilders said that showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohamed was "not a provocation" (Getty)
Geert Wilders said that showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohamed was "not a provocation" (Getty) (Getty)

Geert Wilders, the far-right Dutch politician and critic of Islam, has explained why he is showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohamed on national television.

The leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV) said that showing the cartoons was "not a provocation" and and would send "a message" to terrorists that violence and threats are ineffective.

Mr Wilders is using a slot on Dutch TV, alloted to every party in parliament by law, to broadcast the still cartoons, adding that the show - akin to a British party political broadcast - will be "like a walk though a museum".

The Dutch parliament has blocked Mr Wilders showing the cartoons in an exhibition.

He told the Breitbart London website: “Dutch television cannot stop us from showing the cartoons. Every party that is present in parliament has time to show themselves on national TV, and by law they cannot be prevented from broadcasting.

"Anyone can oppose the programme, but only afterwards but not before.

“It will be like a walk though a museum – I will present the viewer a selection of the cartoons myself – first I will explain why I want to show the cartoons, because of what happened in Garland, Texas, and explain that it is not a provocation.

“We should do exactly what it is terrorists want to stop us from doing – otherwise the message we send to terrorists is that violence and the threat of violence can be effective. And this cannot be the case… We should use the paper and pen to win over those who use guns”.

Referring to the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris in February, where 11 staff at the satirical magazine were gunned down by Islamist terrorists,Mr Wilders said: "I am not a journalist, I am not a cartoonist, I am not a satirist, but I am a politician – and I support freedom of speech."

Some Islamic scripture forbids the physical depiction of the Prophet and many Muslims, not just Islamists, say they find such cartoons offensive. The issue is theologically contentious, however.

The Independent chose not to publish cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohamed following the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Explaining the decision on BBC Radio 4's today programme, Amol Rajan, the editor of the Independent, said his "every instinct" was to publish but that to do so would be "too much of a risk".

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