OIC Calls for Banning Proposed Dutch Caricature Contest

JEDDAH – A leading pan-Islamic group has condemned the “malicious plan” designed by anti-Islam Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders to launch a competition on caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

In its statement cited by Bahrain News Agency (BNA), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned what it described as “the malicious plan designed by Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders to conduct an international competition on caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) later this year.”

Far-right Dutch parliamentarian Wilders has planned the contest for later in the year, and caricatures of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed are to be exhibited.

The OIC’s independent Permanent Commission for Human Rights called on the Dutch government to “take immediate practical steps to prevent such arbitrary attack, which affects the religious sensitivities of more than 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, stressing that this competition can ignite and promote a culture of intolerance and incitement to hatred.”

“Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and articles 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, clearly state that freedom of expression is not absolutely free, special duties should be exercised and responsibilities should be held to ensure community cohesion as well as respect for the right and reputation of others,” the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

“The commission shows a clear attempt to ridicule the most revered figure in the true religion and deliberately seek to incite religious hatred and discrimination against Muslims, a clear violation of article 20 (2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

Stop the Contest

Earlier, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte condemned the contest, disassociating his government from the plans.

Yet, the OIC has urged the Dutch government to take practical steps to stop the event.

“Dutch government’s assertion that it is not involved in the plan is not enough to distance itself from the plan and is insufficient pretext, in the light of the article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” according to the commission.

The commission added that it is the duty of every country to prohibit by law any advocacy of national, racial, or religious hatred that constituted incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, urging Muslims around the world to continue to exercise restraint in their response to these malicious provocations

“History of such acts of disdain and defamation of the Islamic religion of Wilders reflects his cheap attempts to play the extreme right tendencies for narrow political gains at the expense of inciting religious hatred, intolerance and the division of humanity,” it pointed out

Wilders is notorious for his rants against Islam and Muslims.

In 2008, Wilders released a 15-minute documentary accusing the Qur’an of inciting violence.

In 2013, Google has deactivated the mail account of Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders following complaints that the anti-Islam politician was using it to spread anti-Islam initiative.

In May 2014, Wilders has put his country in hot water after distributing stickers with the Saudi-flag, replacing the text of the shahada with anti-Islam slurs, after which the Kingdom slapped indirect sanctions on the European country.

In January 2016, the far-right politician said in a video for his party that all male Muslim refugees should be incarcerated in their asylum centers in Europe, claiming it to be necessary for protecting women on the streets.