Tehreek e Labaik (TLP) an Islamist party in Pakistan has started protests against the blasphemous cartoon contest in Netherlands. Hundreds of activists and members of the political party which bagged almost 2 million votes in general election 2018 have started marching towards Islamabad on Wednesday, 28 August
The protestors are demanding Pakistan government to cut its diplomatic ties with the Netherlands.
Protest Against Blasphemous Cartoon Contest In Netherlands
Geert Wilders a politician from the Netherlands who is famous for his controversial views on Islam called for a cartoon contest on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who is much-revered personality among Muslims. He has also set the prize money of $US 10,000 for the winner. The competition which is due to open in November has reportedly received 200 entries so far.
Pakistan Seeking Meeting of OIC
Pakistan government has already condemned the blasphemous cartoon contest in the Netherlands. Earlier members in Pakistani senate demanded to take action against those responsible for blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the foreign minister of Pakistan also called for an emergency meeting of OIC (Organization of Islamic Countries) to talk about the issue of blasphemous cartoon contest in the Netherlands. He told media that government would raise the issue on every international forum.
Imran Khan who has just taken oath as Pakistan’s Prime Minister also slammed the blasphemous contest. He reportedly said to take up the matter to United Nations security council.
While denouncing the caricature, Khan said, ” I know the psyche of western public, they wouldn’t back out. We have to be united to combat such moves”.
Khan also pointed towards western countries who have jail sentences for holocaust deniers. He used the example to build the case for how it feels if someone commits blasphemy against the beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and hurt the sentiments of Muslims.
The stance of the Netherland Government on the Matter
After Pakistan’s foreign minister raised the issue of blasphemous cartoon contest in Netherlands, Dutch foreign minister assured him that his government was not supporting it in any way.
Geert Wilders who is a staunch critic of Islam is the parliamentary leader of his party in the house of representatives. He is already notorious for his controversial views on Islam and the Quran. Wilders is also a staunch supporter of his Israel. He also supports the ban on immigration of Muslims to the Netherlands. He also opposes the construction of mosques.
While blasphemous contest in Netherlands seems a mere attempt to hurt the sentiments of Muslims in the name of freedom of speech, the protests in Pakistan will be a challenge for the new government on how to handle the stubborn clerics who don’t hesitate from politicizing the religion.