A firebrand Muslim cleric in Pakistan, Khadim Rizvi, said that if he had the power he would order a nuclear strike against the Netherlands because of an upcoming Mohammed cartoon contest organised by the anti-Islamist politician Geert Wilders.
The Guardian reports that Imran Khan’s new Pakistani administration is being pressurised by Islamic hardliners like Rizvi to sever ties with Holland because of the contest. Thousands of Islamists this week set off on a protest march, claiming that Wilders’ competition was “blasphemous”.
Rizvi, who founded the TLP, said that condemnation of the contest by the Pakistani government was not enough and “only jihad” was the solution.
In June, Geert Wilders, who leads the Netherlands’ second largest party and has been found guilty of inciting hatred, invited submissions of cartoons depicting Mohammed. The $10,000 (£7,700) competition is due to open in November, with 200 entries so far.
The Dutch PM, Mark Rutte, has termed the event “disrespectful” but defended the right to hold it on the grounds of freedom of expression.
If they [Western countries] feel pained discussing the Holocaust, why haven’t we been able to convey to the West how much we feel pained when they do blasphemous things against Islam and our beloved Holy Prophet, peace be upon him?.
The TLP knows how to force the government’s hand. For three weeks in November, Rizvi and about 2,000 followers blockaded a motorway between Islamabad and its sister city, Rawalpindi, over minor adjustments to an election oath they declared blasphemous. The army eventually brokered a deal with the government, which included the dismissal of the law minister, Zahid Hamid, and further concessions.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn