Dutch television has aired a slideshow of Prophet Mohammad cartoons, a month after the series was presented at a caricature competition in Texas that was attacked by two gunmen. Anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders is at the helm of the new scandal.
During a three minute broadcast slot allocated to Wilder’s Freedom Party, the politician promoted the “freedom of speech” action by presenting a slideshow of Mohammad cartoons accompanied by piano music.
According to the right-wing politician, he assumed the responsibility for revealing to the world the taboo nature of Islam after visiting the exhibition in May in the USA. The broadcast coincided with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
“The only way to show terrorists that they are not going to win is to do exactly what they do not want us to do,” Wilders said. “I do not broadcast the cartoons to provoke; I do it because we have to show that we stand for freedom of speech and that we will never surrender to violence. Freedom is our birthright. Freedom of speech must always prevail over violence and terror.”
The populist politician also explained that he was “forced” to air the provocative caricatures after the Dutch Parliament refused to host the exhibition.
Prior to broadcast, the Dutch government took precautionary steps, sending out 140 diplomatic cables worldwide preparing their embassies for the potential ramifications. In their brief, the Dutch government emphasized that the broadcast was Wilder’s private initiative.