Dutch Politician Hurts Muslims’ Sentiments
In the modern age, fast development of science has changed the world into a global village through social media networking websites, while range of the TV channels has also been extended.
But, it is regrettable that some anti-Islam elements are using these media instruments against Islam by committing blasphemous acts which are inviting terrorists’ attacks even in the western countries.
In this respect on June, 24, this year, Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders aired cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) on Dutch television, which were drawn in May, 2015 at a caricature competition in Garland, Texas where Wilders was one of the speakers. The event was assaulted by two gunmen. Islamic State (ISIL) has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Now, Wilders introduced the three-minute broadcast, in the second half of which the cartoons scrolled across the screen accompanied by piano music. One caricature had the accompanying text: “I (Wilders) have been made victorious with terror.”
Geert Wilders who leads the Dutch Party for Freedom aired the caricatures in programme, reserved for political parties. He said that he broadcast the drawings to defend freedom of expression, even as Islam holds that any physical depiction of the Prophet is blasphemous.
While showing prejudice, he elaborated, “The Islam, the terrorists do not want us to show these cartoons. But, terror and violence may never defeat freedom of speech. We must precisely do what the terrorists prevent us to do.”
Wilders is viewed as one of Europe’s most prominent critics of Islam, which he has described as a fascist ideology. The politician is currently facing prosecution in Netherlands for discrimination and hate speech over remarks he made about citizens of Dutch-Moroccan origin-during election campaign, last year.
Meanwhile, Dutch authorities have taken precautionary measures in case of violent protests. Embassies in the Islamic countries have been put on notice and diplomats have been instructed to explain that the broadcast reflects the views of one politician and not the Dutch government.
The broadcast came almost six months after the incident when the two armed persons stormed into the office of infamous French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris. They had killed 12 people including a French National Police officer.
Although the officials of the Dutch government have publicly denounced Geert Wilders’ views on Islam, yet they stated that they support his right to free speech.
Some critics, however, have condemned Wilders’ latest act of provocation. A group of Moroccan mosques last week released a cartoon, depicting him as a disgruntled child being displayed on a bomb. Spokesman Aissa Zanzen said, “Ignoring him or using humor is the best way to respond to [Mr. Wilders]…We refuse to let him polarize our society.”
Nevertheless, it is not the new sacrilegious act; such anti-Islam activities also took place in the past. In this regard, YouTube was banned in Pakistan on September 22, 2012 when a blasphemous US-made film “Innocence of Muslims” was uploaded on it, which resulted into massive protests and violent demonstrations in more than 30 Islamic countries, leading to loss of life and property. In Pakistan, violent protesters plunged the country into chaos, as 30 people were killed in nationwide protests. And, the American ambassador Christopher Stevens in Libya and three of his staff were killed.
In fact, reprinting of the caricatures about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and release of a Dutch film against the Holy Quran was also part of the conspiracy against the Muslims. The film equates Islam with violence, followed by the 9/11 terror attacks inside the US, showing Muslim leaders preaching inflammatory sermons against Jews and Christians. It displayed that Europe is under threat from Islamic beliefs and practices.
In 2008 too, the YouTube was banned in Pakistan, as it had hurt the feelings of Muslims across the world by uploading the film by Geert Wilders, which displayed links between Islam and terrorism.
In May, 2010, the sacrilegious caricatures competition of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) inspired by an American cartoonist on Facebook and YouTube triggered violent protests across the Islamic world.
On March 20, 2011, a US evangelical preacher Terry Jones supervised the burning of a copy of the Holy Quran by Pastor Wayne Sapp in a Florida church, while similar blasphemous act was done by the US troops in Bagram base in Afghanistan. In 2005, caricatures of Holy Prophet (PBUH) published in Danish newspapers sparked deadly protests in the Islamic countries. In that context, Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on Denmark’s embassy in Islamabad in 2008, killing six people, saying it was in revenge for publication of caricatures.
It is of particular attention that those who are behind these fanatic entities intend to fulfill their political designs. In these terms, by availing the international phenomena of terrorism, Indo-Israeli lobbies are collectively working in America and other European countries to manipulate the double standard of the west in relation to terrorism and human rights vis-à-vis some Islamic countries. Israel and India are equating the ‘war of independence’ in Kashmir and Palestine with terrorism. However, all these similarities of interest have brought the two countries to follow a common secret diplomacy to misguide the US in order to target Pakistan, Iran, Syria etc.
Hence, anti-Islam activities have been conducted by these elements not only to distort the image of Islam, but also to create division between the Islamic and the Western Worlds.
And, these blasphemous activities against the religion of Muslims resulted into the recruitment of more militants by the terrorist groups. Instead of curbing terrorism, these acts have caused more terrorism in the volatile countries like Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria etc. The sacrilegious moves provided the Islamic militants with new ammunition. It is said that Al Qaeda or ISIL is the winner. If such nefarious designs continue, even moderate Muslims could join the radicals.
Notably, critics say that if western democracies have passed laws against anti-Semitism and denials of the holocaust, as to why there is no such law about anti-Islam moves. Nevertheless, it indicates double standard of these liberal and civilized countries which have further encouraged those who want to sabotage the world peace through division.
In this respect, Organization of the Islamic Countries (OIC) should take up a case in the UN by drafting a resolution—not allowing any person to misuse the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) name and make movies and caricatures on him.
Nonetheless, strict action must be taken against the persons like the Dutch politician Geert Wilders who has hurt Muslims’ sentiments.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations