FM lauds caricature contest cancellation as 'great moral victory'

Published: August 31, 2018
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Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. - FILE

PHOTO:FILE

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. - FILE PHOTO:FILE

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi termed the cancellation of a blasphemous caricatures contest in the Netherlands a “great moral victory for the Muslim Ummah”.

Addressing a press conference early on Friday morning with Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan’s (TLP) Pir Afzal Qadri, the foreign minister added that the issue was immediately raised at all forums by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government and a “major crisis” was averted.

The leader of far-right Party of Freedom, Geert Wilders, had earlier organised the competition. The Dutch politician has lived under round-the-clock protection for years due to death threats sparked by his anti-Islam rhetoric.

Elaborating on steps taken by the government, Qureshi said the Parliament had earlier passed a unanimous resolution denouncing the blasphemous contest in “strongest terms” and minority members of the legislature were at the forefront in condemning the act.

The foreign minister added the government had also conveyed its sentiments to the Dutch government, which went to great lengths to distance itself from the contest arranged by Wilders. Qureshi also recalled his contact with his Dutch counterpart, who was conveyed that Wilders act should not be allowed to hurt the sentiments of billions of Muslims across the globe.

‘Receiving end of death threats’

Wilders on Thursday said he has decided to cancel the controversial blasphemous caricatures contest after being at the receiving end of death threats.

In a statement, Wilders said he has decided “not to let the cartoon contest go ahead.”

“The threats resulting from the cartoon contest are running out of control,” he added.

The leader of far-right Party of Freedom, in the past, has also called for mosques and Islamic schools to be shut down and for a blanket ban on Muslim immigrants.

TLP calls of Islamabad protest

TLP chief Khadim Rizvi called off its protest march to Islamabad after Wilders’ announcement.

Dutch FM told blasphemous cartoons will ‘spread hate, intolerance’

The TLP had called for the expulsion of the Dutch ambassador as it launched a protest against the cartoon competition on Wednesday.

Hundreds of demonstrators left Lahore and had been on the move until Wilders’ announcement.

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a video message, said the government would raise the issue at all international forums.

The prime minister said the issue of blasphemy was troubling for every Muslim.

He said the Muslim world would vehemently raise the sensitive issue at the United Nations from the platform of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

 

 

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (3)

  • Mozom
    Aug 31, 2018 - 1:18PM

    I’m glad too but smells a little hypocritical and selfish. Can’t blame people like wilders etc when the Muslim world treats other humans worse than animals especially in Pakistan. A massive Culture of rape against young boys and women exists in Pakistan amongst other things. Will the TLP or others in pti ever do a serious march against this too? No thought not!Recommend

  • Mozom
    Aug 31, 2018 - 1:19PM

    I’m glad too but smells a little hypocritical and selfish. Can’t blame people like wilders etc when the Muslim world treats other humans worse than animals especially in Pakistan. A massive Culture of rape against young boys and women exists in Pakistan amongst other things. Just recently a rubbish dump in Karachi found bdies of dead young female girls buried alive! Will the TLP or others in pti ever do a serious march against this too? No thought not!Recommend

  • Hasan
    Aug 31, 2018 - 2:04PM

    Well done PTI! Finally a government that can take a firm stand for Islam and for Pakistan.Recommend

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