Geert Wilders relaunches Mohammed cartoon competition

The Hague (AFP) –


Far-right Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders said he was reviving a Prophet Mohammed cartoon competition Saturday, more than a year after cancelling a similar contest that sparked demonstrations and death threats.

The MP and leader of the Freedom Party (PVV) invited his Twitter followers to send in satirical drawings of Mohammed.

"#FreedomOfSpeech must prevail over violence and Islamic fatwas," he wrote in the post.

The event would be organised in the House of Representatives of the Dutch parliament, according to the announcement.

Many Muslims find drawings of the prophet to be disrespectful or outright blasphemous.

Wilders initially announced plans for the cartoon competition in 2018, a move that angered many Muslims, particularly in Pakistan.

He later cancelled after receiving death threats.

A day after he announced the cancellation, an Afghan man stabbed two American tourists at Amsterdam's main train station. The man, who said he wanted to "protect the Prophet Mohammed", was sentenced to 26 years in jail in October.

In November a Dutch court sentenced a Pakistani man to 10 years behind bars for planning to assassinate Wilders.

Wilders, 56, known for his peroxide bouffant hairdo and firebrand anti-immigration and anti-Islam statements, lives in a safe house and has been granted 24-hour protection by the Dutch state.