Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party will hold a competition of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad, it said on Tuesday.
The racist party said the plan to hold the competition in its secure offices in Dutch Parliament had been approved by the Dutch Counter-terrorism Agency NCTV.
Cartoons depicting the Prophet have provoked strong responses in the past and are met with anger across the Muslim world.
The first winner of the contest will be awarded 5,000 euros, while the second-place winner will receive an award of 2,000 euros, provided by an undisclosed charity.
Wilders' racist Freedom Party is the leading opposition party in parliament after coming in second place in elections last March. He has previously called for the Muslim holy book, the Quran, to be banned.
Austria closing mosques is threat to interreligious dialogue: Turkish PM
Austria's decision to close down mosques and expel foreign-funded imams is a threat to dialogue between religions and the decision should be changed, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Tuesday.He made the comments at a news conference with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. Yıldırım said it is a "great mistake and greatly unfortunate" that the decision came shortly before Austria takes over the presidency of the European Union.A spokesman for the Austrian government declined to comment.Over mosque closure, Turkey to spurn Austria's EU helmAustrians protest closing mosques, expelling imams
Austrians protest closing mosques, expelling imams
Austrian NGOs, writers and activists are blasting the government’s decision to shut down seven mosques and expel scores of imams.“We condemn the Austrian government for the decision to shut down seven mosques, as we are absolutely opposed to closing the mosques and the expulsion of imams,” Michael Probsting, a well-known Austrian activist, told Anadolu Agency.“Austria’s ‘law on Islam’ [Islamgesetz] is at the center of many troubles. Many NGOs protested this legislation before 2015, when it was being debated,” Probsting said.In 2015, when current Chancellor Sebastian Kurz was minister for Europe, integration and foreign affairs, he backed the Islamgesetz legislation, which, among other things, bans the foreign funding of mosques and imams."The closing of seven mosques, the expelling of more than 40 imams, and the abolition of the Arab Cultural Council are the biggest attack on the Muslim community in Austria," said a statement by Linkswende, an anti-racist civil society group.Writer and human rights activist Wilhelm Langthaler also said: "Chancellor Kurz and Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache are denigrating a religion that is part of Austria and campaigning against Islam."Kurz said last week that the move came as part of a crackdown on so-called "political Islam".Under the move, spurred by an Interior Ministry and Office of Religious Affairs probe, seven mosques are to be shut down -- one of them belonging to the Turkish-Islamic Cultural Association (ATIB) -- and 40 imams expelled on the grounds of being foreign funded.
Austria to close seven mosques, expel imams
Austria will shut seven mosques and expel 40 imams, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced on Friday.During a news conference with Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache and EU Affairs Minister Gernot Blumel, Kurz said the move came as part of a crackdown on "political Islam".Kurz said that the investigation on several mosques and associations conducted by the Ministry of Interior and Office of Religious Affairs had been concluded and that the activities of seven mosques were found to be forbidden -- one of them belonging to the Turkish-Islamic Cultural Associations (ATIB).The Austrian chancellor added that the imams would be deported on grounds of being foreign funded.Turkey slams Austrian move to shut mosques, expel imams as ‘Islamophobic, racist’In 2015 when Kurz was Austria's minister for Europe, integration and foreign affairs he backed Austria’s “law on Islam” (Islamgesetz) -- legislation that, among other things, banned the foreign funding of mosques and imams in Austria. The controversial law, which eventually passed through parliament, was intended to develop an Islam of “European character,” according to Kurz.“We act decisively and actively against undesirable developments and the formation of #parallelsocieties - and will continue to do so if there are violations of the #law on Islam,” Kurz wrote on his Twitter account.Turkey slams Austria's moveTurkey’s presidential aide Ibrahim Kalin on his Twitter account said that Austria’s move to close seven mosques and expel imams “is a reflection of the Islamophobic, racist and discriminatory wave in this country"."It is an attempt to target Muslim communities for the sake of scoring cheap political points," he said.Kalin said that the Austrian government’s "ideologically charged practices are in violation of universal legal principles, social integration policies, minority rights and the ethics of co-existence"."Efforts to normalize Islamophobia and racism must be rejected under all circumstances," he added.