OIC Human Rights’ Body Calls on the Dutch Government to Ban the Wilders Contest

Jeddah, The Independent Permanent Commission for Human Rights of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned what it described as the malicious plan designed by the Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders to conduct an international competition...

Jeddah, The Independent Permanent Commission for Human Rights of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned what it described as the malicious plan designed by the Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders to conduct an international competition on caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, (peace and benediction be upon him) later this year.

The commission called on the Dutch government to take immediate practical steps to prevent such arbitrary attack, which affects the religious sensitivities of more than 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, stressing that this competition can ignite and promote a culture of intolerance and incitement to hatred.

Scope of freedom of expression is not absolute, as stated in article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and most importantly, articles 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which clearly state that freedom of expression is not absolutely free, special duties shall be exercised and responsibilities shall be held to ensure community cohesion, as well as respect for the right and reputation of others, the commission stated, adding that such planned competition is a clear attempt to ridicule the most revered figure in the true religion and deliberately seek to incite religious hatred and discrimination against Muslims, a clear violation of article 20 (2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

It called upon the Dutch government to take immediate practical steps to prevent holding of such an event and to protect the special religious and cultural sensitivities of the Muslims of the Netherlands and Muslims around the world and to maintain the social harmony of Dutch society.

Dutch government's assertion that it is not involved in the plan, is not enough to distance itself from the plan and is insufficient pretext, in the light of the article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, according to commission.

It is the duty of every state to prohibit by law any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constituted incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, it said, urging Muslims around the world to continue to exercise restraint in their response to these malicious provocations, which aim to incite hatred, religious racism, discrimination and violence under the guise of freedom of expression.

History of such acts of disdain and defamation of the Islamic religion of Wilders reflects his cheap attempts to play the extreme right tendencies for narrow political gains at the expense of inciting religious hatred, intolerance and the division of humanity, it pointed out, saying that these actions cannot be ignored by downplaying them as insults by an eccentric individual, because they are clearly directed at disrupting community harmony and promoting xenophobia, with the potential for proliferation and replication throughout Europe and beyond.

Source: Saudi Press Agency