A 26 year old Dutch suspect was arrested by police over threatening to attack Geert Wilders, far-right politician over his plan to hold a contest of cartoons depicting Islam’s Prophet Mohammad, reported by a police spokesman on Wednesday.

Geert Wilders

Nationality of the person has yet to be determined, and was taken into custody on Tuesday at Central Station in The Hague, said spokesman Jan Rensen.

Suspect is believed to have posted a video on Facebook on Monday in which he has said that he was five minutes away from the parliment building.

“Only that blasphemer (Wilders) is my target,” the man said in the video, which was shown. “I believe that God will help me succeed…they’re making jokes about our Prophet.”

Images of Prophet Mohammad are traditionally forbidden in Islam as idolatrous. Caricatures are regarded by most Muslims as highly offensive.

In 2005, Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published cartoons of Prophet Mohammad that sparked a wave of protest across the Muslim world and several attempts to kill either its editor or cartoonist Kurt Westergaard.

Ten years later, a pair of Islamists stormed the offices of magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, known for publishing satirical cartoons of the Prophet, and killed 12 people.

Wilders, whose far-right Freedom Party has become the Netherlands’ second-largest and pushes anti-Islam and populist themes, plans to hold his contest in his party’s office in the parliament building. He says it is his right to do so under the country’s freedom of speech laws.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has said he does not endorse Wilder’s contest but that he will defend the parliamentarian’s right to hold it.

Wilders, who is appealing his 2016 conviction on charges of encouraging discrimination against Moroccans, said he was glad the man had been arrested.

“Crazy that this happens after announcing a cartoon contest,” he said on Twitter.

The suspect is due to be brought before a judge on Thursday, police said.

In Pakistan, several thousand people gathered in the eastern city of Lahore for a demonstration organised by Tehreek-e-Labbaik, an Islamic party, to protest against Wilders’ planned contest.

Party leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi called for the Dutch ambassador of Islamabad to be expelled.

Sources: NOS

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