Embassies warned of Wilders plan to broadcast Muhammad cartoons
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has prepared Dutch embassies to deal with PVV leader Geert Wilders' plan to show Mohammad cartoons on national television. Ambassadors have been instructed to emphasize that the broadcasting of the cartoons are not the government's idea, but that of a parliamentarian making use of his freedom of speech.
These instructions were sent to some 140 diplomatic posts, the Volkskrant reports based on diplomatic sources. The aim of the instructions is to prevent violent protests in Islamic countries.
Wilders plans to use his airtime on June 20th and 24th and July 3rd to show the cartoons of the Islamic prophet Muhammad which were created for a drawing competition in Texas in May. Wilders was a guest speaker at the event. Shortly after he left, two gunmen attacked the premises. They were shot and killed by the police.
"There is absolutely no question of panic or a crisis atmosphere about Wilders and his cartoons", a diplomatic source told the newspaper. "In this age of Twitter and Facebook it is simply convenient if the government speaks with one voice; the ambassador to Morocco says the same as for example the one in Oman."
So far Wilders' plan has not caused the expected uproar. Elforkani Yassin, spokesperson for the Liaison Committee for Muslims and Government, explains that through the years Muslims "have become accustomed to Wilders' provocations".