Though it is not explicitly mentioned in the Quran, visual depictions of the Prophet Mohammed have long been discouraged in Islam. Some Islamophobes never cease to insult Muslims by doing the latter. Does Charlie Hebdo ring a bell?
Far-right Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders is among them. Over the weekend, the politician announced that he would be reviving a Prophet Mohammed cartoon competition just a year after launching and canceling a similar contest; the latter triggered protests and death threats before he eventually dropped it.
But that didn't stop him from launching yet another hateful contest on Twitter this year. Contrary to what happened in 2018, the MP and leader of the Freedom Party (PVV) saw his followers send in their suggestions. On Sunday, Wilders even posted the winner of the contest.
"Mission accomplished. End of contest," he wrote in a caption accompanying the post. The depiction is one of an enraged man with a beard dressed in black.
In Islam, the depiction of revered religious figures is prohibited, though not explicitly; drawings of the Prophet Mohammed are often deemed blasphemous. It is said that the discouragement of visual portrayals is to avoid "temptation toward idol worship."
The "ban" is based on religious rulings made by Islamic scholars all over the world.
Whether or not drawing the prophet is haram, mocking customs followed by Muslims all over the world is the epitome of Islamophobia. But to Wilders, mocking an entire community is called "freedom of speech."
"Freedom of speech must prevail over violence and Islamic fatwas," said Wilders. It seems as though he's got the concept of "free speech" all wrong.
This wouldn't be the first time Wilders insults Muslims and Islam as a whole. Following the announcement of the contest last year, Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the leader of an Islamist Party in Pakistan (Tehreek-e-Labbaik), issued a religious edict against him.