The Netherlands has “expressed its regret” to Egypt over a Dutch politician’s intention to organize a cartoon contest depicting anti-Islam cartoons, Egypt’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday.
In an official statement, the Egyptian foreign ministry said Minister Sameh Shoukry received a phone call from his Dutch counterpart Stef Blok, who expressed his country’s sorrow over controversial Dutch nationalist politician Geert Wilders’s plan to hold the anti-Islam cartoon contest inside parliament.
Wilders’ Dutch Party for Freedom, known for their hatred and opposition to Islam, is the second-largest party in the Dutch parliament.
Blok said Wilder’s plan does not in any way represent the positions of the government or Dutch community, stressing his government’s refusal to all manifestations of hatred, incitement, and disrespect of religions.
Shoukry affirmed the necessity that freedom of expression should not be confused with the adoption of hate and incitement speech.
He described it as a mix up which would have a dangerous impact on the relations between nations and people with different religions.
Pakistan has been leading the line of opposition to Wilder’s contest, calling for an emergency session by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) over the contest. (Ahram Online)