THE HAGUE, Netherlands — A Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker canceled a planned Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest Thursday following death threats and concerns other people could be put at risk.

“To avoid the risk of victims of Islamic violence, I have decided not to let the cartoon contest go ahead,” far-right opposition politician Geert Wilders said in a written statement.

Wilders, who for years has lived under round-the-clock protection because of death threats sparked by his fierce anti-Islam rhetoric, said he does not want others endangered by the contest he planned for November.

The planned contest sparked angry protests in Pakistan and a death threat this week from a 26-year-old man, reportedly a Pakistani, who was arrested Tuesday in The Hague.

Physical depictions of the prophet are forbidden in Islam and deeply offensive to Muslims.

“It’s not just about me,” Wilders said in the statement.

Strong opponents of the event “see not only me, but the entire Netherlands as a target,” he said.

The contest was to have been held at the tightly guarded offices of his Party for Freedom in the Dutch parliament building.


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