Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders (L) Sameh Shoukry (C) and Moushira Khattab - Press Photo Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders (L) Sameh Shoukry (C) and Moushira Khattab - Press Photo

Dutch FM apologizes to Shoukry for offensive cartoon contest

Wed, Aug. 29, 2018
CAIRO – 29 August 2018: Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry received a phone call Wednesday from his Dutch counterpart, Stef Block, apologizing for the cartoon contest offensive to Islam, according to a statement issued by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid.

The contest is set to take place at the Dutch Parliament in November and is organized by Dutch parliamentarian, Geert Wilders, owner of the Party for Freedom.

The statement added that the Dutch minister stressed that this action does not represent the Dutch government and community, affirming his government’s rejection of all manifestations of hatred, incitement, and disrespect of religions.

Shoukry asserted that offending the beliefs of others is very dangerous as it impacts relations between people of different religions, according to the statement.

Shoukry also emphasized that the world needs to disseminate the values of tolerance, respect for the other, and respect for different beliefs and religions to defeat religious extremism, terrorism, and violence, reiterating that these practices are unacceptable because they affect the stability of societies.

In the same context, Pakistan's new Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi filed a complaint to his Dutch counterpart on Tuesday in protest against the planned cartoon contest that offends Islam, saying "such acts spread hatred and intolerance."

The contest has sparked protests in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Islamic countries.

In the same context, Dutch police have arrested a 26-year-old man suspected of threatening to attack far-right politician Geert Wilders over his plan to hold a contest of cartoons depicting Islam's Prophet Mohammad, according to Reuters.

The man, whose nationality has not been determined, was taken into custody on Tuesday at Central Station in The Hague, Police spokesman Jan Rensen said.
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