File photo: Dutch far-right PVV party leader Geert Wilders speaks at a gathering of supporters in central London. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: After sparking protests in Pakistan, Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders has now decided to cancel the controversial competition depicting caricatures of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

On their official twitter account, the Associated Press (AP), broke the news: “BREAKING: Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker cancels Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] cartoon contest that sparked Pakistan protests.”

In June, Wilders invited submissions of cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), which Islam forbids. The $10,000 (Dh36,700) competition was due to open in November. But, its cancellation lead to a new trend on twitter in Pakistan: #OurProphetOurHonour.

Tweeps used the hashtag to celebrate the cancellation of the contest.

Tweep @UsmanAQayyum wrote: “Congratulations to Muslims across the world because the blasphemous cartoon contest is cancelled. Contest cancellation credit goes to the effective diplomatic efforts of the new federal government and social media activists. #Holland #OurProphetOurHonour”

@syedamahinu tweeted: “#OurProphetOurHonour Unity of Muslims showed that we can solve everything peacefully.”

Tweep @abdul_laeeq posted: “Congrats to everyone on the cancellation of the blasphemous cartoon contest in #Holland. It has been done after the protest of Pakistan. It proved that we can never hear anything about Islam and our Prophet [PBUH]. #OurProphetOurHonour”

Many social media users took the trending hashtag as an opportunity to ask for stricter global laws that stop people from offending others based on their religion.

Dr Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, preacher turned politician and the founder of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), was amongst them.

On his official twitter account, @TahirulQadri, he wrote: “It has now become inevitable to make necessary laws at international level to curb the contemptuous and disrespectful behaviour towards sacred personalities in future. OIC must play its role in pursuing this important task. #OurProphetOurHonour”

Dr Hussain Qadri, president of Pakistan-based non governmental organisation Minhaj-ul-Quran International (MQI), agreed with his stance.

On his official twitter acount, @DrHussainQadri, he posted: “International community must curtail the factors resulting in the clash of religions, otherwise, it would not only halt the efforts towards attaining global peace but would also strengthen the narrative of extremists.#OurProphetOurHonour

Tweep @iSupportPSP added: “Freedom of speech doesn’t mean hurting the hearts of 1.8 billion muslims who are also human beings! #OurProphetOurHonour #Holland”

On Wednesday, there were protests around Pakistan, with people demanding that Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s new government sever diplomatic ties with the Netherlands over the “blasphemous” competition.

Today, many tweeps thanked Khan for taking a stand on the issue. The decision to cancel the contest has come shortly after Khan issued a statement on the matter, saying the act was hurting the sentiments of Muslims living all around the world.

In a video that had gone viral yesterday, Khan is heard saying that the Muslim world should raise the sensitive issue at the United Nations from the platform of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Tweep @Rizwan1drees posted: “Power of a non-corruptable leader with character leading a unified voice. @ImranKhanPTI May Allah reward you for this stance. #OurProphetOurHonour #Dutch #WeCondemnBlasphemy #Holland”

@HabibaAlvi2 tweeted: “Appreciation to the efforts of Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI and all others who played vital role in taking stance against this shameful activity. #OurProphetOurHonour”

Tweep @0dcf1541cc31499 added: “I am so happy that Imran Khan is my Prime Minister, who knows how to tackle these sensitive issues. #OurProphetOurHonour”