There’s a Twitter storm going on right now after Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders tweeted appreciating Prime Minister Imran Khan for arresting Tehreek-e-Labbaik chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the man who Winders said “put a fatwa on my head”.
Wilders also posted Khadim Rizvi’s portrait to go with the tweet. He also demanded the PM to ensure Rizvi “will be in jail for the rest of his life!”
The Dutch lawmaker responded to a Twitter trend #IamKhadimRizvi started in support of the arrested TLP chief. It’s worth noting that the hashtag gained momentum only after Wilders’ tweet and is now trending at number one in Pakistan.
With most of tweets responding to the trend being pro-Rizvi, it’s difficult to assess how many of these tweets are by TLP’s social media cell. But Wilders’ tweet does add fuel to the fire in building sympathy for Rizvi. Many will now see TLP chief as a hero for standing up to the ‘blasphemer’ Geert Wilders.
No government official has responded to this yet.
Geert Wilders attracted global criticism after he announced anti-Islam drawing competition which he later withdrew following massive protests and threats including from the TLP chief.
Both the TLP chief and Prime Minister Imran Khan had taken credit for getting Wilders to withdraw call for the blasphemous cartoon competition. PTI-led government even highlighted it as a major achievement of the government’s first 100 days.