Two British groups have announced plans to hold an exhibition featuring cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
Sharia Watch UK and Vive Charlie on Tuesday announced their intention to hold the exhibition in central London in September of 2015, noting the event will feature controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who recently caused a storm in his own country after he announced plans to broadcast cartoons of the founder of Islam on national television.
The event has been organized “in honor of the cartoonists, bloggers, and artists around the world who risk their lives in defense of free expression, and of those who have been murdered in this cause,” the two groups said in a statement.
Anne Marie Waters, Director of Sharia Watch UK, said, "We at Sharia Watch and Vive Charlie are delighted that Mr. Wilders has agreed to attend and speak at our exhibition. It is vital, in this era of censorship and fear, that we stand together in defiance and demand our right to free expression.”
She continued, “We will not, and cannot, succumb to violent threats. The outlook for our democracy depends on the actions we take today. We owe it to future generations to pass on the freedom we have enjoyed.”
Cartoons of Mohammed have already enraged Muslims around the world on several occasions and are linked to several terrorist attacks in recent years.
In January, gunmen killed 12 people at the Paris office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in anger at the magazine's cartoons featuring the Prophet. The magazine had previously been targeted over its portrayal of the Prophet Mohammed.
In May, a competition featuring Mohammed cartoons in a suburb of Dallas, Texas came under attack by two gunmen. Police in Arizona later stepped up security near a mosque in Phoenix, where protesters from an anti-Islam group planned to draw cartoons of the prophet.
In 2012, the "Innocence of Muslims" film, which depicted the Muslim prophet as a thuggish deviant, triggered a wave of violent protests in the Muslim world that left dozens dead.