THE HAGUE - Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders claimed Saturday that the state broadcaster "sabotaged" his planned airing of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed on television.
"Sabotage by the NOS (broadcaster) everything was confirmed but not broadcast," Wilders tweeted after a previous party political broadcast about immigration was aired instead of the cartoons.
"I will put the images on YouTube and next time on television even if I have to go to (the studios in) Hilversum," Wilders said.
Wilders had said Friday that he would show the cartoons in the name of his Freedom Party (PVV) on Saturday morning and again on Wednesday and July 3.
Wilders said he was making the broadcasts to defend freedom of speech after two militants were shot dead while attacking a Mohammed cartoon contest in Texas last month.
NOS editor in chief Marcel Gelauff tweeted to Wilders that the broadcaster "has nothing to do with party political broadcasts. We do news, sports and current affairs." Many Muslims feel drawings of the prophet are disrespectful or outright blasphemous, and Dutch authorities have said such a move could see Wilders' right to airtime suspended for up to four years.
Dutch Muslims have been steadfastly ignoring Wilders.
Even if the cartoons were broadcast, "absolutely nothing would have happened," said Aissa Zanzen, spokesman of the Council of Moroccan Mosques in The Netherlands.
"Besides, we are busy with our preparations for Ramadan, including making food," he said.
"He is simply being ignored," Zanzen told AFP.
Dutch embassies have reportedly been advised on measures to take if the cartoons are broadcast, as they could spark violent protests.
Wilders' announcement earlier this month that he wanted to show the cartoons on television prompted the Council of Moroccan Mosques in The Netherlands to release its own cartoon mocking Wilders as a spoilt child with a big mouth.
The cartoon shows Wilders shouting "fewer, fewer" in reference to his announcement last year that he would reduce the number of Moroccans in The Netherlands.
Behind the politician is the bomb that he wants to explode in Dutch society, while below the bomb and the hysterical Wilders are normal citizens, including Muslims, getting on with their lives and ignoring the bouffant-hairdoed populist.
"We're building The Netherlands further," the cartoon says.