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Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders, who supported suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma in the wake of outrage over her remarks on the Prophet Muhammad, said nobody should be punished or apologise for speaking the ‘truth’, adding that a nation shouldn’t lose freedom for economic reasons.

Freedom is at stake, claimed Wilders, elaborating that democracies such as India and Netherlands have a rule of law, courts to decide if one oversteps the mark and not mobs who threaten to kill anybody.
“You can like or dislike what she [Nupur Sharma] said, but she has the right to speak out,” the Dutch lawmaker stated, adding that freedom of speech is one of the most important values in a democracy.
Read: ‘Never bow to terrorists’: Dutch MP urges Indians to support Nupur Sharma after Al-Qaeda’s threat
Nupur Sharma came under fire after she commented on the Prophet Muhammad during a TV news debate. Geert Wilders told India Today that he too received death threats for backing the remarks made by her.
“Since I supported Nupur Sharma, I have received many death threats. I received fatwas for making a movie about the Quran. I left my home and never returned. I know what Sharma will have to face. I have to stand up and support her since she did nothing wrong,” he said.
“I made a movie called Fitna about a Quranic verse. I criticised Islamic ideology. For that, I received fatwas from Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and many other sources. I had to leave my home. I lived in a safe house provided by the government. For criticising Islam, I haven’t had the opportunity to walk the streets without a police detail for 17 years. I lost my personal freedom,” he added.
Wilders, who is known to have campaigned for a ban on Islam in his country, claimed that nations should stop being “tolerant to the intolerant”.
“Our freedom is at stake. We can not bargain for our freedom. If she [Nupur Sharma] did something wrong, it is for the Indian court to decide. India is a sovereign country,” Wilders said.
So far, over a dozen countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, UAE, Jordan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bahrain, Turkiye, as well as Iran in the Persian Gulf, have condemned Nupur Sharma’s remarks.
Qatar and Kuwait even said they expected a public apology from India, prompting India to say the comments from some “fringe elements” did not represent the views of the Indian government.
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