How Did The Muslim Mayor Of Holland Affect Europe?
By Jeffry Rozalskan,
Filed under: NEWS
The mayor of Rotterdam, who is Moroccan-born, told in the live television that those Muslims who have a problem with western culture can pack their bags and leave. This sentence of his shocked the television audience and Muslims. Ahmed Aboutaleb, the Muslim Labor politician, made the remarks about last week’s deadly attacks on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, during an interview with a Dutch news program, and is known for his tough stance on Muslim integration in Europe.
Aboutaleb, who is 53, also argued that Muslims who could not find their place in the Netherlands were causing ostracism of other Muslims in the country. “All those well-meaning Muslims here will now be stared at,” he said. Muslims make up about five percent of the Netherlands’ population of 16.8 million. Despite his tough stance on Muslim immigrants, Aboutaleb himself has been criticized for his own immigrant background by the far-right Dutch political leader Geert Wilders, who submitted a motion of no-confidence against the then-deputy social affairs minister in 2007 for continuing to hold on to his Moroccan passport, reported Der Spiegel. This, Wilders alleged, meant that Aboutaleb’s loyalty remained to the king of Morocco rather than to the Netherlands.
The Rotterdam mayor became the first Muslim immigrant to lead a major European city when he was appointed to the office in 2008. Born to an imam in Morocco’s Rif’s mountain region in 1961, Aboutaleb moved to the Netherlands when he was 15 and has often been described as a “model non-Western immigrant,” according to Spiegel Online. London mayor Boris Johnson praised Aboutaleb in the U.K.’s Telegraph on Sunday, calling him a “hero” for getting “straight to the point” in condemning the terrorist attacks in Paris, which left 17 people dead last week. “That is the voice of the Enlightenment, of Voltaire… that is the kind of voice we need to hear – and it needs above all to be a Muslim voice,” he wrote.