Muslim Mayor in Rotterdam calls Muslims to get in line or get out

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SHAFAQNA – Ahmed Aboutaleb, the Mayor of Rotterdam (Netherlands) said this week that Europe has no place for extremists who are not willing to live within the bounds of its norms.

Speaking on CNN’s Michael Holmes’ show the Morroccan-born Dutch official suggested Muslims should consider leaving if they could not embrace western values.

He said, “Work with us together to construct a ‘we society. But if you want to stand out of the ‘we community,’ you threaten us, you go to Yemen to learn how to use a Kalashnikov and to come back to threaten the society, well you are not part of my ‘we society,’ you had better leave.”

He continued, “I am one of the people who knows how it is to live in poverty. I spent fifteen years in Morocco of my life on one meal a day, walking without shoes, going to the Netherlands without a coat to protect myself. I cannot accept that poverty leads to terrorism,” he added, saying that poverty must lead to knowledge and to better oneself. It’s about investing in yourself, first of all. And by doing that you invest in society. And that’s the message I try to give to these people.”

The mayor’s comments were received with mixed emotions by the Muslim-Dutch community as many saw in his words the justification of Islamophobia by aligning Islam to extremism.

“Why are we automatically assuming that being Muslim means being in opposition of western values? This is the type of narrative which the far-right has used to justify their anti-Islam campaign. Mayor Aboutaleb is playing directly into this assumption,” said Hussain Abbas an Iraqi refugee to Shafaqna.

Ahmed Aboutaleb - Mayor of Rotterdam

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