The Moroccan-born mayor of the Netherlands’ second largest city had some harsh words for his fellow immigrants in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris
The Daily Mail reports Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, speaking during a live television broadcast about the attack on the French magazine’s headquarters, told fellow Muslims that if they don’t enjoy Western freedoms they can “f*** off.”
“It is incomprehensible that you can turn against freedom,” Aboutaleb said on the Dutch live television program “Nieuwsuur” or “Newshour.”
“If you do not like it here because some humorists you don't like are making a newspaper, may I then say you can f*** off,” he continued according to the translation. “This is stupid, this so incomprehensible. Vanish from the Netherlands if you cannot find your place here.”
The Mirror reports the 52-year-old Aboutaleb moved to the Netherlands when he was 15 and is well-known for his strong stance against immigrants who refuse to adapt to the country’s more liberal society and customs.
According the Daily Mail story, he was quoted by the Observer in 2008, shortly after his appointment as mayor, as telling immigrants to “stop seeing yourself as victims, and if you don't want to integrate, leave.”
His recent comments won the public praises of at least one other mayor of a major European city.
London Mayor Boris Johnson applauded Aboutaleb in a column in The Telegraph earlier this week.
“And my hero – the man who got straight to the point – was the Mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, himself a Muslim,” Johnson wrote, before quoting Aboutaleb’s comments.
“That is the voice of the Enlightenment, of Voltaire,” Johnson said of his colleague’s remarks. “We can and will protect this country against these jihadist thugs. … But if we are going to win the struggle for the minds of these young people, then that is the kind of voice we need to hear – and it needs above all to be a Muslim voice.”