Ahmed Aboutaleb, a Dutch-Moroccan politician
is slated to become the first Dutch mayor of Moroccan decent. Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician who produced the wake up call movie about Islam, Fitna, has criticized Aboutleb for holding dual citizenship.
According to Wilders, a government minister should not have dual allegiances. Aboutaleb (a practicing Muslim) is a dual citizen of both the Netherlands and Morocco.
ROTTERDAM, 17/10/08 – Rotterdam is getting a Muslim as mayor. Social Affairs State Secretary Ahmed Aboutaleb will succeed Ivo Opstelten in the Netherlands’ second-largest city.
Aboutaleb is a member of Labour (PvdA). The PvdA-dominated local council of Rotterdam nominated him yesterday. Home Affairs Minister Guusje ter Horst has yet to appoint him but her approval is a mere formality.
Aboutaleb, like all Moroccan immigrants in the Netherlands. has both Dutch and Moroccan nationality. He combines his Muslim faith with a political style that is typically Dutch: consensus and dialogue are paramount. Some Muslims consider him too ‘white,’ some ‘whites’ find him too soft. In reality, Aboutaleb is in the Labour (PvdA) tradition of anti-polarisation.
Aboutaleb was born in Beni Sidel, Morocco on 29 August 1961. His father was an Imam. He came to the Netherlands aged 16. In 1987, he graduated from a college (HBO) in electrical engineering and telecommunication. Instead of becoming a technician, Aboutaleb emerged as a journalist for a variety of TV broadcasters and news programmes, including NOS Radio and RTL Nieuws.
UPDATE: It appears that Aboutaleb has raised the ire of his co-religionists to the point that they placed him on hit list a few years ago, alongside Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Geert Wilders. I suppose his call for “people with a dual nationality who can’t accept essential Dutch values such as freedom of speech would probably do best if they decided to leave the Netherlands” was just too much for them.
NOTE: While the selection of someone as “modernist” as Aboutaleb appears to be, it does speak loudly of the shift in the demographic reality in Dutch society. The next time around it might not be a Muslim politician who talks of freedom of speech in the same vein as Ahmed Aboutaleb, but one who insists on small incremental changes that benefits an Islamist agenda.
It would also be interesting in knowing to what exent Aboutaleb supports the continued mass immigration of Muslims into Dutch society and into Europe?