The Moroccan-born mayor of Rotterdam has said Muslim immigrants who do not appreciate the way of life in Western civilisations can ‘f*** off’.
Ahmed Aboutaleb, who arrived in the Netherlands aged 15, spoke out in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris last week.
Appearing on live television just hours after the shootings, Mayor Aboutaleb said Muslims who ‘do not like freedom can pack your bags and leave’.
Labour politician Ahmed Aboutaleb, a former journalist who was appointed mayor of the Dutch city in 2008, is known for his straightforward stance on integration.
The 53-year-old won the praise of London-mayor Boris Johnson over his comments last week attacking fellow Muslims who move to Western nations but refuse to accept the Western way of life.
‘It is incomprehensible that you can turn against freedom,’ Mayor Aboutaleb told Dutch current affairs program Nieuwsuur (Newshour).
‘But if you don’t like freedom, for heaven’s sake pack your bags and leave.
‘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.
‘This is stupid, this so incomprehensible. Vanish from the Netherlands if you cannot find your place here. All those well-meaning Muslims here will now be stared at’.
Mayor Aboutaleb grew up the son of an imam in northern Morocco, but moved to the Netherlands in 1976.
After working as a reporter he became a civil servant before being appointed State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment in 2007.
When he was appointed mayor of Rotterdam, the second largest city in the country with a population of more than 610,000, he became the first immigrant in such a position in the Netherlands.
Mayor Aboutaleb, who represents the Dutch Labour Party, de Partij van de Arbeid, has long had a no-nonsense approach to immigration and integration.
Speaking to the Observer shortly after his appointment he said his message to immigrants is ‘stop seeing yourself as victims, and if you don’t want to integrate, leave’.
This week, London Mayor Boris Johnson hailed Mayor Aboutaleb as his ‘hero’ and ‘straight to the point’.
‘That is the voice of the Enlightenment, of Voltaire,’ Mr Johnson wrote in the Daily Telegraph.
‘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.’