Noteworthy, not just because of his background but because the list of prominent western pols willing to tell immigrants to hit the bricks if they won’t adopt their new country’s values is short enough that we have to go looking for less prominent ones. Ahmed Aboutaleb is an interesting guy: He came to the Netherlands as a teenager from Morocco, advanced through the ranks of the Dutch Labour Party, then caught flak from Geert Wilders for maintaining dual citizenship in both countries. He ended up being appointed mayor of Rotterdam (mayoralties are appointed positions in Holland, evidently), a city distinguished by its ethnic composition —nearly half the population is of non-Dutch origins, with Muslims comprising 13 percent. Rotterdam was also the city that had been governed not long before Aboutaleb’s ascendance by the party of Pim Fortuyn, the Dutch pol and fierce critic of Islam who was assassinated eight months after 9/11. His killer, a Dutch leftist, said he’d done it to stop Fortuyn fromscapegoating Muslims. Fast-forward 13 years and the city has a Muslim mayor, one who … sounds quite a bit like Fortuyn and Wilders, ironically, in urging Muslims who won’t assimilate to scram.
We’ll see if it works. Meanwhile in France, assimilation is, well, let’s call it a work in progress:
“The Kalashnikovs, the identity cards the [killers] supposedly left behind, it was all staged,” said Boular [of the Charlie Hebdo attack], as his friends nodded in agreement. “It was a conspiracy designed by the Jews to make Muslims look bad. We’d rather just stay where we are.”
No use arguing. No use pointing out that one of the terrorists murdered four Jews. Conspiracy theories have their own unassailable logic, and this is a world apart from the displays of unity in Paris after the carnage of last week. French newspapers reported that some students in these neighborhoods—as well as other heavily Muslim areas near cities like Lille—refused to participate in Thursday’s national moment of silence for the victims of the terror attacks. One teacher said up to 80 percent of his students didn’t want to observe the silence, and some said they supported the attackers. “You reap what you sow,” a student who refused the moment of silence told his teacher in reference to the terrorists’ victims, according to Le Figaro…