Muslims Who Don't Like Free Speech Can 'F**k Off' Says Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb

13/01/2015 12:51 | Updated 15 January 2015

Muslims who turn their backs on freedom have been told to pack their bags and “f*ck off”, the mayor of Rotterdam has said.

Moroccan-born Muslim Ahmed Aboutaleb made his comments in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks which left 17 people dead.

Speaking to NewsHour, he said: “It is incomprehensible that you can turn against freedom… But if you don’t like freedom, for heaven’s sake pack your bags and leave.

ahmed aboutaleb rotterdam mayor

Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb

“There may be a place in the world where you can be yourself, be honest with yourself and do not go and kill innocent journalists.

“And if you do not like it here because humourists you do not like make a newspaper, may I then say you can fuck off.

“This is stupid, this is so incomprehensible. Vanish from the Netherlands if you cannot find your place here. All those well-meaning Muslims here will now be stared at.”


Aboutaleb, who has been the mayor of the Dutch city since 2008, has received praise from London Mayor Boris Johnson.

In a column for the Telegraph entitled The Islamists Want War, But If Would Be Fatal If We Fell For It, Johnson described Aboutaleb as “my hero.”

He added: “That is the voice of the Enlightenment, of Voltaire. We can and will protect this country against these jihadist thugs. We will bug them and monitor them and arrest them and prosecute them and jail them.

"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.”

Why Charlie Hebdo's attackers lost

  • Around 3 million copies will go on sale, compared to the normal 60,000
  • The magazine will be sold in 16 languages worldwide
  • The magazine was produced solely by Charlie Hebdo's surviving staff - but many famous cartoonists volunteered their assistance
  • Media worldwide rallied to help, despite security risks. Libération provided office space and printing facilities for the Charlie Hebdo staff
  • Le Monde donated fully-equipped computers because the Charlie Hebdo office is now a crime scene
  • The Guardian donated £100,000, and Google has donated £230,000 to keep the magazine in circulation. A crowdfunding campaign has also started
    Christopher Furlong via Getty Images
  • More than three million people marched in solidarity worldwide
    Gabriel Rossi/STF via Getty Images
  • Hundreds of media outlets have reprinted the Mohammed cartoon - which preaches forgiveness and compassion, not anger
  • Even Evan Davis showed the cartoon on Newsnight, and the BBC is reconsidering its approach to depictions of Mohammed

Suggest a correction