Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb says he has more authority to make bold statements compelling extremist Muslims to get out of the country than do his European colleagues. The Moroccan-born Dutch Mayor said this in an interview with CNN, after speaking in Washington, D.C., about the role of local governments in battling radicalization and extremism.
"I'm not only a mayor of the city but I'm also a Muslim," Aboutaleb said, adding that this perhaps gives him "the additional authority" to say what his colleagues in Europe and the US "are not maybe authorized to say."
In January, Aboutaleb made a now-famous speech following the Paris attacks, in which he told Muslims living in the Netherlands who are not prepared to live within the country's ideals to leave. Aboutaleb told CNN he stands by his statements.