Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb is urging Muslims to actively distance themselves from attacks committed in the name of religion. He said this yesterday at the summit he is attending on countering violent extremism in the White House in Washington.

"More than ever, international tensions are having an impact on the local community. For that reason, there must be room for anger and grief. At the same time, we need to ensure that international conflicts do not degenerate into hostilities in our streets." Mayor Aboutaleb said in his speech yesterday. The full version of the speech can be seen here. He pointed out four points that he believes are crucial in the fight against radicalization and religious extremism.

One of the points he touched on is the importance of calling on residents to seek each other out and enter into a dialogue. "As mayor and a practicing Muslim, I also call upon the Muslim community to take action and make their voices heard more loudly. In my opinion it is precisely that voice that is a valuable medicine: the 16 million Muslims in Europe and 2 million in the United States can show that their religious beliefs can be perfectly combined with our Western Values.

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