Freedom of speech means that everyone must be able to express their opinion, whatever it may be, Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said at a neighborhood Iftar on Sunday. "No matter how poisonous the message may be, it must be able to be expressed", he said in reaction to him allowing a Pegida pork roasting demonstration at the Laleli mosque in Rotterdam-Zuid last week, ANP reports.
Anti-Islam group Pegida announced that they would barbecue pork at mosques in five municipalities during Ramadan evening prayers. Aboutaleb was the only mayor to allow this demonstration. The mayors of Utrecht, The Hague, Arnhem and Gouda stopped the barbecues, though gave Pegida permission to protest elsewhere. The Rotterdam demonstration was eventually called off by Pegida itself.