By Cindy Basha
By Cindy Basha
Rabat- Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, a Moroccan immigrant in the Netherlands, continues to support Middle Eastern refugees fleeing to his country, despite growing anti-immigration hostility in the Netherlands.
The debate over refugees has become so aggressive in Netherlands that both sides have received threats of violence.
Dutch voters are strongly against supporting this recent influx of refugees. In a recent poll published in The Guardian, 85 percent of Dutch voters feel that their country has too many immigrants.
Another survey by the French polling firm IFOP, published in the Irish Times on November 12, found that 77 percent of voters oppose providing any form of financial assistance to refugees.
Other Dutch pro-refugee leaders have faced similar opposition. Arco Hofland, the mayor of Rijssen-Holten, has received death threats after he announced his plan to accept 150 refugees.
Many European countries have equally divisive debates. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has witnessed a shift in her popularity because of her pro-refugee position. A poll published on October 14 showed that her party has seen a 38 percent decrease in popularity in recent months.
Mayor Aboutaleb believes that immigrants in the Netherlands should be accepting of Western European culture. Still, an immigrant himself, he understands the difficulties migrants face and feels a moral obligation to assist them.
Dutch King Willem-Alexander has intervened in his nation’s immigration debate, as hostility grew, instigating violent threats against individuals on both sides.
The King has publicly denounced threats originating from both sides, stating that they go against the core beliefs of his country and disrupt an important discussion.
Edited by Timothy Filla