Rabat - The police department in the city of Amsterdam will apologize for their bad treatment of an elderly Moroccan man who spoke Arabic and was unaware that he had been riding his bicycle against traffic, in violation of the Dutch city’s traffic rules.
Rabat – The police department in the city of Amsterdam will apologize for their bad treatment of an elderly Moroccan man who spoke Arabic and was unaware that he had been riding his bicycle against traffic, in violation of the Dutch city’s traffic rules.
Members of the Dutch-Moroccan community shared a video of the incident online, which depicted officers handcuffing the man and taking him to a police van. A group of women later began discussing the causes of the sheikh’s arrest with the officers.
The video caused anger amongst Dutch-Moroccans, who considered the treatment to be insulting and Islamophobic.
The police said the man became agitated when asked for identification information, which caused the incident to escalate.
Still, the department said it would personally apologize to the man because neither the manner in which the old man was arrested nor his violation warranted the “criminal” treatment he received.
Holland hosts the fifth largest Moroccan community in Europe, according to the kingdom’s data. Several Dutch citizens of Moroccan origin hold high-level government positions, such as Ahmed Aboutaleb, the mayor of Rotterdam.
Dutch politician Geert Wilders is current facing trial for charges of hate speech perpetrated during his 2014 run for office. While addressing a crowd of supporters, he asked if they preferred more or fewer Moroccans in Holland.
The far-right party’s supporters responded: “Fewer! Fewer! Fewer!”
The incident stirred a wave of discontent among Dutch-Moroccans, who filed over 6400 complaints in protest against the politicians’ hate speech. The court is scheduled to issue a verdict Friday.