Fear gripped a family of Moroccan immigrants in Urk, the Netherlands, after a mob of “vengeful” young people attacked them in their home.
Rabat – Being barged in on and beaten by nearly 100 teenagers in their own home was not how the Boukhizzou family imagined spending Monday evening.
The Moroccan family experienced a vicious attack at their home in Urk, the Netherlands. As the mother tried to defend her family, the attackers hit her and injured her daughter, throwing rocks and fireworks. But their main target was the Moroccan family’s 18-year-old son, Soufyan.
The attackers shouted “Geert Wilders” while they attacked the family.
Geert Wilders is a Dutch anti-Islamist and far-right politician. The attackers invoking Wilders’ name suggests to some that their motives were “racist” or Islamophobic, as Dutch media have reported.
Wilders holds special political discontent with Islam and Moroccans. The anti-migration MP has sparked outrage multiple times, especially when he called all Moroccan migrants “scum” two years ago and said he wanted to make the Netherlands “ours again.”
Local residents, however, alleged that Soufyan had offended the girlfriend of one of his neighbors.
“You shouldn’t do that as a Moroccan,” a Dutch lady told the Dutch daily newspaper Algemeen Dagblad, referring to Soufyan.
There are, however, two sides to the story. While the Moroccan family’s neighbors criticized Soufyan’s “offensive” behavior towards the girlfriend, Soufyan said the attack was fueled by “revenge” and built on “misunderstandings.”
Soufyan, who was born in Urk, said that a fellow Dutchman beat him up two years ago. When Soufyan’s mother reported it to the police, officers never followed up with the family.
The teenager said that his family is misunderstood, emphasizing that he did not receive any compensation for the attack from two years ago.
“People think we received a compensation for it because my father bought a Mercedes a while ago.”
Soufyan said that earlier on Monday, someone had warned him of the impending attack. He sensed that someone was pursuing him throughout the day.
Soufyan tried to hide at a bar but was relieved when he saw a police car driving nearby and requested the policeman to take him home.
“Soon after, a large group of angry young people were at the door” of his house, he told Dutch media.
The police, who soon intervened to disperse the mob with batons,
advised Soufyan, his parents, and sister Ilham to stay at home. The family fears that they will be attacked if they go outside.
“We are not safe. We are terrified,” Soufyan stated.
An investigation is underway into the real motives behind the violence.
There have been numerous notorious anti-Islamic acts in the Netherlands, the most recent of which was against a mosque in Hague—frequented by Moroccan worshippers—by the German group Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (Pegida).
Pegida hung a banner with an obscene message insulting Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) at the entrance of the As-Sunnah Mosque next to a mannequin dressed in traditional male Arab dress with a bearded face covered in dark paint.