Aboutaleb: where do you get the nerve to threaten a Rotterdamse?
Opinions were divided on Elou Akhiat, but support has started flowing in for her, namely from Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb. This week, Moroccan entrepreneur Elou Akhiat, received criticism for opening a wine bar in Rotterdam. The Metro posted an article about her and her business, which prompted a barrage of complaints, and even death threats. Elou was forced to ask for police protection. But since the events, Akhiat is not only receiving threats anymore, NRC reports. Hundreds of support letters and flowers have come her way, as well as a personal message from mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, which was posted in the Metro. In the letter, addressed to "anonymous online threatener", Aboutaleb asks "where do you get the nerve to make someone feel terrorized in this way?" "You don't know her, you've never spoken to her. Still, you've ridiculed the entrepreneurial Rotterdamse, jeered at her and sometimes even threatened her because she opened a wine bar." "The rule is that everyone in this country has the freedom to make his or her own choices in life. These choices deserve our respect, even if we don't agree with them" Aboutaleb writes in the paper yesterday. Even Geert Wilders (PVV) sent Akhiat a supportive message on Twitter. "Support for Moroccan businesswoman Elou Akhiat. It is a disgrace that she is being threatened with death for the opening of a wine bar!"
For once, other politicians agree with Wilders, about this issue that is. Minister of Social Affairs Lodewijk Asscher called the threats "unacceptable." Aboutaleb, who was himself threatened as well and needed protection, called Akhiat personally to give her his support. Yesterday, politicians from various parties in Rotterdam went to Akhiat's bar Uva Dolce to offer their support. Akhiat is touched by all the support and the flowers, she told NRC yesterday. But all the attention, also the positive, has gotten a bit out of hand.