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.
About 20 supporters of anti-Islam movement Pegida decided at the last minute not to hold a demonstrative barbecue in front of the Laleli Mosque in Rotterdam on Thursday. According to Pegida, the police said that their safety couldn't be guaranteed. According to the police, they said no such thing and the group decided on its own to leave, NU.nl reports.
A spokesperson for Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb told the newspaper that Pegida "made the decision not to let the demonstration go on itself, when they saw the crowd."
Turkey fiercely criticized Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb for allowing anti-Islam movement Pegida to roast pigs in front of the Laleli mosque on Thursday evening. On Twitter Omer Celik, the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, called the decision to allow this protest "immoral".
Anti-Islam movement Pegida is planing to roast pigs on the spit in front of five mosques during Ramadan. The action is planned for mosques in Arnhem, Gouda, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague, during the evening prayer, AD reports.