Wide Angle

Netherlands : Mohammed, a 12-year-old boy who wants to know why Moroccans are seen as criminals

Mohammed is a 12-year-old Moroccan from Leiden who wanted to change the way Moroccans are looked at in the Netherlands through a documentary. Meanwhile, the leader of the extreme right in the country appealed against a previous conviction for discriminating against Moroccans.

Mohammed, a 12-year-old Moroccan shaking hands with Ahmed Boutaleb, the mayor of Rotterdam./Ph. NPO radio1
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It all started for Mohammed with a single question. The 12-year-old Moroccan kid living in the Netherlands was curiously wondering if «there is a good future in the European country for Moroccans ?» and he did everything to find an answer to his question. In an interview conducted by NPO Radio, a public-service radio channel in the Netherlands, Mohammed revealed the story behind his recently released documentary entitled «De Kleine Mo».

The Leiden native had to change the stereotype associated with Moroccans in the Netherlands, the country where he lives. So he had to look for Moroccan successful people. «I thought that all Moroccans were criminals», Mohammed told the same source.

«Then I was asked if I wanted to go and do research on that. Later on, I went to interview successful Moroccans».

The successful Moroccans

Indeed, Mohammed had the chance to meet, interview and hang out with a number of Moroccan nationals in the Netherlands who managed to get their careers sorted. From politicians to artists and activists, the young boy visited Ahmed Aboutaleb, a Moroccan-Dutch Labour Party politician who is the Mayor of Rotterdam since January 5, 2009.

He also met Ali Bouali, aka Ali.B, a Dutch rapper of Moroccan descent and one of the most well known rappers in the Netherlands, Youssef Koukouh a Moroccan Youtuber and Mustapha Marghadi an NOS reporter and journalist.

«I was also with Moroccan doctors, and with Abid Tounssi, a rapper known as Salah Edin. He is now writing poetry and helping ex-detainees», said Mohammed who has finally managed to find an answer to his question.

Now the 12-year-old boy knows that not all Moroccans in the Netherlands are criminals. He also learned that everyone can change their fate by sticking to their dreams. «You just have to work hard. Not all Moroccans end up being criminals», said Mohammed adding :

«I want to inspire people and tell them that there are plenty of opportunities in the Netherlands».

Mohammed has taken his class to the premiere of his documentary hosted by the Cinekid Festival to change the way Moroccans are looked at in the European country.

Geert Wilders and discriminating against Moroccans

Mohammed’s idea, however, has emerged as some political figures in the Netherlands are inciting to discriminate against Moroccans. The example here is Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician and the current leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV). The latter has recently appealed against a previous verdict announced against him for discriminating against Moroccans.

In fact, the Dutch Politician told the crowds in 2014 that «the Hague should be a city with fewer problems, if possibe, fewer Moroccans». He then asked his followers whether they want more of fewer Moroccans in the city and they chanted repeating «fewer, fewer, fewer».

He was found guilty on the 9th of December 2016 and the court ruled indicating that : «partly in view of the inflammatory nature and manner of these staments, others were herby incited to discriminate against persons of Moroccan origin».

Right after the ruling was issued, the politician appealed arguing that «Moroccans are not a race and people who say something about Moroccans are not racist. I am not racist and neither are my voters».

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