I have written a number of times about Slotervaart, a Moroccan neighborhood in Amsterdam which was plagued by riots and arson last winter — among other occasions. As in similar areas in Sweden and France, emergency personnel from the fire brigade and ambulance services are at risk of physical attack when they enter Slotervaart.
Once again, the interesting thing about the following news story is that an ethnic Moroccan is the one objecting to the lawless behavior of “youths” in Slotervaart, and calling for resolute action against them. According to last Saturday’s Elsevier, as translated by our Flemish correspondent VH:
“Insulting emergency staff is part of Moroccan culture”
City Council Chairman of Slotervaart Ahmed Marcouch [PvdA, Socialist party] believes that the young Moroccan who threatened ambulance staff must be “punished severely”.
On the TV show Knevel & Van den Brink, Marcouch said that threatening and insulting police officers and firefighters is “quite common” in Morocco.
Interviewer Andries Knevel told him these boys were born in the Netherlands, however. “Yes,” replied Marcouch, “but still, that’s their culture.” In Morocco there is “aggressiveness on both sides” according to Marcouch. “People over there for example, do not step aside when an ambulance arrives.”
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The reasons why young Moroccans insult emergency aid staff doesn’t concern him a bit, Marcouch said, “because you just have to keep your hands off people”. In addition to more severe punishments, Marcouch believes society should openly talk about such issues. He acknowledged that this has been happening for years, but still finds it insufficient.
Ambulance staff are sick and tired of all the insults and demand action against increasing violence.
Sidebar caption: My apologies
The boy who threatened ambulance personnel in Amsterdam last Wednesday evening after they picked up his stabbed brother has offered his apologies.
He told the ambulance staff that he “would kill them if his brother died.”
“I was very emotional, I can no longer remember it all, but if I said all that, I am sorry, I offer my apologies,” said Abdullah.