State Secretary of Social Affairs and Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb has said that he thinks it is “absurd” to propose that Christian holidays of Easter Monday and Pentecost Monday ought to be replaced with Muslim holidays. Aboutaleb added that such Christian holidays have been embedded in the Dutch calendar, and cannot be touched.
He does, however, support introducing a separate Islamic holiday, and that it ought to be an extra free day for all. Aboutaleb does not foresee this as a possibility in the immediate future, noting that there is significant conflict about the integration of foreigners at the moment, but added: “we are currently in a transition phase, a changeover phase. When that is over, we could discuss it.”
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