The Moroccan-Dutch Mayor of the city of Rotterdam
(53) was chosen by the Dutch rightist magazine Weekly Elsevier as Dutch Person of the Year 2014. The city of Rotterdam has had much negative media exposure over the years because of issues related to migration and integration, being one of the cities with the largest migrant populations of the Netherlands. It was also the home of the Dutch politician and Islam critic Pim Fortuyn who was brutally killed by a leftist radical in 2002. The Elsevier editorial board expressed that Aboutaleb deserves the title because he has been the representative face of the city that has been extraordinarily often in the news in positive ways this past year, domestically and internationally.
The editorial board also expressed that Aboutaleb has shown a true example of how a mayor should be, “dedicated, attention for detail, sometimes firm, and always clear.” Aboutaleb has shown, according to the board, that he is not afraid to express his views on multiple societal issues, ranging from Dutch policies on drugs to the so called “polderjihad” (the idea of Dutch Muslim youngsters prone to radicalize religiously or join jihadist movements abroad).