Dutch-Moroccan family attacked by teenage mob chanting 'Geert Wilders'

Dutch-Moroccan family attacked by teenage mob chanting 'Geert Wilders'
Hundreds of teenagers reportedly chanted the name of Geert Wilders, an anti-Islam far-right politician, during an attack on a Moroccan family in the Dutch town of Urk.
2 min read
13 March, 2019
Urk, a fishing village, is considered part of the Dutch "Bible belt"[The Washington Post/Getty Images]
A Dutch-Moroccan family was surrounded and attacked in their home on Monday evening by over one hundred teenage boys in a suspected racially motivated attack.

Police intervened after up to one hundred teenagers entered the home of the Boukhizzou family in the town of Urk, assaulting their main target, 18-year-old Soufyan, and his mother and sister.

The boys threw fireworks and stones and had to be dispersed by police batons.

Dutch daily Algemeen Dagblad (AD) reported that the attackers shouted the name of Geert Wilders, a Dutch anti-Muslim and far-right politician who was convicted of inciting discrimination against Dutch Moroccans in 2016 for a speech in which he asked supporters if they wanted "more or less Moroccans" in the Netherlands.

The family were advised by police to remain inside on Tuesday. "We are not safe, we are scared to death," said the family.

People are divided on the attack's motives. Some town residents claim it was sparked by Soufyan - who allegedly offended the girlfriend of one of his neighbours.

"As a Moroccan, you shouldn't act in a bad way to your fellow residents girlfriend," a local resident told Dutch media.

Soufyan told local media that the attack was based on revenge. Born in Urk, he was beaten up two years ago by a Dutchman.

Since then his father has bought a Mercedes, leading town residents to believe the family received compensation for the attack. According to Soufyan, he and his mother reported the incident to the police but it was never followed up and the family received no compensation.

Soufyan received Whatsapp messages warning of the attack earlier on Monday and asked police to bring him home after he feared someone was following him.

A journalist from Omroep Flevoland was also intimidated by the group. His equipment was taken and a smoke bomb was thrown in his van.

Urk is a town in the north Flevoland province of the Netherlands. Part of the so called Dutch "Bible belt", it is one of the most politically conservative areas of the country.  

Islamophobic acts have taken place across the Netherlands.

Last week, Pegida, a German anti-Islam group, hung a banner insulting Islam at the entrance of a mosque in the Hague.

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