Rotterdam: It's a wonder the rest are ok

Wouter Bos, the head of the Labor party said in an interview in 2006 that he expected mishaps with the new immigrant council members. At the time, it brought him a storm of criticism.

Muslim Bouchra Ismaili (30) was considered a "warm and very involved" neighborhood councillor in Charlois, a neighborhood in Rotterdam-Zuid. Wednesday evening she was kicked out of the party. Mishaps in quick succession made further functioning impossible.

The row began with an email in which Ismaili vehemently let fly at one of her apparent provocateurs. Ismaili immediately expressed apologies that she had gone on so unashamedly. Her party was content with it and asked for understanding for the young politician which had been frequently troubled by Muslim haters both in and outside her mailbox.

Leefbaar Rotterdam nevertheless smelled an opportunity and discovered Ismaili had signed a petition of the radical Islamic organization Hizb ut-Tahrir. The politician, now driven into a tight spot, denied she had signed the petition.

The fraction chairman challenged her accusers to show evidence, and they immediately delivered it, plucked from the internet. The labor party fraction looked foolish and Ismaili's political fate was sealed. "This can't be fixed anymore," said vice fraction chairman Maroc van Dijck.

Peter van Heemst, labor party faction leader in the Rotterdam council said: "The labor party has 130 neighborhood councillors in Rotterdam, and 95% of them are new. Than maybe it goes wrong with five of them. It's a wonder that it goes so well with the rest."

Meanwhile Ismaili is considering whether to continue in Charlois as a solo-fraction.

Sources: Volkskrant, PvdA (Dutch)

See also: Rotterdam: Politician signs Hizb ut-Tahrir petition, but stays anyway, Rotterdam: An email to a devil worshiper

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