Islamist In Headscarf To Lead Amsterdam District Council
January 12, 2009
NIS News Bulletin
Headscarved Woman Leads Amsterdam District Council
THE HAGUE, 08/01/09 - Fatima Elatik was appointed leader of the Amsterdam district council of Zeeburg yesterday. She will become the first political administrator in the Netherlands to wear a headscarf in her job.
Elatik, 35, is a member of the Labour (PvdA) party. She combines her always lavishly made-up face with a headscarf. She was born in the capital and speaks with an Amsterdam accent.
Elatik was already alderman for youth and diversity policy in Zeeburg. As leader of the district council, she succeeds her fellow-party member Nico Papineau Salm, who does not want to continue for health reasons. He will however remain a district council alderman.
Some 50,000 people live in Zeeburg. It is one of the 14 district councils of Amsterdam. As well as Amsterdam, Rotterdam also has this administrative form. The district councils have powers particularly in the field of physical planning, such as parking policy and the construction of mosques.
Ahmed Marcouch (PvdA) was until now the only Islamic district council leader. He leads the Slotervaart district council. Marcouch and Elatik both have Moroccan nationality.
A few years ago, the theatre play Aishia, about the Prophet Mohammed, was cancelled following threats, to Elatik's satisfaction. In the same period, the Amsterdam district council elections took place. Elatik put an advertisement in a newspaper at the time that said: "Why should a play not be banned? Vote for Fatima Elatik."