Mohamed Rabbae, Former Member of Parliament for GroenLinks, has died. Various sources report this, including the National Council of Moroccans (LBM), in which he was involved. He was 81 years old.
In 1994 Rabbae, together with Ina Brouwer, formed a party leader duo for GroenLinks in the parliamentary elections. In the campaign, he said in an interview he understood people who wanted to ban Salman Rushdies Islam-critical book The Devil Verses.
The elections did not go well for the party. GroenLinks lost a seat and fell to 5 seats. Ina Brouwer stepped up, but in the end, not Rabbae became party chairman, but Paul Rosenmöller.
Rabbae fled Morocco to the Netherlands as a student in 1966, because he was afraid that he would be arrested as an activist against King Hassan II. He studied economics in Amsterdam and became director of the Dutch Center for Foreigners (NCB) in 1983. In that position, in the following years, he was an important mouthpiece for minorities.
After the Gulf War, he became a member of GroenLinks, which soon put him on the list of candidates. From 1994 to 2002, he was in the House of Representatives. He gained appreciation as an education spokesperson and member of the IRT Committee of Inquiry that investigated unauthorized investigative methods by the police.
In 2002, he was unexpectedly put in an unsuitable place, after which he withdrew from national politics. He was alderman in Leiden for several years. He resigned there, because major mistakes had been made in the social work provision during his sick leave. It had happened in his absence, but he still felt politically responsible.
In 2010, Rabbae filed a complaint against Geert Wilders, who he accused of hate speech and group insult. Then-party leader Femke Halsema saw this as an attempt at censorship and distanced himself from Rabbae. He subsequently terminated his membership of GroenLinks.
Party leader Jesse Klaver calls Rabbae a tireless fighter against racism in a response and also Think Group Chairman Azarkan reflects on the fight he fought against racism, discrimination and xenophobia. Former D66 leader and current Vice President of the Council of State Thom de Graaf writes that he spoke to Rabbae last year and recalls that they were together on the Investigation Methods Committee, which was investigating the IRT affair.