Ahmed Aboutaleb, the mayor of Rotterdam, the second-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world, has told Muslims living in the country to "pack your bag and leave" if they didn't like freedom of speech.
"It is incomprehensible that you can turn against freedom," he said as he appeared on television programme Nieuwsuur on Wednesday night. "But if you do not like freedom, in Heaven's name pack your bag and leave." The anger was apparently directed at Charlie Hebdo attackers.
The comment came on the day gunmen thought to be affiliated with Islamic extremist outfits attacked satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo's office in French capital Paris.
Wednesday's incident, which seems to be fuelling further antagonism against Muslims, comes at a time when anti-Islamic movements are growing in Europe, especially in neighbouring Germany where thousands are taking to the streets to protest against the "Islamisation" of Europe.
"There may be a place in the world where you can be yourself," Aboutaleb continued, as reported by Dutch publication NLTimes. "Be honest with yourself and do not go and kill innocent journalists," Aboutaleb, who is a Muslim himself, said.
The shooting also adds to a tense environment, with an anti-immigrant party dominating in France, and comes close on the heels of reports suggesting mosque burnings in Sweden and thousands marching against the rise of Islam in Germany.
The leader of the anti-Islam Freedom party in the Netherlands, Geert Wilders, also reportedly lashed out at the Dutch and European governments asking them if Europe will ever get the "message".
"When will Prime Minister Mark Rutte and other western government leaders finally get the message? Its war."