Asylum secretary is “disgusted”

The Belgian asylum and migration secretary Sammy Mahdi says he is disgusted after the Francophone broadcaster RTBF used his photo to illustrate an article about “the perfect immigrant”.  Mr Mahdi, who is in the running to lead the Flemish Christian democrat party, says he doesn’t want to be judged by the way he looks but by the fact that he is a Belgian citizen and by his work as a minister.

The article dealt with how Flemings see and what they expect from migrants and was based on a VRT investigation.

Mr Mahdi took to Twitter to voice his unhappiness with the use of his photo: “So sad, this picture. So disgusted”.

The article on RTBF Info ran under the headline: “Even a perfect migrant will never become a Fleming for half of all Flemings”. 

“There are two lies” he told VRT. “I am not a migrant.  I was born here and I’m not perfect. I don’t need to be your migrant.  I’m simply Sammy Mahdi, the asylum secretary.  I do my job and I would like people to see me as a Belgian born in Elsene in this country and living in Flanders”.

“It’s often said that people from the far right condemn people on the basis of their skin colour.  I would like people who criticise that not to do the same!”

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