Public Debates over Islam and the Awareness of Muslim identity in the Netherlands

W. Shadid

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    27 Citations (Scopus)


    National and international events in which Muslims have been engaged have triggered heated debates on the integration of these groups in and their loyalty to Dutch society. In this regard, Dutch government has intervened, directly and indirectly, in Muslim religious affairs. The debates and the increased prejudice against Muslims in the country suggest that multiculturalism as public policy is not present any more in The Netherlands. Politicians, publicists and opinion leaders often associate Muslims with crimes, drugs and general nuisance and accuse them of fundamentalism, terrorism, radicalism, disloyalty and orthodoxy. Detrimentally, the discourse of the public and political debates has induced an ethnic dichotomy in society referring to 'us’ and ‘them’, and ‘our’ culture versus ‘their’ culture, irrespective of the fact that nearly half of the members of these groups were born and raised in the Netherlands. The shift in the minorities policy has however, mainly been stimulated by political populism and rhetoric. In practice, the integration debates have proved to be counter-productive. Immigrants with an Islamic background feel more alienated now than ever before.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)10-22
    Number of pages13
    JournalEuropean education
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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