Islam experts expect Muslims in the Netherlands to follow in the footsteps of Christians in the past century - believing in their own way and going less and less to church.
There are strong indication that there's a "Dutch Islam" in the making, says religion-sociologist Sipco Vellenga of the University of Amsterdam. Muslims in the Netherlands are slowly letting go of strict Islamic laws and developing their own form of belief, that corresponds more and more to the Dutch legal order: anti-discrimination, supporting freedom of religion and freedom to leave religion.
The trend in Islam in the Netherlands for the coming years will have the religion keeping its significance, but the Koran would be interpreted more independently and the mosque visits would decrease.
Vellenga called it "religious individualizing" during a congress of the institute for multicultural development forum, where the religion-sociologist sketched trends and developments in Islam in the Netherlands. These developments show a resemblance to changes in the religious life of Christians in the 20th century: developing their own faith without institutions and regulations. Vellenga says that people stay loyal to their own religion, but Muslims want to keep their handed-down traditions in their own way. They are more free in their association with Islam, but religion is still of great significance for them.
Vellenga expects the development of such a "Dutch Islam" to be the major trend in the upcoming years, but that is not the whole story: There will also be a group of Muslims who would present themselves more and more explicitly as Muslims, rather than Turks or Moroccans. And a group that would go searching for the roots of Islam and will therefore radicalize. A third group would further reject Dutch society and retreat to their own enclave and a fourth group would choose for adaptation and secularization. Immigrant youth who are highly educated would be especially susceptible to this, which will be expressed in a freer sexual morality.
Source: ND (Dutch)