Netherlands: 2nd generation Turks, Moroccans less religious

Netherlands: 2nd generation Turks, Moroccans less religious

A few months ago the SCP came out with a study showing there's a religious revival among second generation Moroccans. Who to believe?

Related stories:
* Europe: Morocco wants to renew interest in Islam among European Moroccans
* Netherlands: 'Religious revival' for 2nd generation Moroccans
* Netherlands: Highly educated Turks, Moroccans not impressed by the Dutch

Religious behavior among second generation Turks and Moroccans in the Netherlands is clearly weaker than among the first generation, and yet a majority describe themselves as Muslim. This is the conclusion of Mieke Maliepaard, Marcel Lubbers (both of Utrecht University) en Mérove Gijsberts (Sociaal Cultureel Planbureau, SCP). Their findings appear in the British journal ‘Ethnic and Racial Studies’.

The Utrecht researchers used almost 2000 questionnaires which were filled by first and second generation Turks and Moroccans who live in the Netherlands. Those show that the second generation keeps Ramadan less and prays less than the first generation. The second generation also describe themselves less as Muslim: 12% say they're not (no longer) religious, compared to 5% of the first generation.

A majority of the second generation yet describe themselves as Muslims. But within this group, 'Dutchification' is taking place: the youth identify more than their parents with the Netherlands. According to the researchers, who are part of an international project researching religious changes among minorities, education and growing up in a secular Netherlands are the underlying reasons for these results. The assumption that assimilation develops over generations is supported by this study.

One surprising result of the study concerns the religious behavior of the highly education within the second generation. Highly-education Turks and Moroccans who describe themselves as Muslims, practice their faith more than the lower-educated, which is exactly the opposite among the first generation. The researchers will investigate further to explain this result.

Source: Blik op Nieuws (Dutch)

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