Netherlands: 'Silent Muslim majority is slowly waking up'

Netherlands: 'Silent Muslim majority is slowly waking up'

This was sent out Friday, I didn't realize it didn't go through.


There is a silent Muslim majority which is slowly beginning to stir. And that is very much necessary, in a time of unease about Islam, says Abdulwahid van Bommer, one of the speakers at an Islam conference in Utrecht Friday.

At this conference, part of the four day MultiFestijn Festival in Utrecht which began yesterday, the central question is whether the unease about Islam in the Netherlands is due to lack of leadership.

Van Bommel, translator and guest lecturer at the theology faculty at the University of Groningen, thinks that many Muslims apply a cautious attitude about the feeling of unease that prevails about the presence of Islam in the Netherlands.

Particularly the "silent majority', as he calls the biggest gruop of Muslims, looks on with envy. The majorityshould take upon itself the role of leadership within Islam. "The functionig of Islam in the Netherlands is still a typical immigrant issue. The automatic reaction is like that of the turtle. Who draws his head into his shell and waits for the rain to stop."

According to Van Bommel, a Dutch Muslim who studied in the Netherlands, Muslims respond to the developments in Wilders' party, the PVV, in the same way. "It's empty words, many Muslims think. It can't be that people actually think so. And if they find out later that it is so, they crawl back into a victim role."

"The situation in the Netherlands looks like it's heading towards a crisis situation. People stand diametrically opposite each other. You have an extreme right side standing across from an extreme side of the Muslim community. There is a silent majority, which is slowly coming out of its shell."

This article was prepared by the Islam in Europe blog -

Source: Reformatorisch Dagblad (Dutch)

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