Dutch making religious Islam up?

Maurits Berger, Arabist at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations, says that the Netherlands is facing an integration problem and that it is not an issue of religion. “We ourselves are Islamicizing the Netherlands”, he says.

According to him the Dutch are mixing together the Turks and Moroccans and thereby creating a threatening “Islam” group out of what are essentially different and fragmented social groups.

“To understand the Muslim, we study Islam.” He says, “That is the same as if a Japanese Buddhist would read the Old Testament to understand Europeans.”

Assuming this is a direct quote, I am quite surprised that this man is considered an Arabist. For one, I assume he meant to compare reading the Old Testament to reading the Koran. But even if that would be true, there is no comparison here at all. In order to understand the Muslims, one must study Islam and Islam draws its laws and manner of living directly from the Koran.

A European does not open the Old Testament in order to decide what to do in daily life. For that matter, neither does a Jew. A Jew would not even open up a Talmud to decide on any specific case. Instead, he would turn to the more modern books. It is quite evident that Muslims do look at the Koran and Hadith for practical guidance on day to day lives. That is why Koran lessons are so popular nowadays in the Netherlands.

Source: Telegraaf (Dutch) - hat tip, Arjan Hooiveld

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