Netherlands: 200,000 practicing Muslims

According to a study by researchers of the Institute for Integration and Social Capability at the University of Groningen (Instituut voor Integratie en Sociale Weerbaarheid), many first and second generation immigrants from Muslim countries are not practicing Muslims. The study was led by social psychologist Jan Pieter van Oudenhoven and Arabist Fred Leemhuis.

The researchers say there are about 200,000 Muslims who are actually active, based on visitor numbers from mosques.

They also looked at where imams take the information for their preachings and found that most used Dutch sources. According to the researchers this is a sign that imams are becoming more Dutch, also because many youth aren't fluent in Arabic. In practice this means a Dutch Islam is developing, which integrates Dutch norms and values.

The imams kept in contact not only with their followers but also with each other. Researcher Anand Blank says that therefore problems happening in different parts of the Netherlands are shared and the imams can learn from each other.

The researchers also questions teachers, teenagers, parents, pop artists and municipal leaders and found that Muslims, Christians and non-religious people do not disagree much when it comes to virtues. Modern virtues such as respect, reliability, consideration and openness were seen as important by opinion leaders of diverse descent.

The researchers asked imams which virtues they thought were important and found that showing respect was very important, an answer which was also brought to the fore by non-Muslims. Muslims also found it important to have good relations with their neighbors. The researchers think that social virtues are a good beginning for improving the relations between different population groups.

Sources: Telegraaf, De Pers (Dutch), Study page (Dutch)

See also: Netherlands: Dutch Islam, Allochtonen Weblog Roundup (Municipalities friendly to Islam), Netherlands: 5% are Muslims, London: Poll shows Muslims share common values with wider community, Netherlands: Youth radicalizing, imams becoming more moderate


Ferdy said...

Wasn't this the same researcher who claimed that the Koran was a more reliable soure on Jesus than the Bible?

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