Netherlands: Muslim youth better adapted to following the rules

Netherlands: Muslim youth better adapted to following the rules

See more on the study (in English). A Dutch gov't study, on the other hand, says that Islam might be a contributing factor to criminality for the exact same reason.


Muslim youth adjust better to the norms, values, laws and regulations of Dutch society than youth of secular or other religious upbringing, according to a study by Dr. Hassan Mousavi which he presented in Groningen yesterday. Mousavi studied about 250 Reformed, liberal-Jewish, Sunni Muslim, Sanatan Dharma Hindu and secular families with children aged 12 to 21.

The study by social scientist and Islamologist Mousavi is important in the current discussions about misbehaving Muslim youth in various cities. Some politicians point to their religion as the cause. "They assume that this problem is caused only because of the religion, while many other factors also play a role. My study shows that Muslim youth adapt better to social limits than other youth in the sample."

He expresses himself carefully since according to him additional study is needed with a bigger sample. But "the study results could apply more nuance to the way in which the media and politicians link upbringing and the infringement or not of social limits by youth. I can't prescribe what the government and politicians should do with this. In any case, it seems to me relevant that this type of studies would be taken seriously in addition to the other voice in society which just lead to polarization," says Mousavi, who as an invited political refugee from Iran has been living in the Netherlands for about twenty years.

Mousavi says that it is logical to think that 'a practiced religion at home' can have on effect on how youth view norms and values. "Religious conviction is linked in general with the norms and values that somebody has. It would therefore be natural that religion would influence the way in which social limits are handled. My results show that youth where a religion is actively practiced at home, have more of an inclination to adjust to laws and regulations than youth who get a secular upbringing."

Source: Nederlands Dagblad (Dutch)

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