Universiteit Leiden

nl en


Critical Perspectives on Salafism in the Netherlands

The study by Tahir Abbas and Liselotte Welten reveals a structural and nuanced understanding of how the question of Salafism in the Netherlands has become an increasingly discussed phenomenon and the types of threats that ought to give genuine concern to security, intelligence and policing services.

Liselotte Welten & Tahir Abbas
26 April 2021
Critical Perspectives on Salafism in the Netherlands

This study establishes how Salafism has been able to influence Dutch Muslim communities in the current period. Through exploratory research, fifteen ‘expert’ interviews with members from the Dutch Muslim community were conducted. The respondents consisted of board members from Turkish, Surinamese and Moroccan Mosques, as well as Islamic organisations, scholars, retired board members, and social workers. They indicated several shortcomings due to having to endure interventionistic policies that have thus far failed to curb the rise in Salafist recruitment. The analysis also reveals a range of misconceptions currently held regarding the Salafism phenomenon. Welten & Abbas argue that statements made by public political figures and the varying definitions used within governmental publications and policy-decisions have caused a disproportionate focus placed upon ordinary Dutch Muslims. As a consequence, it enforces an Islamophobic perspective that diminishes the ability of Dutch Muslims to cooperate with the security services. The process of securitizing Salafism as a whole has led to the Dutch Muslim community to self-censor and self-isolate while experiencing restricted freedom of religion. The process of securitisation reframes the current understanding of Salafism as a greater societal threat. 

This website uses cookies.  More information.