Islam in the Netherlands
(Dick Douwes) The Low Countries - 2007, № 15, pp. 182-188
The Netherlands has almost one million Muslims; a statistic that terrifies quite a lot of people. In addition to practising believers, this group also includes hundreds of thousands who are non-practising or occasional Muslims. With the arrival of economic immigrants from the mid-1960s onwards, followed by the reuniting of families in the 1980s and 1990s, Muslims have rapidly become more noticeable. This visibility involves not only their influence on the appearance of Dutch cities, but also the fact that they have started to take advantage of their rights as citizens, for example in the areas of education and religious amenities, such as the construction of mosques. The ‘discovery of the Muslim‘ in the Netherlands as a social and cultural issue is, however, primarily the product of a ‘white' debate and policy. This has made it difficult for Muslims in the Netherlands to define their position.
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