Summary - The religious experience of Muslims in the Netherlands

A focus on diversity and change

Original title: "De religieuze beleving van moslims in Nederland"

In the Netherlands, as in the rest of Europe, Islam is the largest religion after Christianity. Muslims in the Netherlands live in a predominantly secular society in which anti-Islamic voices have become increasingly prominent since the start of the century. Few topics have been subject to so much and such heated debate in recent years as Islam and the integration of Muslims. In this study we explore how different Muslim groups in the Netherlands experience and practise their religion, and what developments have taken place over time.
Our focus is primarily on the two largest Muslim groups in the Netherlands, namely those of Turkish and Moroccan background. We also devote attention to a number of smaller Muslim groups, such as Afghan, Iranian, Iraqi, Somali and Surinamese Muslims. In addition, we use a typology to illustrate the diversity within the Islamic community in the Netherlands. We investigate whether Muslims can be divided into categories based on religious behaviours, views and identification.
We then relate these categories to the positions occupied in other, non-religious domains of life, such as social contacts, societal participation, perceived health, and opinions and experiences of discrimination.

This publication is the third study by the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP) to look explicitly at Muslims in the Netherlands. It is also the first in a series of studies of religion and spirituality carried out by SCP, with as its central theme the development of different religions and ideologies in the Netherlands.