Studies on Islamic Extremism in Europe (NL, UK)

If there isn’t an academic to study it, does it really exist? And if an issue is found, is the solution to establish a new academic center to study it? That seems to be what the Dutch are doing

The Centrum voor Radicalisme en Extremisme Studies (CRES) is being hosted by the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and will bring together researchers from various universities to advance the study of religious radicalisation in the Netherlands.
Researcher Frank Buijs of UvA’s Institute of Migration and Ethnic Studies decided there was a need for the new academic centre while he was researching radicalisation of Moroccan youth on behalf of the Ministry for Immigration and Integration.
The study found 40 percent of the Moroccan youth in the Netherlands reject western values and democracy. Six to seven percent are prepared to use force to defend Islam.

I see that PC is in The Netherlands as they avoid mentioning Islam in the name of this new institution, and I’m sure they devote much attention to any other radicalization they find to avoid charges of bias (100 Neo-Nazis = 3000 Moslem bombers). I also wonder what a similar study would find in other countries of Europe, and the USA, to include Moslem groups other than Moroccans.

Fortunately we have Wikipedia to figure out real numbers (I also looked at CIA World Fact Book).

  • Total Population 16.3M (2004)
  • 920,000 Muslim
  • 314,700 Moroccan (1.9%) (25% greater than the CIA 2000 number)

From the press above we don’t know who is considered a youth, but 15% is probably a low number, so we have 19,000 rejecting democracy, and 3000 are willing to be violent supporting Islam (the totals could be twice as high as my numbers as I’m being conservative). And that is in just 15% surveyed, what about the other 85%?

Ande while the Moroccans may be the most radicalized, they are not the largest Moslem group in The Netherlands:

  • 1.9% Moroccan
  • 2.4% Indonesian (could include some Java Hindus and Aceh Christians)
  • 2.2% Turkish

(Yes, I see the numbers don’t exactly match, probably the Hindu and Christians and Athiests)

I think The Netherlands has a problem of 10-50 Thousand citizens/resident aliens as potential terrorists today (7% of all Moslems would be 65,000).

Buijs said on Wednesday that the government must provide alternatives for Salafism, a contemporary movement in Sunni Islam that seeks a return to the ‘pure Islam’ of the days of Mohammed.
Salafism is a gaining ground in the Netherlands and Buijs said the government must do more to stimulate a more pluralistic form of Islam. Buijs and his colleagues discuss the issue in a new book ‘Strijders van eigen bodem – radicale en democratische moslims in Nederland’ (home-grown warriors – radical and democratic Muslims in the Netherlands).

This is indeed a quandary, to provide alternatives to a religious extremist doctrine, particularly coming from a government. Perhaps the solution is the same the Dutch used in the 1950’s, when they paid college graduates to leave, though where would they go

For a country which has seen large immigration waves since the 1960s, another trend has been set with growing emigration, similar to the immigration waves like the wave in the 1950s, when some 560,000 Dutchmen emigrated to mostly Anglo-Saxon countries (Canada, Australia, the United States, South Africa, New Zealand), leaving their war-torn and overpopulated home country behind.

Later, despite being overpopulated, they let in more than they let out. Despite the reputation, I’ve found the Dutch to be both conservative and pragmatic, while tolerant. Pragmatism may overcome tolerance here.

This comes on the heels of a UK worst-case scenario study, Beware: the new goths are coming

FILED UNDER: Africa, Democracy, Europe, Religion, World Politics, , , , , , , , ,
Richard Gardner
About Richard Gardner
Richard Gardner is a “retired” Navy Submarine Officer with military policy, arms control, and budgeting experience. He contributed over 100 pieces to OTB between January 2004 and August 2008, covering special events. He has a BS in Engineering from the University of California, Irvine.


  1. Herb says:

    My experiences with the Dutch has led me to the conclusion that it will take an equal to 9/11 in Holland before they wake up to the major Muslim extremist problem that exists in Holland.

    And then some Dutch will remain as passive as always. The Dutch tolerance level is one of surrender rather than fight.

    The capture of Anne Frank only happened because the Dutch People turned her in to the Gestapo rather than continue hiding her and possibly face the Gestapo themselves.