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Monday, January 03, 2005

Radical Islam in The Netherlands: A Case Study of a Failed European Policy - Manfred Gerstenfeld

On December 23, 2004, the Dutch Ministry of the Interior published a 60-page report entitled From Dawa to Jihad. Prepared by the Dutch general intelligence service (AIVD), it describes radical Islam and examines how to meet its threat to Dutch society.
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Among the close to one million Dutch Muslims, about 95 percent are moderates. This implies that there are up to 50,000 potential radicals.
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Since September 11, 2001, phenomena such as the growth of radical Islamic groups, polarization between Muslims and the surrounding society, limitations in the process of integration, and Islamist terrorism have increased in The Netherlands.
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The capability of Dutch society to resist the threat of radical Islam is considered low, though recently a greater desire has become apparent among the Dutch population to become more resistant. Also within the Dutch Muslim community resistance against radical forces is low. The moderate organizations and individuals are not able to counterbalance the radical forces.
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An earlier AIVD report dealt with Saudi influences in The Netherlands, mentioning a number of mosque organizations that originated from Saudi missions and financing. The Amsterdam Tawheed mosque, which in the past has put extreme anti-Semitic statements on its website, is linked financially, organizationally, and personally with the Saudi Al Haramain Foundation. Several other mosques are supported financially by Saudi charities.
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The Dutch report places the blame for the origins of the problem squarely on the deeply-rooted ideology of fierce opposition to the Western way of life among certain Muslim groups. It does not claim that the problem of radical Muslims would disappear if there were peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Israel and Jews are not mentioned in the report.