Secular Intolerance of Islam in the Netherlands

figuur voor websiteThe Netherlands is known throughout the world for its tolerance. However, since the year 2000 this tolerance does not seem to include Islam, as this religion has become the focal point of critical debate. In this study my colleagues and I address the prevalence of anti-Islam sentiments in the post-Christian Dutch society. While previous studies have interpreted such sentiments as the result of ethnocentric prejudice, contemporary Dutch Islam criticism in the public debate has attained a distinctly liberal character, indicating that there seems to be more to it than ‘classical’ prejudice. In this paper we, therefore, use both quantitative and qualitative interviews to study how anti-Islam sentiments among the general population are related to a liberal morality, how this differs between educational groups, and how this is related to the commonly used explanation pertaining to ethnocentric prejudice.

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