Dutch Make a Distinction between Muslims and Extremists

From Tuesdays Metro (this is the free magazine on public transport – the translation is mine).

Research: Dutch have a more subtle opinion of Muslims than might be expected from much of the current research. If subjects get the chance to explain their views it seems that they systematically make a distinction between their view of extreme Muslims and their view of regular followers of Islam.

This is the result of the dissertation “Taking Too Much for Granted?”, the graduation thesis of Christine Carabain. She did her research in the months directly after the murder of Theo van Gogh on 2 November 2004. The subjects did not see the perpetrator, the fundamentalist Mohammed B., as representative of Muslims in the Netherlands, but has a spokesman of a small group of radicals.

It seems obvious that fundamentalists don’t represent the more than 1 billion people who identify themselves as Muslim, but from previously published research and the rhetoric of some MPs, it was difficult to see that Dutch did make this distinction. It’s the best news I’ve seen in Dutch papers this week.


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