Making Islam work in the Netherlands. Islamic authority and Islamic law in the Netherlands among ordinary Muslims: recent trends and developments


The proposed project is a research into recent developments in the ways Islam takes shape in Dutch society. It focuses on the doctrinal dimensions of Islam and addresses two separate but closely interlinked central domains: (1) religious authority and leadership, and (2) the creation and application of Islamic law. The project seeks to analyze these developments explicitly from the perspective of 'ordinary Muslims'. The point of departure is the shift of Muslims from a (temporal) migrant community into an integrate part of Dutch society.

There are many indications that the authoritative and institutional frames of Islam in European countries, which have been developed under migratory conditions, are under pressure. Initiatives to set up institutes of religious learning in the Netherlands or to develop organizational structures beyond ethnic dividing lines point at this direction. Also the rapidly increasing numbers of 'new' independent preachers who are particularly popular among young Muslims are an indication of change. And there are all kinds of local initiatives to see how certain elements of Islamic law could be applied in the Dutch legal context. Little is known, however, how these changes evolve and how the agency of ordinary Muslims is applied in the development of the doctrinal dimensions of Islam. This project aims to fill this information gap.

Dit project wordt uitgevoerd in samenwerking met Platform INS, CMO (Contactorgaan Moslims en Overheid), SPIOR, Arslan Advocaten, Ihsan, Al-Nisa, Gemeente Leiden, Gemeente Den Haag, Gemeente Rotterdam en Ministerie van Defensie.





Prof. dr. J.T. Sunier

Verbonden aan

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen, Sociale en Culturele Antropologie (SCA)


Drs. H.L.E. van der Linden, Drs. M.A. Muradin


01/11/2013 tot 01/11/2018