What else can we do? You can wear a belt and take two people into death, if it doesn’t go wrong. (…) Eventually we are prepared to do anything, in a broad sense, anything. (…) Mohammad B. said it right: ‘the 2nd of November Allah sent his soldier’. - Nidal It is good, finally they feel it. (…) It is true that they are suppressing more Muslims now, but they know now that we offer resistance and that scares them. They can’t distinguish the terrorists from non-terrorists. (…) There is a hadith that says that if the end of the world is coming near, a war will take place between believers and unbelievers. The believers will win. - Yelda It is these kinds of statements and violent actions that have aroused fear of Islamic fundamentalism in the Netherlands since 9/11. Nidal’s and Yelda’s words express a conviction of the ultimate truth and a dualist vision of the world. From this conviction they derive a sense of superiority and that violence is legitimate against their enemies. Viewpoints like theirs have, moreover, promoted the clash of civilization thesis that presents (fundamentalist) Muslims as diametrically opposed to Dutch non-Muslims. But how ‘other’ are fundamentalist Muslims in the Netherlands? What are their beliefs and practices? How do their beliefs and practices develop over time? And what attracts Dutch Muslims to fundamentalism? These questions form the principal focus of this book. The introduction will, on the one hand, clarify the context in which these questions have emerged and, on the other hand, elaborate on the approach to find answers to them. First it will consider how Dutch society has come to see the threat of Islamic fundamentalism. Thereafter it reflects on the limitations of explanations that emphasize the ‘otherness’ of Dutch fundamentalist Muslims. The introduction continues to discuss the exact focus, the research questions, and the added value of this criminological study. Finally, it presents an overview of the structure of this book.

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H.G. van de Bunt (Henk)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus School of Law

Geelhoed, F. (2012, January 13). Purification and Resistance: Glocal Meanings of Islamic Fundamentalism in the Netherlands. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/31685