Islam in the Netherlands
This chapter focuses on how the Netherlands has dealt with its new religious and ethnic diversity over the past few decades. The Netherlands, like other western European countries, grants religious freedom to all religious denominations. The possibilities for Muslims to set up a religious infrastructure are generally conditioned by constitutional principles of freedom of religious worship and the separation of church and state. The argument put forward here is that, in addition to these general principles, in each country there are specific conditions and circumstances that produce considerable differences with respect to the place of religion in society and the model of civic incorporation. This not only structures the way in which institutionalization takes place but also shapes the ongoing debates about the place of Islam in society.