Radical Islam in the Netherlands

Here’s some more fascinating material from our Flemish correspondent VH, concerning a Dutch intelligence report on radical Islam in the Netherlands.

Readers may be interested in last year’s report (pdf) by the Dutch Secret Service about Islamic radicalism, describing various strategic views within radical Islam, “From Dawa to Jihad: The various threats from radical Islam to the democratic legal order”.

A few quotes:

In present-day radical Islam [radical caliphatism, radical-Islamic puritanism, and radical Muslim nationalism] a number of strategic varieties can be distinguished which differ as to their ultimate ends, intermediate ends and the means to be used.

Firstly, some forms of radical Islam opt for not directly violent long-term strategies of continuous influence (Dawa). Other forms of radical Islam may primarily focus on short-term strategies of violent activism and terrorism (Jihad). Jihad and Dawa may also be combined as two complementary strategies which, according to circumstances, are to be used either simultaneously or separately.

Secondly, we can make a distinction between a predominantly open and a more covert character of the activities. The covert strategies involve activities such as clandestine financing, infiltration in community-based organizations under false colors and/or with a hidden agenda, the deliberate dissemination of false rumors and conspiracy theories to encourage tensions between groups, and so on.

Restrictions on democratic liberties as possibly indispensable consequences of counter-terrorism strictly speaking conform to the objectives of radical-Islamic terrorism, because these can be seen as part of the intended revolution or even dismantling of Western societies.

There are three types of radicalism, each of which involves a different focus on Western dominance and other ideas about alternatives for it:

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Radical caliphatism

The first type of radical Islam highlights the resistance against the Western political (and hence also economic) “oppression”. The focus is on the political power of the West. The ultimate objective is ambitious: the establishment of the ‘universal caliphate’ (the universal Islamic state) and the ‘Umma’ (the Islamic global community) as a superpower capable of overpowering the West. This type encompasses those forms of radical Islam which (violently or non-violently) pursue a political system based on their own interpretation of Islam on the basis of non-acceptance of the Western democratic government system.

Radical-Islamic puritanism

The second type of radical Islam emphasizes the resistance against Western cultural “oppression”. The focus is primarily on the ‘baneful’ Western lifestyle, which is considered a threat to ‘pure Islam’. The primary objective is the ‘re-Islamization’ of Muslims who have been exposed to non-Islamic influences.

Radical Muslim nationalism

The third type of radical Islam reacts against both the political and cultural dominance of the West, but is less religiously motivated in the proposed alternative. It involves the often ignored forms of radicalism which focus not really on Islam as a religion, but rather on what it means to be a Muslim (the ‘imagined community’ of the ‘Muslim nation’, the solidarity between Muslims all over the world).

In addition to differences, the three above-described types of radical Islam have one important factor in common. They all share a strongly mobilizing force from the ideology of the Umma, the (ideal of an) Islamic global community. The — potentially — international Umma manifests itself as a (partly virtual) community intent on applying radical Islamic values internationally, without as yet having at their disposal a territorial entity.

One thought on “Radical Islam in the Netherlands

  1. WOW! This summary should be required reading for any non-muslim; the full report should be required reading for all officials of democratic countries. The subtitle of this Dutch Government report is “THE VARIOUS THREATS FROM RADICAL ISLAM TO THE DEMOCRATIC LEGAL ORDER”. It points out that the security aspects of radical Islam (the terrorist threat) could lead to an over/under estimation of this threat while ignoring Islam’s insidious pursuit of a society where there is no place for other politico-religious convictions by setting up parallel governments inside society. We must be careful that in our battle we do not undermine our democratic forms of governement.

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