Tuesday 07 April 2020

Young Dutch Turks’ radical views worry MPs, call for more research

MPs from across the political spectrum have called for more research into the attitudes of young Dutch Turks to the Islamic State, after a poll of 300 showed 80% saw nothing wrong in jihad, or holy war, against non-believers.

The research, carried out by the Motivaction group in Amsterdam, was commissioned by the Forum multicultural institute.

During a parliamentary debate on integration issues on Wednesday, Socialist, D66 and CDA MPs called for a special sitting to investigate why youths have such radical views, website nu.nl reports.

The survey found 90% of young Turks think those fighting against Syrian president Assad’s troops are ‘heroes’ and half thought it would be a good thing if Dutch Muslims went to join the fight.

Social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher told website nu.nl on Tuesday the results of the survey were ‘worrying’ and pledged to carry out more in-depth research.

He also said the research was contradictory, with high support for jihad but very little support for a religious caliphate. Speaking after a visit to the Kuba mosque in IJmuiden on Wednesday, Asscher said he had failed to find anyone who supported IS, the Volkskrant reports.


The Forum research involved a mixture of online and face-to-face interviews with Dutch Turks aged between 18 and 34.

It also showed 74% of Dutch Turks and 61% of Dutch Moroccans oppose the declaration of an Islamic caliphate in the region and a clear majority (62%) consider democracy essential for progress. Just 8% thought a caliphate was better for the Arabic world than a democracy.

Forum said the support for pro-IS fighters among Turkish youngsters may be due to the coverage of events in the Middle East on Turkish broadcasters, watched by 86% of those questioned. By contrast, only 27% of the Moroccan youngsters in the survey watched Moroccan news programmes.

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