May 29 2013
Dutch television show Altijd Wat has broadcast a poll stating that almost 75% of Dutch Muslims consider youth travelling to Syria to fight against Assad’s regime to be heroes. The show’s publicity states “In general, Dutch Muslims consider the Syria fighters to be doing what the UN is failing to do, which is battling president Assad’s regime”.
By contrast, “70% of the native Dutch population say they are not heroes”, according to ANP.
The Altijd Wat program is based on research by Motivaction, a research firm based in the Netherlands. Motivaction conducted an poll measuring opinions about the civil war in Syria and Dutch Muslims who travel to Syria to fight (“Syrie-gangers”) The opinion poll canvassed 370 Dutch Muslim and 570 ethnic Dutch individuals for their opinions.
The poll found a great difference in opinions between Dutch Muslims who tended to believe that those traveling to Syria were in accordance with the UN call to act, while ethnic Dutch respondents had much less strong feelings about the war.
Other conclusions in the research include:
-Dutch Muslims are more concerned about events in Syria and want the Assad regime to end as soon as possible.
-The majority of Dutch Muslims approve of the Dutch fight alongside Muslims in Syria; most ethnic Dutch are not in favour.
-Most Dutch Muslims support providing humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees in Turkey.
-Dutch Muslims are more likely than ethnic Dutch to support the provision of weapons to insurgents.
-Ethnic Dutch are more strictly against Muslims traveling to Syria than Dutch Muslims.
-Ethnic Dutch feel recruiters should be punished.