Religious Organizations De-Escalate Tensions Around Islam

8 March 2012

A research project by members of the University of Amsterdam has concluded that religious organizations provide a source of de-escalation in tensions around Islam in the Netherlands. Commissioned by the justice ministry’s Scientific Research and Documentation Centre (WODC), the project studied five cases of criticism of Islam in western countries, including the Swiss minaret ban (2009), the anti-Islam film Fitna (2008), the Danish cartoon affair (2005-2006). Researchers analyzed the public reactions of Islamic, Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist organizations and their leaders. Researcher Gerard Wiegers commented that in their responding to these instances of criticism, “the original and inventive approach of some Islamic organizations has pleasantly surprised us.”