Growth of Salafism in the Netherlands Slows

The growth of Salafism in the Netherlands has slowed, the intelligence service AIVD told Nos TV on September 8.

A 2007 report by the agency warned of the increasing influence of Salafist imams on Dutch Muslims, not because of a call to violence, but because they prevent the integration of Muslims by rejecting Western society. But now ” the growth [of Salafism] is stagnating. It is not leading to wide circulation, and that was in particular our concern,” says Wil van Gemert, director of interior security in the AIVD.

Van Gemert says the AIVD’s earlier worries were ungrounded. ‘Our biggest fear [was] that there was a broad forum where this growth could take place,’ he said. ‘But our main conclusion is that this forum no longer exists.’ The AIVD cites several reasons for the decreased growth of Salafism: local councils and leaders are more aware of the existence of such centres and are refusing financial support, and the Muslim community is also coming out against the movement.