Moslima's having a high tea
Moslima's having a high tea

Is Islamic religiosity a friend or foe of democracy and emancipation?

2021 until 2026
Project type

Islam is often said to be anti-democratic, and there are claims that it suppresses emancipation. Muslims in the Netherlands and Europe are also often said to be more conservative than others. However, those conclusions often say little about whether and how religion then plays a role. Through precepts and rules? Through mosque attendance? Through belief in an absolute truth? In this project, the researchers want to discover how this really works. And in this way, the research can contribute to (policies to strengthen) the empowerment and inclusion of Muslim citizens as minorities, such as LGBTQ+ people, in Muslim communities.

Beliefs, inclusion and society

The researchers first dive into existing survey data collected among thousands of Muslim in Europe and in the Netherlands. In doing so, they present one of the most large-scale analyses on this topic. They look at how different aspects of religiosity correlate with voting, political trust, feeling represented, support for emancipation and attitudes about homosexuality. Next, the researchers will collect new data in in-depth interviews and a new survey. They will focus on Dutch people with a Muslim background.

The combination of different and new data and a more nuanced frame of mind should provide new insights. With these insights, policymakers and other interest groups can not only reduce religion as a possible barrier, but also look at how religion can actually serve to promote political inclusion, and reduce social conflict.

Through a civil society sounding board and the researchers' connections, bridges with society and policy are continually being built. For example, there is a collaboration with the Social Cultural Planning Agency through which the project also contributes more directly to insights into how Islam plays a role in the political inclusion of Dutch citizens with a migration background. In this regard, the researchers are always open to conversation and exchange of ideas.


Contact information

More information on this research study? Questions from the media may be directed to the science editor. All other questions may be directed to the researcher.