Report Submitted to Dutch Government Claims Islam is Not Contrary to Human Rights, Dutch Values

May 3, 2006

Source: BBC News

On May 3, 2006 BBC News reported, "A new report submitted to the Dutch government has sparked controversy by arguing that Islam does not conflict with either human rights or Dutch values. Islam has been a hot topic in the Netherlands since the killing of a controversial film-maker, Theo van Gogh, by a young Muslim in 2004.

In a country traditionally seen as one of the most liberal and tolerant in Europe, Islam and Muslims are now viewed with suspicion.

The report is the fruit of three years' work by the Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR), a think-tank in The Hague which advises the government.

It examines the evolution of thinking about democracy and human rights in a dozen Muslim countries, ranging from Egypt and Iran to Indonesia.

Jan Schoonenboom, a member of the council who supervised the research, says it highlights the variety and dynamism of Islamic activism.

While there are radical, jihadi trends, there are also more mainstream Islamic movements which are moving, albeit slowly, towards democratisation."