5 July 2019

Support for devout and conservative worshippers decreasing

© iStockphoto.com/ollo
© iStockphoto.com/ollo

On July 2nd, Dr. Joas Wagemakers (Religious Studies) wrote about the legal battle between imam Youssef Arkhouch and major Marcouch of Arnhem in Reformatorisch Dagblad. The imam is demanding a damage restitution and a statement on freedom of religion after the mayor connected him to violent salafism.

Dr. Joas Wagemaker
Dr. Joas Wagemakers

"In society, it seems the support for devout and conservative worshippers in general, and salafists in particular, is decreasing," says Wagemakers. 

What is salafism?

"Salafism is a movement of Sunni Muslims that claim to follow the [lifestyle of the] first three generations of Muslims closely in as many parts of life as possible," explains Wagemakers.


"Salafists are often being related to things that are negatively regarded, such as use of violence. Even though the majority of salafists don't use violence," claims Wagemakers. "The claim that all salafists are anti-democratic, is often not correct. You see a lot salafists that do vote during elections."