The home-grown jihadist movement in the Netherlands is experiencing sudden and explosive growth.
More than 100 Dutch Muslims travelled to Syria in 2013 with the intention of taking part in jihadist activities there, and at least 20 battle-hardened jihadists have since returned to the Netherlands, posing a significant threat to national security, according to a new report published by the Dutch intelligence agency AIVD.
One month into 2014 and Islam-related controversies continued making headlines in newspapers across Europe. The most salient topic involved the dramatic increase in the numbers of European jihadists participating in the war in Syria.
Belgium and the Netherlands have been at the forefront of the debate over Muslim immigration and integration in Europe. What follows is a chronological summary of some of the main stories about the rise of Islam in Belgium and the Netherlands during 2013.
The Catholic University of Leuven, the oldest university in Belgium and one that has been a major contributor to the development of Roman Catholic theology for more than 500 years, will offer a degree in Islamic theology beginning in 2014.
More than 1,000 Muslims from across Europe are currently active as Islamic jihadists, or holy warriors, in Syria, which has replaced Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia as the main destination for militant Islamists seeking to obtain immediate combat experience with little or no official scrutiny.
The Dutch parliament has approved a motion to revoke a law that makes insulting God a crime. Free speech activists say the move represents a significant victory at a time when Muslim groups are stepping up pressure on European governments to criminalize the criticism of Islam and/or Mohammed.
Forty percent of Moroccan immigrants in the Netherlands between the ages of 12 and 24 have been arrested, fined, charged or otherwise accused of committing a crime during the past five years, according to a new report commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Interior.
Islamic extremists are stepping up the creation of “no-go” areas in European cities that are off-limits to non-Muslims.
The Dutch government says it will abandon the long-standing model of multiculturalism that has encouraged Muslim immigrants to create a parallel society within the Netherlands.