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Making Islam Work in the Netherlands’

Final conference ‘Making Islam Work in the Netherlands’

24th of January 2019, VU, Amsterdam


To conclude the NWO research project (Making Islam work in the Netherlands), a panel discussion will be held on Thursday 24 January 2019 in Amsterdam (VU University Amsterdam)
on the theme of ‘the future of Islamic authority’.


The main aim of the research project was to sketch a picture and provide more insight into how Islam takes shape in the Netherlands in everyday situations. The first part of the research has looked at how ‘ordinary’ believers, or people who do not professionally deal with religion, try to live according to the spirit of their faith and encounter dilemmas in everyday situations. Central questions were: to what or to whom does someone refer, which (innovative) solutions come to light and how are decisions being substantiated or changed in order to bring religious rules and regulations into line with life and functioning in Dutch society.


The second part of the research has mapped the process of how ‘ordinary’ Muslims in the Netherlands settle their personal and family disputes through the cooperation of a third party. More specifically, we looked at the informal processes of dispute resolution, such as mediation, reconciliation and advice, facilitated by imams of local mosques and larger Islamic centres, especially among Dutch-Moroccan Muslims.


In the morning session (in Dutch), the social relevance of the research findings will be discussed in interactive panel discussions. For this we invite various ‘social parties’, including politicians, policy makers, imams and other religious authorities, lawyers, social workers, and police.


In the afternoon session (in English) we discuss the scientific implications of the research. Two renowned speakers will give a keynote: prof. dr. Masooda Bano (Oxford University) and prof. dr. Johan Fischer (Roskilde University, Denmark).


Date: Thursday, January 24, 2019

Time: 8:45 am (walk-in) – 9:15 (start of the program) – 12:30 (lunch)

Location: VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam (room Agora 2 on the third floor of the main building of the VU).

Further information about the program: prof. dr. Thijl Sunier (; Arshad Muradin(; Heleen van der Linden (