Salafism growing in the Netherlands: secret services

23rd September 2015, Comments 0 comments

The influence of Salafism, a fundamentalist movement within Sunni Islam, is growing in the Netherlands, the Dutch secret services warned Wednesday, adding it was "a breeding ground" for violent jihadism.

"Even though the Salafists themselves do not pose a danger, (the service) is concerned about the anti-democratic, polarising, and intolerant message which is spread among them," the secret service known as the AIVD said in a new report.

"The influence of Salafism has grown these past years," it added in the joint report with the national anti-terrorism coordinator.

The tensions in the Middle East "have created a climate in which the Salafist message is finding greater resonance," it added.

Salafism is an extremist, puritanical form of the majority Sunni branch of Islam.

The Dutch services said while it was "impossible to determine the exact number of those practising Salafism" in the Netherlands, its ideas are easily spread on social media.

Salafism "is a breeding ground which can lead to a radicalisation towards violent jihad," the report added.

Like other European countries, the Netherlands has seen dozens of radicalised youth leave the country to join the Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

The latest figures by the secret service said about 200 Dutch people have left to join IS, with about 30 being killed in the fighting.

© 2015 AFP

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