Dynamism in Islamic Activism

Islamic activism provides reference points for democratisation and human rights. It is essential for security in the longer term that promising developments in Islamic activism are supported, the WRR says in its report Dynamism in Islamic activism. Reference points for democratization and human rights (Report no. 73, 2006).

Great diversity in Islamic activism

Manifestations of Islam as a significant political factor – Islamic activism – and the reactions to it have led to serious international tensions and conflicts in recent decades. The idea has taken hold that Islam is hard to reconcile with democracy and human rights. However, whether Islam and democracy can coexist and whether Islamic law is at odds with human rights differs according to the interpretation of Islam or Sharia.

Active, constructive attitude

Serious reforms in the direction of democracy and human rights should be supported, even when they are occurring on the basis of an Islamic discourse. But that is precisely when the question of how these countries deal with Islamic activism becomes crucial. Democracy and human rights will sometimes also not assume the same form under the flag of Islam as is customary in Western countries. In this report, the WRR therefore calls for an active and constructive approach by the Netherlands and the EU.