Islamic fundamentalist movements such as Salafism are of great concern to Western societies like the Netherlands, yet much remains unknown about these phenomena. Striving for Allah aims to fill in the blanks by presenting primary data from indepth qualitative research in the Netherlands and, to a lesser extent, Britain. Firstly, this study compares orthodox, radical and extremist groups regarding attitudes, motives, reasons, and behaviour, within Islamic fundamentalism. Secondly, it presents an innovative theoretical framework that contributes to the understanding of the attraction of Islamic fundamentalism to converts, an important group that is often overlooked. The author finds that Dutch Muslim fundamentalists are not as 'other' as is commonly assumed. Instead, this research demonstrates that Islamic fundamentalism among Dutch and other Western Muslims is to a large extent a Western phenomenon. Islamic fundamentalism is hence a truly global phenomenon.
Fiore Geelhoed is Assistant Professor in Criminology at VU University Amsterdam. After having obtained a law degree from the University of Groningen and a criminological master at the University of Barcelona, she conducted this PhD study on fundamentalist Muslims at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her dissertation was awarded with a shared second place for the Willem Nagelprijs 2014, a three-annual prize for the best doctoral dissertation in Criminology in the Netherlands and Flanders.
Introduction Considering the 'Otherness' and Attraction of Islamic Fundamentalism; 1 Removing the Veil; 2 Islamic Fundamentalism as a Threat to Society?; 3 Conversion, Radicalization and Identity Strain; 4 An Orthodox Focus on Positive Self-Identification; 5 A Radical and Extremist Focus on Resistance; 6 Representing Purification and Resistance; 7 A 'Late Modern' Identity Project under Strain; Conclusions Western Fundamentalists: the Need for an Alternative Approach; Appendix Respondents Interviews.