The streetfighter and the philosopher: The rise of ‘Muslim’ parties DENK and NIDA in the Netherlands.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractScientific


Amid rising populism in Western European countries, European Muslims are increasingly forming their own political parties. In the Netherlands, this development can be witnessed in the rise of parties DENK and NIDA in national- and local politics. DENK is represented in Dutch parliament by three Dutch Muslims of Turkish and Moroccan descent and NIDA has explicitly presented itself as an ‘emancipation movement inspired by Islam.’ Both parties share the common goal of resisting increasing right-wing populist discourse in Dutch politics and a general backlash against multiculturalism and religious/ethnic
diversity. In addition, social media seems to play a pivotal role in how these parties attract and mobilize supporters, but also in getting their message across on their own terms.
There are, however, significant differences in their political style, discourses and strategies: DENK is known for ‘fighting fire with fire’ when targeting the right-wing and anti-Islam Freedom party of Geert Wilders (PVV), while NIDA seems to take a more gentler approach to countering right-wing populism. In the light of my recently started research on Muslim political responses to populism in the Netherlands, I will discuss DENK and NIDA’s emergence, similarities and differences, and how we might understand their rise within the context of societal debates on Dutch national identity and citizenship. I will also discuss how I plan to collect and analyze data from social media, political debates and newspaper articles and reflect on how we might situate these developments in the Dutch political landscape in a West European context.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019

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