NWO grant Thijl Sunier and Léon Buskens | Making Islam Work in the Netherlands

Prof. Dr. Thijl Sunier (VU University Amsterdam, chairman of NISIS) and Prof. Dr. Léon Buskens (Leiden University, director of NISIS and LUCIS) have been awarded a NWO grant for their research proposal “Making Islam Work in the Netherlands. Islamic Authority and Islamic Law in the Netherlands among Ordinary Muslims: Recent Trends and Developments.” Their research project falls within the scope of the NWO programme “Religion in Modern Society”.

The proposed project is a research into recent developments in the ways Islam takes shape in Dutch society. It focuses on the doctrinal dimensions of Islam and addresses two separate but closely interlinked central domains: (1) religious authority and leadership, and (2) the creation and application of Islamic law in the context of counseling and mediation. The project seeks to analyze these developments explicitly from the perspective of “ordinary Muslims”. The point of departure is the shift of Muslims from a (temporal) migrant community into an integral part of Dutch society. 

The research project is innovative in that it aims to focus on the dynamics between, on the one hand, doctrinal, legal and institutional dimensions of Islam, and on the other hand, the experiences of ordinary, non-professional Muslims. 


Five cities

The research will be conducted in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Den Haag, Utrecht and Leiden, cities with a relatively large Muslim population with a mixed ethnic and social background This will be done in close cooperation with a large number of societal partners who also financially contribute to the project. They range from Dutch ministries and municipalities to political parties and non-governmental religious and non-religious organizations. The research team is very grateful for their support, which has played an important role in the positive evaluation of the research proposal.


Two PhD positions

The research – in the form of two PhD positions – will be conducted at VU University Amsterdam and Leiden University, which are both participating universities in the Netherlands Interuniversity School for Islamic Studies (NISIS). The project will start in the fall of 2013.

See also

Personal page Thijl Sunier

Personal page León Buskens

NWO programme "Religion in Modern Society

Last Modified: 03-07-2013