Jihadism (violent extremism)

The greatest terrorist threat to the Netherlands and many other countries is currently the threat of jihadist terrorism. Jihadism (violent extremism) is a serious threat to the national security and our democracy. The government is therefore taking measures to prevent and combat jihadism in the Netherlands.

Jihadism is an extreme political ideology marked by the desire to fulfill a divinely ordained duty to spread Islam around the world. This is to be achieved through a 'holy war' against all infidels: everything that jihadists regard as deviating from the "pure teachings" of Islam must, in their opinion,

be fought by waging holy war.

Jihadism is not the Islam

Jihadists claim the Islam to impose their convictions and way of life on others through violence. The vast majority of Muslims regard terrorism as un-Islamic and object to their religion being associated in any way with terrorism. The derailed ideas of jihadists are far removed from the Islam Muslims adhere to. The government finds it important to not hold Muslims in the Netherlands responsible for the actions of jihadists.

Jihadism versus Islamism

Despite the fact that the global jihadism is often associated with the political Islam - Islamism - and in part falls back on the same resources, jihadism, in fact, has created a radical breach with Islamism. Islamic movements are often met with severe criticism from jihadists. They blame Islamists for acknowledging democratic parliamentary systems and for taking part in elections. By doing so, the Islamists are said to repudiate the divine legislation, the sharia, and commit a form of 'shirk' (idolatry). This is a mortal sin to jihadists, and a reason to oppose Islamic movements in strong formulations.

Salafism versus Jihadism

Salafism is a collective term for a wide range of fundamentalist movements within the Sunni Islam. These movements focus on moral 're-education' and 'purification' of the religious community and society. Salafism does not equal jihadism; part of the Salafist adherents, for example, condemn violence. There are, however, concerns about salafist preaching possibly becoming radicalised.

The Netherlands comprehensive action programme to combat jihadism

The government has executed the Netherlands comprehensive action programme to combat jihadism in order to face the jihadist threat in the Netherlands. The Action programme consists of measures aimed at combatting jihadism on the one hand and preventing radicalisation on the other hand.