Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Islamophobia: In Search for an Explanation of Negative Attitudes towards Islam and Muslims, Testing Political Socialization Theory

Jolanda van der Noll, Henk Dekker

Full Text: PDF



According to a recent international public opinion poll a majority of the Dutch had an unfavourable opinion of Islam and Muslims. This poll motivated us to a new investigation of the question how we can explain Islamophobia. We conducted a survey among 581 Dutch non-Muslim youth aged 14-16 years, including 104 mainly closed-ended single- and multi-item questions to measure the attitude towards Islam and Muslims and various independent variables derived from the main theories in this field of study. Theories included in this study are the political socialization, direct contact, social identity, and perceived threat theories. The hypothesis was that islamophobia is mainly the effect of negative socialization, including perceptions of negative attitudes towards Islam and Muslims among parents, best friends and favourite teachers. A multivariate analysis of the data shows that we cannot reject this hypothesis.

Keywords: Islamophobia – Muslims – behaviour – attitude – political socialization