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Dutch Still Get it Wrong on Muslims: New Study

AMSTERDAM – According to Ipsos Perils of Perception survey,  the Dutch people, fuelled by Islamophobia, overestimate the number of Muslims in the Netherlands and the percentage of the population born abroad, Dutch News reported on December 6.

The research, which takes place in 37 countries, shows that the Dutch think 26% of the population were born outside the Netherlands, when the actual figure is 12%. They also think 20% of the population is Muslim, when the real figure is 5%.

And while the Dutch unemployment rate has been falling steadily and is now below 4%, the Dutch people in the survey thought the jobless figure was 18%.

The residents of Hong Kong, New Zealand are the most likely to be right about the statistics while Thailand, Mexico and Turkey top the list of worst performers.

Ipsos has been running studies on the Perils of Perception, exploring the gap between people’s perceptions and the reality since 2012 across the world. It includes the full results from all the work undertaken in this area, across 40 countries with 150,000 interviews.

This unique analysis of misperceptions examines why people around the world are so wrong about basic facts about their population; it covers everything from our guesses at levels of violence, climate change, immigrant numbers, overcrowding in prisons and much more.

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Most of Dutch Muslims reside in the nation’s four major cities, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht.

The early history of Islam in the Netherlands can be traced to the 16th century, when a small number of Ottoman traders began settling in the nation’s port cities.

As a result, improvised mosques were first created in Amsterdam in the early 17th century. In the ensuing centuries, the Netherlands experienced Muslim immigration from Indonesia during the Dutch occupation.

The Netherlands’ economic resurgence in the years between 1960 and 1973 motivated the Dutch government to recruit migrant labor, chiefly from Turkey and Morocco.

Later waves of immigrants arrived through family reunification and asylum seeking. A notable portion of Muslim immigrants also arrived from now-independent colonies, primarily Indonesia and Suriname.