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Political Mobilization of Dutch Muslims: Religious Identity Salience, Goal Framing, and Normative Constraints


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Karen Phalet, Center for Social and Cultural Psychology, University of Leuven, Tiensestraat 102-bus 3727, 3000 Leuven, Belgium [e-mail:].


This article addresses the question of when and for what purpose Muslims will act collectively in the political arena. The impact of religious identity salience, goal framing, and normative constraints on political mobilization was examined in two Muslim communities with different group positions in Dutch society. Both Moroccan–Dutch and Turkish–Dutch Muslims expressed their willingness to take normative or nonnormative political action to promote religious (“defend Islam”), ethnic (“help homeland”), or superordinate group goals (“protect human rights”). When their Muslim identity was made salient, Moroccan Muslims were more ready to take normative action to promote religious goals and also more likely to engage in nonnormative action. In contrast, Turkish Muslims were less willing to take action when their Muslim identity was salient, except for superordinate human rights goals. Our findings caution against simplistic assumptions about all Muslims by contextualizing the ways in which religion plays out in the political arena.