“The country is turning more conservative,” said historian and author Han van den Horst. “There is a move away from sex, drugs and rock’n’roll towards some pretty bourgeois values.”
The murder of the anti-Islam film-maker Theo Van Gogh and the rise of populist anti-Muslim politicians such as Geert Wilders have led to strong perceptions that liberal immigration policy has damaged secular and egalitarian values in one of Europe’s most crowded countries.
“The change started out as a rightist phenomenon, but is now becoming more of a mainstream feeling. It is gaining legitimacy and credibility among the working classes,” said Mr Houtman.