Sakina Loukili read Religious Studies at the University of Amsterdam, graduating in 2017 with a thesis on hashtag activism among Muslim youth in the West. Since 2018, she has been working on a PhD research project in the KNAW Humanities Cluster. At NL-Lab, her research interests include themes such as religion, citizenship, emancipation, and national and cultural identities. 

As part of the Populism, Social Media and Religion project, Loukili’s doctoral research focuses on two Dutch political parties, DENK and NIDA. These parties emerged in a period when right-wing populist parties were reviving notions of the country’s religious past. This is often accompanied by exclusion of the religious and cultural identity of citizens with a migration background, one of the developments that accounts for the rise of DENK and NIDA. The emergence of these parties also raises questions about their embeddedness in the Dutch political landscape. How do they relate to the new ways of attaching meaning to the religious past, for example? And how can we understand their narrative in the light of political and societal debates about the integration and emancipation of religious and cultural minorities?