Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Now that is contentious

Reported via Klien Verzert is the story of Professor Hans Jansen who seems to have put the cat amongst the pigeons by renaming his forthcoming book “Reading the Koran for unbelievers”. In the light of the Dutch Government's panic about Fitna, the film made by Geert Wilders, it appears that he has changed the name to, “Islam for pigs, apes, mules and other beasts”.

Now Professor Jansen seems to be pretty serious about his work, and currently holds his tenure at Utrecht University, his CV seems kosher,
Dr Jansen taught Arabic and Islamic Studies at Leiden University from 1982 till May 2005. From early 1979 till the summer of 1982 he was director of the Dutch research center in Cairo, the Nederlands Instituut voor Arabische Studiën en Egyptische Archeologie. He also taught at Groningen University (1975-1979) and at Amsterdam University (1982).

He studied in Amsterdam (1960-1964), Cairo (1966-1967) and Leiden (1964-1968). He received degrees from the Theological Faculty of Amsterdam University (Biblical Hebrew and the History of Philosophy, 1961), the Amsterdam University Faculty of Arts (BA, Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic, 1964) and the Leiden Faculty of Arts (MA, Arabic, Turkish, and History of the Middle East). He earned a doctorate at Leiden in 1974.
Nonetheless this change of title is sure to go down pretty badly in a country which is still coming to terms with its status as the forcing ground for a new Europe.

Recent polling is suggesting that upwards of 45% of the population want to see this film. Spun of course as less than 50% by the media. The spin is true, but good lord if any modern broadcaster in this days of multi-platform digital and satellite TV thought they could pick up 45% (about 6 million viewers) they would be cracking open the champagne. Not in Holland where the broadcasters studiously pretend that nothing is happening.

A rough translation of the basic points in the book follows,
What does fitna mean?
Literally it means ‘ordeal’, ‘temptation’, ‘enchantment’. The Muslim believes steadfastness of his faith is being tested by the unbelief of non-Muslims. This unbelief then has to be fought.

Also having to see woman who are not decently dressed according to rules of Islam is fitna. The day of last judgment is preceded by all kinds of ordeals, these are also called fitna. Also civil war and social disorder is called fitna.

What’s sharia?
It’s the Islamic law. Just like there is a law of Moses, the system of laws and rules that we now call sharia, used to be called Mohammedan law.

Why is it for a Muslim forbidden to make an image of Mohammad? And why must non-Muslims also submit to this rule?
The prohibition finds it’s origin in instructions not to depict living people and going to great heights in respect for the special position of Mohammad. Non-Muslims who ridicule Mohammad, it’s already said many times, need to be punished in an exemplary fashion.

What kind of punishment does Islam have for insulting Mohammad?
On insulting Mohammad the sharia offers in principle the death penalty. A Muslim who insults Mohammad has implicitly committed apostasy, and thus certainly deserves the death penalty.

What does Jihad mean?
It’s the struggle against unbelief and evil. In practice this means: expansion of the rule of Islam by violent means. Until the relief of Vienna in 1683 the jihad was strictly a government task. But since September 11 2001, we know that the jihad is lately not [only] done by governments but [also] by private initiatives.

How big a percentage of Dutch Muslims think that the violence of terrorist, who say they are Muslim warriors (Al’Qaeda etc.), are breaking the Koranic laws?
It’s possible that this percentage is not very high. Many Muslim approve the use of violence, because according to them America and Israel also use excessive violence against Muslims. Discussions about this, quickly become yes/no games.

Looking at the chronology helps. In the 90’s it started after the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. Begin 21st century it started after the attack on the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001.

How big a percentage of Dutch Muslims is prepared to call Bin Laden a fool, a dangerous religious maniac, anything except a good Muslim?
Muslim (do) not often see Bin Laden as a fool. Rather they view him as a super activist, someone who accepts the full consequences of the Islamic rules about the struggle against the unbelievers.

In what way do types as Bin Laden have thoughts and plans for a small country like The Netherlands?
Bin Laden and like-minded Muslims have plans for the whole world, especially for the arrogant West. The Netherlands is part of the West and an excellent testing ground.

On the other hand, there will many occupational Muslims and imams in the middle east who with sympathy see that such a compilation [as the fitna film of Wilders] show what the real Islamic laws are, and how they are grounded in the Koran.

What is the Koran?
According to the Islam, the Koran is the word of God, passed on to his prophet Mohammad (570-632). The Koran has 114 chapters, called ‘sura’. Muslims believe that some sura’s are revealed to Mohammad in Mecca (610-622) and others in the agrarian oasis Medina (622-632).

The Koran contains more general instructions and less stories than the Bible. It’s these general instructions of the Koran that are the cause of troubles with the rest of the world. For example the sword verse (sura 9:5): “kill the unbeliever where ever you find them”.

What parts of the Koran are according to people like Wilders, who criticize the Islam, a danger to the Western legal order?
As good as all parts of the Koran in which unbelievers are threatened with violence (there are many) can be regarded as anti-Western by anybody.

Every call for the application of sharia, can be regarded as openly voiced support for actions that are contrary to Dutch law and the universal declaration of human rights.

That outsiders are not aware of this, is of course a pity for them, but that does not change this fact. Sharia calls for corporal punishment and the death penalty, also in cases of religious transgressions – something most Dutch cannot even comprehend. Sharia limits religious freedom, undermines the position of woman and humiliates everybody who is not a Muslim.

How important is it for a Muslim that a Koran is treated with respect?
The Islamic theology learns that the Koran is the word of God. The word of god is part of God. The properties of God are thus also applicable to his words. When god is eternal so is his word.

In the Islamic system the printed or hand written Koran represents the word of God. Thus those who soil, shred or burn the paper on which the Koran is printed or written, try to soil, shred or burn God him self. Of course the devout can not allow such an attack on their God.

The Koran preaches peace. True or false?
True, but that peace will only come about when every body has submitted to Islam. Only then there will be peace. In the mean time, every where on earth evil and unbelief has to be attacked.
This will run and run.

Professor Jansen has been in touch with Klien Vezert and says this,
My book Zelf Koranlezen (ca. Reading the Quran by yourself) is going to appear normally. No change of title took place, or whatever. Zelf Koranlezen is at the printer’s, it will appear within weeks now. With another publisher I did this little book Islam for Pigs, Apes, Donkeys and Other Animals. I appreciate the attention it now gets, but the English translations I saw are not fully reliable.

Comment Forum here


Central Scrutiniser said...

Yikes! Is this the enemy within or barbarians at the gates, or both? They're going to get us aren't they? And then we will have to go everywhere barefoot and not eat bacon or pork pies anymore. How grim!

Anonymous said...

Check this out:

Anonymous said...

It is not rational that Islam was inspired by the Judeo-Christian. Therefore the origin of Islam must be wholly human or inspired by God's enemy Satan. Take your pick.