Reprinted and translated from "De Telegraaf" a Dutch Daily News paper
'Quran - Hunting License'
By Joost de Haas
AMSTERDAM - The Dutch chairman of the Muslim Council, Abdelmajid Khairoun, fears street violence and says Geert Wilders' now certainly in danger. " Okay Pala, leader of the radical movement Hizb ut-Tahrir (Liberation Party), even draws a comparison with the fate of Theo van Gogh. And the grand-mufti of Syria, with a visit to the European Parliament threatened that Wilders should be held responsible if his film about the Quran leads to "violence and bloodshed".
"What exaggerated reactions from all," said arabist Hans Jansen this week. "But perhaps we should be concerned. This Grand mufti is an official of the Syrian state, who is in a manner of speaking, dressing as an Imam." So the words of the Syrian are ominous in a sense, says Jansen. "If there is one country that could now benefit by the occurrence of riots, it is most likely Syria. The country has many problems. And protests against an anti-Quran film distract nicely." As in other Arab countries, according Jansen, whole batteries of officials, maintained in Damascus, are involved in creating just such strategies. "These officials make policy, they are not really concerned about an afterlife in hell-fire."
The cartoon riots in 2006 were also driven by Arab regimes. "Images of the prophet Mohammed are already prohibited by Islam," says Jansen. "In this respect, the plan by Jami Ehsan to make a movie about the prophet is perhaps much more dangerous." Hans Jansen has a reputation as one of the most critical arabists. He studied in the sixties in the Egyptian capital Cairo, and he later - early eighties - return as director of the Dutch Institute. On his office wall in Amsterdam hangs an aged and faded picture from that time, Jansen with a well known Imam. "A nice man, but downright fundamentalist."
Jansen, since 2003 a professor for "modern Islamic thought' at the University of Utrecht, is putting the finishing touches on a new book: "read the Quran yourself”, which is expected to be published in April. "The Koran for Muslims is God's word, God's voice here on earth. No wonder that any criticism is viewed very sensitively. Even the prophet is sacred. Criticism is always immediately and vehemently suppressed, especially if the suggestion is that Mohamed himself has invented everything in the Quran. Westerners are all guilty of insulting Islam, merely by being non-Muslim. And because we exist, we deny that the Quran is God's word. Saying that everything was invented (made up) by Mohamed, is seen as a completely unacceptable insult. "
In May 2004, a half year before the murder of Theo van Gogh, Jansen spoke to the committee for Foreign Affairs of the Lower House on the fight against terrorism. He then declared among other things: "Quran and Bible both do not speak positively about the enemies of God. Nonetheless, there is a difference. The difference lies in that some groups of militant Muslims view the Quran as a hunting license, regarding it as a kind of license to kill, while in the Bible, that function has been lost in the world of Christianity. " The Quran as a hunting license, was not only the inspiration for Mohammed Bouyeri, but also led to 9 / 11 and a whole series of smaller attacks, such as the assassination of Egyptian President Sadat in 1981.
Jansen: "Non-Muslims and others in the Muslim world, must be slain according militants. The Quran speaks of fighting in the cause of death. Example, the Koran says about the unbelievers: “Kill them where thee finds them. And that is repeated twice more elsewhere”. According to Jansen, it is a weakness when the critics of Geert Wilders will not discuss the content of the Quran. In that respect, he also criticizes historian Geert Mak, who after the murder of Van Gogh, published the booklet 'Vulnerability of the Damned'. "Mak doubted if the Quran is indeed very specific about the duty to kill unbelievers."
He grabs the book and points to page 59. "Here a clearly annoyed Mak writes: 'As if in the Quran would be a recipe for the slaughter of religious opponents." Well, what do we read in Quran 8:12? "then chop down into the necks of the unbelievers, and each phalanx. "An obvious recipe, I think, also for Mohammed Bouyeri." Islam is also different from other religions because of the concept of 'jihad'. Jansen: "Contrary to what some would have us believe, it is really not primarily for bettering oneself. Jihad is the struggle for the triumph of Islam and is simply tantamount to the use of violence against unbelievers."
Jihadisten see Islam as an alternative to democracy. As Okay Pala of Hizb ut-Tahrir recently told the newspaper De Telegraaf: "We do not agree with the freedom of expression, because we reject democracy! Our alternative is Islam. There is no middle: we choose the absolute truth, the word of Allah”. According to Jansen, the radicalization is fed by petrodollar fueled 'wahhabiism from Saudi Arabia, now referred to as salafiism. The ultraorthodox version of Islam, that in the Netherlands is driven from four well-known mosques. The arabist believes that Muslims who advocate jihad unduly abuse our religious freedom. "Islam is not dangerous because of the holy book. The danger comes from people who, by virtue of what the Quran says, see themselves as God and having the right to decide about the life and death of others. Those who want to use violence to have their religion dominate, should be excluded from religious freedom.