Arabic scholar: What is Sharia?

A few quotes from What is Sharia? | FrontPage Magazine.

One of our problems with Islam is the Western understanding of freedom of religion. Most Westerners do not realize this, but religions are dissimilar. Every act that can be imagined is either prohibited or made obligatory by at least one of the hundreds of religions our planet is graced with. Hence, freedom of religion, if it means that every religion can have its way, is not possible. When my professor in my first year at the University explained this, I did not believe him, and asked whether something as innocent as drinking tap water could be the subject of a religious prohibition. He answered that he did not know of an example but at the same time he assured me that if I started looking I would find one. And right he was: Hinduism has a caste that may only drink water pulled up from a well by a clay jug; they regard drinking tap water as haraam.

In Europe and America, however, the extant religions are comparatively similar, and usually somehow connected to the Bible. Hence Europeans and Americans tend to believe that there is no harm in letting a religion have its way since ‘deep down all religions are the same’. This is a misunderstanding. There is nothing that is common to all religions.

Freedom of religion, if it means that any form of religion can have its way, is a recipe for civil war.

Allow one example of how Sharia and clergy operate. In 2006/2007, a Dutch comedian got into trouble with an Islamic activist about the Theo van Gogh assassination. The comedian, on his own initiative, then consulted a local Amsterdam Imam and the board of his mosque, asking them directly whether they wanted to kill him. The Imam only looked stern, and did not say anything, acting as if he did not understand Dutch — which perhaps he did not. However, a smiling board member assured the comedian that they had no plans to kill him, because ‘for such things we have the radicals’. This perfectly illustrates the situation. The majority is silent, the Imam limits himself to looking dignified, his direct supporters bring the bad news, and the elite soldiers, true commandos, true mujahidin, do the dirty work.

There’s more and a video:

Dr. Hans Jansen is a Dutch scholar of Arabic and Middle Eastern studies. He was a witness for the defence in the Geert Wilders process two years ago.

For Dr. Jansen’s CV, please see

11 thoughts on “Arabic scholar: What is Sharia?

  1. mmm… I was always taught to love my religion while respecting the right of others to love theirs….a concept not compatable with Islam… wherein others of religious faith must be conqured, enslaved, reduced to a status of dhimmitude, forced to convert or murdered. There is no tolerance, mercy or love of those who do not submit….and those who do submit live in purpetual fear. Only a fool would believe that Islam is good and kind, having seen the terror and horror wrought upon Lara Logan in the Egyptian Spring ….Egyptian citizens calling out Jew…Jew.. they brutilized her….. yes, the supposed Democratic Arab Spring…..a horror for those of other faiths…..which, sadly, continues to be supported by this administration and others in power.

  2. I think a basic tenet of islam is that man has no free will; that he cannot make up his own mind; that his decisions, so made , will harm the society; hence the criticism of the west that it has too few rules. Put a moslemite in a free choice situation and his little head explodes!

If sharia law continues spreading, you'll have less and less freedom of speech - so speak while you can!

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