Wilders’ Best Witness

As the trial of Geert Wilders for insulting Islam moves forward in the Netherlands, the one witness that could clear him of these charges will not be called.

Muhammad Taqi Usmani is a highly respected and well-known expert on Islamic law who served for 20 years as a Sharia judge on Pakistan’s Supreme Court. He is quite possibly the world’s most influential Islamist thinker and writer outside of the Middle East. Usmani is a frequent visitor to Britain, where his monograph Islam and Modernism caused a great deal of controversy.

Why is Usmani so important for the purposes of Wilders’ trial? Simply put, Usmani’s interpretation of Islamic doctrine as it concerns  non-believers is the same as Wilders’. Indeed, the critical lesson to be gleaned from Usmani’s work bolsters the very argument that Wilders is on trial for making – namely, that the doctrine of jihad, as expounded in Islamic texts, inherently poses a threat to Western civilization. In fact, Osama Bin Laden made the exact same point in a lengthy essay entitled “Moderate Islam is a Prostration to the West” (reproduced in Raymond Ibrahinm’s The al Qaeda Reader).

I don’t know if Wilders is familiar with Islam and Modernism. However, the reader of this work will be struck by the similarities between it and Fitna, the short film that has played a significant role in landing Wilders in court. The critical difference between the two is that no one – especially no Muslim thinker, writer or the Organization of Islamic Countries – has ever accused Usmani of hate speech or of insulting Islam. And yet, consistency of treatment would mandate that if Wilders must go to trial, so should Usmani. At the very least, Usmani should be publicly condemned and ridiculed by prominent Muslim thinkers in Muslim countries.

Consider the nature of his work. Islam and Modernism is broadside attack against modernist Muslim thinking and Western civilization. Usmani is critical of modern practices such as charging interest, women and men working together, birth control, and science that it is not used to further religious thinking. Even America’s moon landing in 1969 is described as an “international crime.”

However, it is his chapter on offensive jihad, which he calls aggressive jihad, that is most significant for purposes of Wilders’ trial. Offensive jihad is the Islamic doctrine that requires Muslims to subjugate unbelievers to Islamic rule by imposing a number of restrictions, including paying a special tax known as the jizya. Usmani categorically rejects the idea, stated by some modern Muslim thinkers, that offensive jihad can be abandoned if Muslims are freely allowed to proselytize among non-Muslims (though non-Muslims can never freely proselytize in Muslim countries). He states that “in my humble knowledge there has not been a single incident in the entire history of Islam where Muslims had shown their willingness to stop jihad just for one condition that they be allowed to preach Islam freely.” He cites the Quran to the effect that “killing is to continue until the unbelievers pay jizyah after they are humbled and overpowered.”

The jizya is important in Usmani’s eyes because it is the necessary precondition for non- Muslims to convert to Islam. He asks:

“How can the efforts of Muslim missionaries be effective in an atmosphere where anti-Islamic doctrines [are] being spread on the strength of political power with full vigor, and their propagation carried out with means not possessed by Muslims?”

Essentially, Usmani is arguing that Islam cannot compete on an equal footing with non-Islamic doctrines and that it is the subjugation of the non-believers to Islamic rule that is needed before they will convert. Hence, Islamic rule must precede conversion efforts. He approvingly cites the view that “[b]y  commanding jihad Allah does not mean that the unbelievers be killed outright, but the aim is that the religion of Allah should dominate the world…”

Usmani is a “moderate” in that he does not favor waging offensive jihad until Muslims are strong enough. Thus, peace agreements “along with all efforts to accumulate the sources of power [by the Muslims] are indeed lawful…If Muslims do not possess the capability of ‘Jehad with power’ agreement may be made till the power is attained.” However, once that strength is attained, offensive jihad must be launched. Though he does not mention it, Usmani appears to be basing this tactic on Muhammad’s temporary treaty with the Quraysh tribe known as “The Treaty of Hudabiyyah”. He made this treaty at a time when Muslims were too weak to fight the Quraysh.

Whether one agrees or disagrees with Wilders’ and Usmani’s interpretation of Islam is beside the point. The real question is: How can Wilders be prosecuted for agreeing with the interpretation of a world-renowned Islamic thinker and scholar – a scholar who has never been accused of hate speech or insulting Islam? At the very least, Islam and Modernism should be submitted as a defense exhibit at Wilders’ trial.

John C. Zimmerman is author of Holocaust Denial: Demographics, Testimonies and Ideologies, and has also published on jihad and Islamism.

  • badaboo

    The Dutch Judicial System seems to be deaf as well as blind .. They may not realize it , but this trial will be key to whether they remain Free Dutch or Dhimmi Dutch .

    We'll see .

  • badaboo

    Robert , islam never left the 7th Century , they seek to drag the rest of the world back to where they are

  • Ju Mordecai

    The irony. These Dutch leaders who are persecuting Wilders believe that under Isalmic law in Holland, that they'll be safe and retain their power. Read Richard Wurmbrand and discover that the same political leaders that condemned him to the prisons of Romania under Soviet domination eventually shared Wurmbrand's same fate. At the moment for these people; ignorance is bliss.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/The_Inquisitor The_Inquisitor

      Said one Communist prisoner to another, "You're not here because you are guilty; you're guilty because you are here."

    • http://antivenin.blogspot.com/ Antivenin

      70% of Dutch religious leaders are telling their flock that a good Christian cannot in good conscience vote for Wilders. The mind boggles at that much stupidity. Apparently they never heard about Muslim persecution of Christians all over the world. Not even the fact that in a recent conflict between(Christian) Moluccans and Muslim Moroccans a Moluccan church was set on fire (yeah, what a coincidence, right?) can wake them up. Hopefully their flock will show more common sense in the coming elections!

  • Larry

    A rational (aka "survival oriented) Europe would insist on making him their First witness! But then a rational Europe would be stopping its internal Jihadists from preaching incitement and holy war, instead of making fools of itself by focusing on Israel's success in getting an international war criminal in Dubai. And Europe sees nothing strange about Dubai calling for the arrest of Israel's PM, when Dubai openly and proudly hosts a leader of a terrorist organization, which itself is a violation of internatioal law against colluding with terrorists. One can only presume that "survival" is not a word in the languages of Europe.

  • Ingrid Bergstrom

    Europe is better dead.

  • Democracy First

    Apparently the trial has been suspended for up to 9 months. Seems the judiciary/elites are fearing that they will not discredit Wilders after all, but boost his political fortunes, Maybe they fear, too, that Wilders will successfully put Islam and inadvertent enablers of European islamism on trial.

    Anyone know if he's able to appeal the court's decision to limit him to the three witnesses from amongst his proposed 18 that they have okay'd?

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/ruseum American Delight

    Jizya isn't just part of "offensive" or "aggressive" jihad. It's a central part of Islam. Any plain reading of Koran 9:60 and Sahih Muslim 19.4294 prove it.

    Even "mainstream" and "moderate" Muslims will tell you that they support jizya on the FALSE grounds that jizya tax rates paid by non-Muslims are lower than zakat tax rates paid by Muslims. (The opposite is true.)

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/ruseum American Delight

      Oops, Koran 9:29, I meant.

      • badaboo

        Europe is fast reaching the "tipping point " , with its disgruntled freeloading guests . Very soon , it will be "stand or fall " for Europeans . , their cultures their traditions , and their FREEDOM .

  • Len Powder

    So what's the reason that Usmani will not be called as a witness?

  • http://www.usislam.org/converts/converts.htm arah

    Why more and more Priests and Pastors become Muslim?

    Quran, Surah 5:Ayat: 82-83 "And thou wilt find the nearest of them in affection to those who believe (to be) those who say: Lo! We are Christians. That is because there are among them priests and monks, and because they are not proud. When they listen to that which hath been revealed unto the messenger, thou seest their eyes overflow with tears because of their recognition of the Truth. They say: Our Lord, we believe. Inscribe us as among the witnesses"


  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Swemson Swemson

    The Government of The Netherlands is hiding under their desks, when asked to explain this outrage.

    I asked the local Netherlands Consul, and after a bunch of lame excuses, he wrote:

    The Court of Appeal and the District Court are fully independent from
    the Dutch government. As the procedure is ongoing, any further comment
    by the Netherlands government on the case itself would be inappropriate.
    Mr. Wilders is a member of parliament and continues his work while the
    case goes through the legal process.


    Arend C. Gouw


    I think everyone should write to him and tell him what we think of his lame excuses.

  • Abdus Salam

    This is a joke. I am a Muslim, I am not an apologist, and I find this a joke. Mufti Taqi Usmani has rejected the above-cited translation of his urdu book. He clarifies his stance here. http://www.muftitaqiusmani.com/NewsEvents.aspx. Even if you are going to say make this odious comparison, be fair.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Swemson Swemson

      In a sense, the details about the accuracy of the translation are moot.

      Islam is simply not compatible with any non-Islamic type of system, and allegiance to Sharia makes it impossible for anyone to be a patriotic citizen of our country.

      Many of its principles are so abhorrent to non-mulims, that a great many of us have already gotten to the point where we don't want to have anything to do with Muslims. We don't want Muslims to live in our communities, we don't want them in our universities, and they scare the crap out of us if we ever see them on an airliner.

      When the vast majority of Muslims like you stand up and fight back against the barbarians who are destroying the entire Muslim world, then perhaps we'll gain some respect for you, and even come to your aid, but as long as the jihadist butchers are continuing to wreak havoc throughout the civilized world, we'd rather see you all quarantined someplace where you can't be a threat to us…

      If you do ever wake up and truly understand the inherent evil that runs through your religion and Muslim society, then hopefully you'll abandon this horrid cult altogether.

      • Abdus Salam

        Well, if you were only willing to talk and listen, and look for the debate that's ongoing amongst Muslims, we could work towards making the world a safer place. Instead, you behave like you don't want to hear about any possibility of engagement.

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/Swemson Swemson


          WE don't need to work together… YOU have to work together to get rid of these so called extremists. The idea of us working together implies US making more compromises with YOU, with US giving in to YOU with more concessions, special treatment, and aid etc.. It’s been going on for centuries, and evereyone’s pretending that WE have to be delicate with YOU because it’s not your PEOPLE who are bad, it’s the way you were brought up and it’s the way your religious leaders tell you to behave… as if religious faith were in and of itself a sufficient justification for murder. It’s not. And don’t tell me that most of your religious leaders are peaceful, I know that, but I don’t give a damn about the peaceful ones, get rid of the violent ones, start treating Israel with respect.. It IS their land after all, and start treating your women like your equals, because as we in the West have learned, women are superior to men. They’re the ones who give birth to you, and I doubt that there have been ANY women amongst the leadership of your extremists who are causing all the problems.

          Frankly, after the centuries of abuse that western civilization has taken from Muslims I'm sick & tired of all the talking.

          In all of recorded modern history of warfare, hatred and evil, including the Nazis in Germany, the Communists in Russia and China, Pol Pot in Indo-China, etc. there did not ever exist the obscene outrage of suicide killers. Even the Japanese Kamikaze pilots only attacked military targets.

          The model and inspiration for Osama bin Laden's suicide bombers who hit the World Trade Center in New York, and the Pentagon in Washington, and all the other suicide bombings and shootings since then, was Yasser Arafat and the so-called Palestinians.

          It's all based on the lie that Israelis are occupying Arab land. They're not!

          The concept that it is acceptable and praiseworthy to commit suicide for the sole purpose of murdering noncombatant citizens; the adulation for people who kill themselves in order to slaughter innocent women, children and babies; training and sending young men to destroy themselves just to kill old men and old women; this horror is the sick brainchild of Yasser Arafat and his cohorts. He is the original terrorist to bring this level of terrorism, this plague, to the world. He instituted this new darkness that now threatens all of us, and now there are probably hundreds of copy cats all over the world who are active in recruiting, training and equipping your ignorant people into committing suicide for the sake of some supernatural fantasy… and let’s not forget those virgins.

          As I said in my previous comment, it’s now up to YOU to clean your own house, and when you do, I’ll be happy to join you for a cup coffee, and more talk. Let’s restart our conversation with a discussion of how to educate your children, because after 2 or 3 generations of Muslim children grow up without being taught to hate everyone else, we actually could live in peace…

          • Abdus Salam

            Well, I never have been/God willing never will be part of any terrorist group. So, my house, I would think, is pretty much in order. In other words, I don't see why I should take responsibility for the actions of other people.

            Having said that, I do care about the well-being of the world, which is why I would think that more hands on deck the better. But you seem to disagree. Unfortunately.

            This is for everyone here. It wouldn't hurt once in a while to pick up books on Islam written by Muslim authors–even if you disagree, and think that the authors are hopelessly biased, there is no harm, I would think, in trying to understand the way Muslims think about/understand their own faith.

          • http://intensedebate.com/people/Swemson Swemson

            BULL$HIT !

            You know as well as I that I was referring to the "House" of Islam, not your condo.

            "It wouldn't hurt once in a while to pick up books on Islam written by Muslim authors–even if you disagree, and think that the authors are hopelessly biased, there is no harm, I would think, in trying to understand the way Muslims think about/understand their own faith."


            BULL$HIT ! once again.

            The entire world knows the truth about your cult of death by now. We already waste MORE than enough of our time going through security checks at our airports because of all you peaceful Muslims. I wouldn't waste one second of my life reading any of your religious propaganda. I don't have to adapt to you. It's you who has to adapt to the civilized the world, and if you don't want to, then go back to your native land and become goatherds for all I care.

            You're just like all of the rest of the Islamic LIARS who are out trying to soften us up so that you can come here and kill us as soon as you can. So why don't you take your filthy propaganda and shove it right up their in your most holy of holies and go and soil our country no longer.

            The time for treating you in a politically correct way is over. You deserve no respect and no more polite conversations. When you REALLY clean your house, then the civilized world will welcome you warmly in peace. We know who you are, and if that POS in the White House doesn't wreck this country before you, America will deal with the world of Islam as necessary.

            And don't expect us to take care of the millions of children you keep bringing into this world ever week… your population bomb isn't going to work either.

            You think I HATE you just because you're DIFFERENT than us? Well you're wrong, I don't. And that's coming from someone who's lost family & friends in Israel to your barbaric culture.

          • Abdus Salam

            <<You think I HATE you just because you're DIFFERENT than us? Well you're wrong, I don't. And that's coming from someone who's lost family & friends in Israel to your barbaric culture.>>

            I think you hate me simply because you've apparently lost family and friends to Palestinian suicide attacks. I can understand that. However, I don't see how that is relevant to what we are talking about.

          • http://intensedebate.com/people/Swemson Swemson

            You still don't get it do you?

            I'd love to shoot the bastards that killed my friends, but that won't solve the problem will it? There's always more of those cockroaches coming out of the woodwork, which your leaders encourage so they can brainwash them and use them as weapons & cannon fodder in their maniacal quest for world domination.

            The problem is Islam itself, which you claim to be a part of, and therefore it's absolutely relevant. So stop trying in suck me into what outwardly looks like polite debate. It's not. You're the enemy. And as far as I'm concerned, this little peace pow wow is over.

            If you, and the rest of the Muslims get rid of all the extremists, you'd still have change your way of life, such as the way you treat your women, before I'd want to have anything to do with you, and I'd bet that the vast majority of the American people would agree with me.

            You've already destroyed the Netherlands, Sweden, and you're close to destroying France and England as well. And now you're infesting my country. Look at the way those young Muslim animals are screwing up our universities as an example. So unless you clean your house FAST our only rational alternative is to treat you like the ebola virus, which is the only living organism that resembles the world of Islam today.

            Now go do what you know you have to, and leave me alone. This discussion is over.

          • Abdus Salam

            You are all over the place unfortunately. All I would say to people here is this: listen to Muslims talk about their religion, and maybe you'll find a different picture to what you see on the TV.

          • http://Hollywoodremoteleash.com A Bit Profound

            I understand perfectly. Islam is called 'The Religion Of Peace" because once all other religions are wiped out and Allah alone is worshiped, then there will be world peace. Qur'an 8:39

          • Abdus Salam

            I find it interesting that when I google "Religion of peace", it is the rabid anti-Islam websites that crop up first. So while I admit that some Muslims did use the cliched phrase (a long while back), I don't see it being used anymore except by those against Islam. It is ironic, don't you think?

            Completely unapologetically speaking, jihad in mainstream Muslim thinking does include war (it also includes every other kind of spiritual struggle). However, war in Islam is to be conducted within a number of limits–can't kill civilians, women, children, priests, monks, can't kill using fire, can't poison, etc. Why is any of this immoral/wrong? Sure, most of the Muslim militants today don't follow any of this, but that I think is just a combination of political realities/misplaced religiosity playing out. Muslim militants, interestingly, refuse to listen to people like Mufti Taqi Usmani.

  • Abdus Salam

    The link doesn't work. You should be able to find the link though on the news and events page of his site (http://www.muftitaqiusmani.com).

    Here are parts of his clarification:
    "I also told him that “Islam And Modernism” is not a book written by me. It is an English translation of some of my Urdu articles, and was published without my review. I reminded him that translation often does not convey the exact idea of the original author. I made it clear to him that unless clarified by me, if he reproduced some of its excerpts out of context, it would be unfair to me. Yet he persisted and quoted those sentences from that book without my clarifications.

    I never knew when that interview was published in “TIMES”, because no copy of that interview was ever sent to me. Even after passage of more than two years, I am still unaware of the full text of the article published by Mr. Norfolk. But after going through various articles appearing on websites referred to by the book “CATASTROPHE” and some other websites, it appears that all of them have based their statements against me on Mr. Norfolk’s article.

    Surprisingly, many of these websites claim that I have issued a fatwa that “Muslims living in the West conduct violent jihad against the infidels at every opportunity.” But I never made any such statement either in writing or verbally nor issued any so-called fatwa. Nor is there any sentence to that effect in any of my writings, including “Islam and Modernism”. If this statement is attributed to me in Mr. Norfolk’s interview with me, it is not but a blatant lie, because I never said this during the interview."