Coping With Islam: Censorship in Dutch Academia

University professors in the Netherlands are not allowed to voice “unscientific” opinions that are too critical of Islam. One such opinion is the statement of Pieter W. van der Horst that “the Nazis’ irrational hatred of the Jews has been adopted in the contemporary Islamic world.” At a meeting today in Amsterdam a large majority of the chancellors of the Dutch universities agreed that “academic freedom at universities should be limited.” Only two of them, Frans Zwarts of Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and Taede Sminia of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, said that a retiring professor should be allowed to express a personal opinion in his valedictory lecture.

Last month Pieter W. van der Horst, the retiring professor of Early Christian History and Judaism at Utrecht University, (the alma mater of James Boswell, Lord Hailes, the Earl of Sunderland, Wilhelm Röntgen, Hugh Williamson, and others) wanted to argue in his valedictory lecture that “the islamisation of European antisemitism is one of the most frightening developments of the past decades.” However, his university’s chancellor, the rector magnificus, Prof. Willem H. Gispen, prevented him from doing so by censoring the lecture in advance. According to Gispen the lecture was “unscientific” and “incited different population groups against each other.” Van der Horst says Gispen had also told him that “Islamic students might disrupt the lecture,” in which case the university “would not be able to guarantee van der Horst’s safety.”

Van der Horst, who has been a professor at Utrecht University since 1969, duly read out the censored version of his lecture “The Myth of Jewish Cannibalism,” but had the uncensored text published in a newspaper. He felt deeply offended at the censorship of his text. “I have never been so humiliated in my whole life,” he told the press. In the uncensored version Professor van der Horst posits that “in all probability” there have never in history been more Jew haters than today. “Every day the intensive propaganda of Islamic Jew haters successfully influences more Muslims throughout the world.” He also rebukes Christian churches and academia, including his own univerity, that they do too little to counter the growing antisemitism. He hopes universities will have the courage to appoint critical professors of Islam.”

Though Chancellor Gispen was criticised for his interference by some conservative Dutch media, others backed him, declaring that in a multicultural society one should avoid antagonising certain groups. This is also the opinion of the majority of the Dutch university chancellors. The row in Dutch academia coincides with the fall of the Dutch government over the Hirsi Ali affair. The government fell last week when the smallest Dutch coalition party, the leftist D66, withdrew its support for the cabinet because of its continued support for Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk. Last May Verdonk had revoked the Somali-born politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s citizenship after the latter admitted to having used a false name and date of birth when she applied for naturalisation. Last week Verdonk changed her mind and decided that Hirsi Ali, a well-known critic of Islam, could retain her citizenship if she signed a declaration that she is to blame for the misunderstanding.

Hirsi Ali signed the declaration in order to get back her passport. She needs the passport because she is emigrating from the Netherlands to the United States next September. Hirsi Ali is leaving because it has become impossible to protect her in the Netherlands. A Dutch court recently evicted her from her high-security apartment on the grounds that the presence of a well-known terrorist target was undermining property value for the owners of neighbouring apartments.

Freedom and Revisionism

Do Dutch academics really believe that quelling the truth will make a problem go away? Sweeping the dirt under the rug, not only doesn't get rid of it, but eventually brings on the maggots. 

The Netherlands, a country that prides itself as a bastion of European Liberalism, is now abrogating those very basic rights historical Liberalism worked so hard to achieve. The intellectual elite of the New Liberalism adjudicates only to itself the right to decide what is best, and what is to be considered as politically correct truth... facts be damned! What a shame that anything can be twisted, anything can be masked just to buy some time... What fools!   

Freedom isn't just the right to do as one pleases, freedom carries responsibility and maintaining freedom is a never ending job.


I find that it is quite ironic that many in Europe are seemingly doomed to repeat one of the ugliest eras of their history, even while they are riddled with guilt because of it.


Who, out there can explain this?  It is such a mystery to me.

Academic Censorship


Your article is eye-opening, even after reading Bruce Bawer's book.  Bawer didn't tell us the half of it -- or maybe things are just getting worse by the week.  Reports like yours always jar two responses in my mind:  1) Now I know why American researchers have dominated the sciences for the past two generations.  We have an academic culture that respects a relatively free exchange of ideas. And 2) I grow more convinced every day that Europe is headed for civil war.  If the academic, journalistic, "religious," and governmental elites continue to dampen honest dissent, the masses will eventually turn to fascists or other bullies for guidance because their ugly rhetoric at least seems to reflect reality.  A fascist vs. Islamofascist fued seems inevitable.  And to whoever put the American Independence Day greeting on the top of the site, thank you -- that means more than you can know.  But I must admit that, as an American, I am committed to spending the remainder of my days fighting against any suggestion that the United States must come to Europe's rescue when the civil war begins.  It pains me to say this, but all the natural goodwill I would otherwise feel for fellow democratic citizens has been killed off since 1989.  How the European elites managed to do that is an amazing accomplishment.

more intolerance

@ Rudi

As you can see, it didn't take long before another intolerant character showed up.  This time it is a character called 'Miriam'. He/she comments on things he/she doesn't understand.  Like borrowing from the IMF, for instance.  And he/she likes to make gratuitous insults, like referring to Pakistan as "Fakistan". 

While it is true that some of the world's most "vicious terrorists" can be found in "Pakistan-occupied Kashmir", it is ludicrous to refer to Kashmir as "stolen from the Indians".  Things over there are a little bit more complicated than that.  It seems one can find 'Zhenghe-types on both sides of an issue. 

Role of the Brits

It is somewhat shameful that the brits had a hand in the messy quagmire of Iraq, India, and Israel. They left a whole lot of unifinished business and now Gordon Brown wants to dump dollars on African corrupt dictators all over again.

The only other bottomless money pit that I can think of, is Fakistan and Afghanistan. ...Instead of donating money for the quake in Gujarat and later Tsunami, Indians got almost no money from Int'l community. In fact, Colin Powell made them borrow money from IMF/WB in the most cruel and wicked manner.

If the regime change had taken place in Fakistan, we 'd all be happy. Balochi tribals within might have been freed from slavery, so the residents in Baltistan near Kashmir.

Did you know that the quake in Fakistan was in the territory originally stolen from the Indians? Yes, it is called PoK - Pakistan Occupied Kashmir!!! It is the abode of most vicious terrorists and yet we are pouring close to $15 on these shady characters. How sad.

"Barring and censuring"

@ rudi

I am well aware of Herman De Ley's intolerant 'Eurabian' tendencies at the (State) University of Ghent.  But even on this forum do the same intolerancies show up.  After all, Mr Trevino has expressed a desire of "barring" the parroting 'Zhenghi'.   I am not saying that there is here any moral equivalency, not even remotely.  But, clearly, 'barring and censuring' is not the way to go, if we want to avoid the unfree fate that is the lot of most moslems outside the west today.   And Mr Trevino lives in San Francisco.  I know that is one of America's most 'nutty' and leftist cities, but at least they have the First Amendment over there.   He should know better than that.      


double "crap"

@ Zhenghe

You can't be serious!  As if I didn't know that Assad is "secular".  I talked about Syria, not its Alawite government?  And I don't think that human rights were/are better protected under the secular likes of Saddam and Assad than under the 'islamic' likes of the Taliban or the Sudanese government or the coming Somali government, etc...  We are talking here about existing 'islamic cultures', not about the labels. I suggest you visit Sudan to get a grip on reality.

And, of course, in your warped worldview "the whole region was screwed up by European colonialists"!!  Let's take the example of Syria.  How long exactly were the 'barbaric' British colonialists there?  Thirty years, or was it forty?   And how long were the muslim turkish Ottomans there?  Two hundred years, or was it three hundred, or ....?   Hey, the Britisch were much longer in India than in Syria, and India is today the world's largest democracy.   How convenient it must be to always blame someone else for 'own faults'.   

The world does not consist of bad secularists and good 'muslims'.   People can call themselves what they want.  For me, 'muslims' are what muslims DO, and the same applies to other people as well.

Thus, the real division in the world is between 'democrats' and 'totalitarians'.  The former respect the rights of every INDIVIDUAL and tolerate differences, and the latter do not.   It just so happens to be that there are an awful lot among the 'totalitarians' who call themselves "muslim", irrespective of whether they live under a "secular" or an "islamic" tyranical government.  Now, why would that be so?    



@marcfrans The Syrian

The Syrian government is largely secular, and few Muslims admire it very much. Remember that the whole region was screwed up by European colonialists, and due to reasons both internal and external, it's taking an awful long time to readjust.

@ Juan
It's not anti-semitic at all. First of all, the Arabs are Semites too. Second of all, I don't see the theft of Palestine as having much to do with Judaism, which in many ways is a fine religion. I see it as just another case of Europeans ethnically cleansing places of their indigenous populations and stealing the land, as they did in all of North America and South America, in many parts of Africa, and more recently in Bosnia. There are many jews both secular and orthodox who agree with this point of view-- are you saying they too are anti-Semitic?

Joshua's hypocrisy

I wasn't go to draw attention to it, but I guess I should mention that on the photos that Joshua linked to, I had left very polite, logical comments condemning the vile anti-semitic materials he photographed. I said I'd burn them myself, given the chance. But our hypocritical defender of freedom of expression couldn't tolerate any comments which didn't mesh with his blinkered, pedantic worldview, so he simply deleted them. Keep this in mind when thinking about who to take seriously.

It's true.

I have barred ZhengHe from commenting at any forum under my control. I have no time for a man who piously insists upon his personal rectitude while disseminating rhetorical apologetics for the most murderous ideology of the era.

Now, I believe we were discussing something besides ZhengHe's hurt feelings. My suggestion: Coping With Islam, and Censorship in Dutch Academia.

ZhengHe mental thinking equals holocaust deniers

ZhengHe does really look the same as holocaust deniers. He denies that Islam countries have invented the predecessor of the yellow star of the Nazi's, he denies that Jews were considered first by Islam, before Christianity as "untermenschen"; in fact Christians copied all that from the moslims after the crusades.

He denies as well what the "holy" Quran states about Jews (and Christians).

His statement about Arabs being semites shows he does not even know that Arabs never speak about semites, in particular when it relates to languages families.

Such a guy with neo-nazi thinking methods may be banned anywhere besides hell!

1) There never was a

1) There never was a Palestinian state or a Palestinian nation. There are no Palestinian people, per se. Rather; they are Arabs living in a region that historically has been called many things, including "Palestine."
2) Israel did not go to war against a Palestinian state and occupy its land. Rather, Israel was attacked by six Arab countries at once. She defended herself, defeated her attackers, and won the so-called territories, not from the Palestinians, but from Jordan and Egypt.
3) Jerusalem was never the capital of any state but Israel. It was certainly never the capital of a country that never existed. Why should the Palestinians get any part of it? Because they want it? Because they have terrorists?
4) Jerusalem, under the current Israeli control, is a free and open city. Israel, as a democracy, guarantees freedom of religion within its borders. Contrast this fact with areas that have come under Palestinian occupation. What percentage of Christians have left in recent years because they cannot stand the harassment and persecution?
5) Most Arabs living in Palestine today are not indigenous to the region. It was not until after the Jews had changed deserts and swamps into a productive and thriving land that the Arabs started migrating there. Arafat himself was born and raised in Cairo

Palestine: 1. When was it


1. When was it founded and by whom?
2. What were its borders?
3. What was its capital?
4. What were its major cities?
5. What constituted the basis of its economy?
6. What was its form of government?
7. Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?
8. Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence,
at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?
9. What was the language of the country of Palestine?
10. What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine?
11. What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history
and find the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary
unit against other world currencies on that date.
12. Have the Palestinians left any artefacts behind?
13. Do you know of a library where one could find a work of Palestinian literature produced before 1967?
14. Finally, what caused its demise and when did it occur?
15. If the Palestinians are anything other than Arabs collected from all over the Arab world, if they have a genuine ethnic identity that gives them right for self-determination, why did they never try to become independent until Arabs suffered defeat by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War?

The truth should be obvious

The truth should be obvious to everyone who wants to know it. Arab countries have never abandoned the dream of destroying Israel; they still cherish it today.

The fact is, Arabs populating Gaza, Judea, and Samaria have no legitimate claim to nationhood. The so-called Palestinians have only one motivation, the destruction of Israel. This is not sufficient to consider them a nation.

There is only one way to achieve piece in the Middle East. Arab countries must acknowledge and accept their defeat in the war against Israel and, as the losing side, should pay Israel reparations for the more than 50 years of devastation they have visited upon it. The most appropriate form of such reparations would be the removal of their terrorist organizations from the land of Israel and acceptance of Israel's ancient sovereignty over Gaza, Judea, and Samaria. Don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen any time soon.

The notion that the Arab-Palestinians are an ancient people with thousands of years of history is preposterous and they know it. They're relying on the fact that YOU don't know it

It happened before in Belgium

Censoring Islam criticism already happened in Belgium years ago. Master censor being Prof Herman De Ley of the University of Ghent, famous for training students in islam glorification and antisemitism. He tried to censor one of the most important specialists in Islam, Urbain Vermeulen, but did not succeed. Herman De Ley and its institute in Ghent is the best example of Eurabia we can find in Belgium. I even would not be surprised that he also receives sponsor money, as a lot of other assumed "specialists" in Islam in Europe, from the Wahhabis of Arabia for his acts and writings.


If Europe learns from the 800+50 years of persecution of Hindus mostly by the islamists, EU can be saved from more van Gogh or 3-11/7-7 type or French car burnings jihadi savagery.

If you realize why Hindus got killed and also silenced for Cartoons though totally unrelated to them, then for Bush visit, you'd find they are the softest targets for muslim fascists neo-colonial hegemony ..
For your info, please. Regards,


@ Golblado

Indeed, 'Zhenghe' knows how to parrot "crap", of which a lot can be found today in the media of course.   At the time of the founding of (modern) Israel, and besides the "European zionists", there were (marginally) more jewish refugees from islamic countries streaming INTO Israel than arab refugees streaming OUT of Israel.  In those days the latter were not yet called "Palestinians" (after all they had been 'Jordanians and Egyptians' under Ottoman and British rule before).   

As to his notions about the relative "protection of jewish minorities" in European versus Arab countries, one wonders on which planet he has been living over the last half century.  It is true that there are still a few thousand jews left in non-arab Iran, and a handful of jews in some arab countries, under appropriate 'dhimmi' status of course.  But, these people have no genuine civil and human rights, and the same can be said of most arabs in most arab countries.  For instance, what exactly are the de facto legal protections of any 'citizen', say, in Syria?  In fact the only people with genuine "protected status" from governmental whimsy in the Middle East are the citizens of Israel (including the arab Israeli citizens). 

One shudders to think what must lie ahead, when there is so much misinformation floating around, and when many people seem to be incapable of observing the real world around them as it is.


keep talking, even if it's crap

ZhengHe's notion of "the theft of Palestine" grows out the very anti-semitism he is trying to hide.

Talk like that is merely demonisation.

But, please feel free to talk your talk. The more points of view are expressed, surely the harder it will be for governments to prohibit the expression of points of view.

Supress the extremists on all side

Actually, the Muslim world has a far better track record of protecting its Jewish minorities than Europe does. There is currently some (wrongful) anti-Jewish sentiment in some parts of the Muslim world (just like Europe has its skinheads and Islamophobes), but this is politically motivated, having to do with the theft of Palestine by European Zionists (mostly atheistic Jews), rather than religion.

While my old friend Joshua will insist that the "West" as he defines it has gotten past such hatred, the fact is that it has simply shifted its focus from its hatred of one Semitic group (the Jews) to the hatred of another one (the Arabs). Joshua himself is a prime example of this, as he writes he long-winded (but rarely read) Islamophobic diatrabes in the vain hope that someone will actually take him seriously...

Nazis in one thread, Islamists in another.

The Brussels Journal commentariat isn't even close to the high quality of its writers.

People of ordinary sense will recognize apologetics for fanaticism and the grotesque conflation of anti-Semitism with rational fear of Islamism for what they are.

Muslim anti-semitism and the Nazi heritage.

Anyone doubting the extent to which the Nazi heritage of anti-Semitism has been internalized in the Muslim world need only look to the evidence: the revival of Koranic rhetoric about the inhumanity of Jews; the bestseller status of Mein Kampf in the Arab world; or the broadcast of an updated Protocols of the Elders of Zion on Egyptian television.

For my part, I've seen it firsthand -- here and here; are photos I took of anti-Semitic literature openly for sale in Amman, Jordan, in winter 2004. Suffice it to say we've not seen this paraphenalia in the mainstream of the West since the Third Reich.