The Encyclopaedia of Islam

Jonathan L.writes:

I sincerely hope Geert Wilders at his trial trots out quotes from The Encyclopaedia of Islam in his defense. The Encyclopaedia has been the world’s most authoritative reference work on Islam since its first edition came out nearly 100 years ago. It also happens to be put out by the Dutch publishing house Brill and is symbolic of the Netherlands’ distinguished tradition of Orientalist scholarship, much of it centered at the University of Leiden. Are the current Dutch authorities shameless enough to repudiate this gem of Dutch culture in their effort to destroy Willders? Here are some relevant quotes from the Second Edition, which began publishing in 1954:

  • In law, according to general doctrine and in historical tradition, the jihad consists of military action with the object of the expansion of Islam and, if need be, of its defence. The notion stems from the fundamental principle of the universality of Islam: this religion, along with the temporal power which it implies, ought to embrace to whole universe, if necessary by force.

  • The duty of the jihad exists as long as the universal domination of Islam has not been attained. “Until the day of the resurrection”, and “until the end of the world” say the maxims. Peace with non-Muslim nations is, therefore, a provisional state of affairs only; the chance of circumstances alone can justify it temporarily. Furthermore there can be no question of genuine peace treaties with these nations; only truces, whose duration ought not, in principle, to exceed ten years, are authorized. But even such truces are precarious, inasmuch as they can, before they expire, be repudiated unilaterally should it appear more profitable for Islam to resume the conflict.

  • Finally, there is at the present time a thesis, of a wholly apologetic character, according to which Islam relies for its expansion exclusively upon persuasion and other peaceful means, and the jihad is only authorized in cases of “self defence” and of “support owed to a defenceless ally or brother”. Disregarding entirely the previous doctrine and historical tradition, as well as the texts of the Qur’an and the sunna on the basis of which it was formulated, but claiming, even so, to remain within the bounds of strict orthodoxy, this thesis takes into account only those early texts which state the contrary.

- end of initial entry -

January 26

Hannon writes:

Johnathan L. mentions the Encyclopedia of Islam, published by BRILL in Holland. On their site they provide prices for available volumes (it seems all are available). For the volumes I checked, 1 to 5, the lowest price for one volume was $US1087.00. The highest was $1363. Twelve volumes total, plus a glossary/index which is a little less costly.

This is a strictly academic product based on the cost alone. No wonder I had not seen it cited by online writers before. No doubt Wilders is quite familiar with it.

Here is a link to EoI from BRILL:

LA replies:

I don’t how to take this in. An encyclopedia that costs over $1,000 for each volume?

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 25, 2010 03:23 PM | Send

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