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A Professor from Germany who spoke the truth in a land of Islamists

By  Jamal Hasan

Prof. Dr. Hans G. Kippenberg

I did not know Prof. Hans G. Kippenberg from Germany . I was not aware of the Erfurt University pedagogue's works on religion until he suddenly became the eye of a thunderous storm in a religiously intolerant and rapidly Talibanized country called Bangladesh . Prof. Kippenberg is lucky to be a Westerner; and he is luckier for not being in Islamist oligarchy ruled Bangladesh where he was for a very brief period. Otherwise his fate could have been worse than the exiled Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasrin. 

Let me tell you what is going on with this scholar. Professor Kippenberg was one of the speakers of the recently concluded three-day international conference on "Religious Militancy and Security in South Asia" organized by the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) and German and French embassies in Dhaka. The conference was attended among others by the German and French ambassadors to Bangladesh

The controversy erupted after Professor Kippenberg gave his long prepared speech. Most of the Bangladeshi dailies for reasons unknown kept mum about the content of the German scholar's speech. Only the Islamist daily Inqilab covered it. I am going to give you excerpts from Inqilab news story. I will try to give you the English translation keeping the main idea intact. The Inqilab story goes like this: 

"The second day of the conference was presided over by the former Chief Justice Mostafa Kamal. In his presidential address he said, "The Western countries have no moral right to talk about religious militancy and human rights". Chief Justice Kamal mentioned the two countries, namely, Germany and France , in this regard. 

The German Ambassador to Bangladesh protested the comment. In the afternoon session, Professor Hans G. Kippenberg of Erfurt University in Germany presented a paper titled, " Terrorism itself is prayer and the religious book of the September 11 terrorists". Professor Kippenberg in his paper argued that Islam had been nurturing terrorism from the dawn of its inception. The Erfurt University Professor portrayed Prophet Muhammad as a warmonger and commented, "In order to rule Medina , Muhammad made all the treaties with non-Muslims null and void". In order to justify his argument of Islam as a militant religion, Professor Kippenberg presented two surahs from the Koran, namely, Surah Tauba and Surah Anfal. The professor said, "Muhammad scrapped all the treaties with non-Muslims (Koran, 9:1) and instructed his followers to kill all the non-believers wherever they are found (Koran 9:5). 

Professor Kippenberg also said, " In Medina, a fundamental change occurred in the relationship between the Muslims and infidels. In Mecca , while propagating Islam the Prophet used the tactics of benevolence, later on after the establishment of Islam a policy of war and conflict was adopted. In Islamic religion, this is the transformation from tolerance to militancy. The idea is deep rooted in Koranic verse 9:5." 

Professor Hans Kippenberg also mentioned, "Niyyat (willingness) is a fundamental matter in Islam. Without Niyyat, nothing can be accomplished. For example, this is the same Niyyat, which motivated the September 11 terrorists to commit their act. Their objective was pious -- they prayed with the same Niyyat, recited the verses and after that conducted the 11th September attack." Thus Professor Kippenberg attempted to prove that event of September 11 is considered by Muslims as a logical event." 

Readers, it is unthinkable to read the above news story. If the newspaper report is true, then the German university pedagogue took extreme courage to speak his mind. Imagine about the aftermath. I think, the professor did not bother to stay in that Islamic violence prone land another extra day for sightseeing. 

If anyone of you would like to comment, may contact the professor and praise him for his extraordinary courage. I am providing more about him as follows  


Kippenbergs comments: Islamic parties announce action programme

 

The fallout of Professor Hans Kippenberg's scholarly paper:

Islamic Constitution Movement: Arrest Researcher Professor Hans; otherwise the German embassy would be blockaded.  (see detail in page 2)

Go to page 2


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