Hans Jansen

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This article is about the arabist Hans Jansen. For other uses, see Hans Jansen (disambiguation).
Hans Jansen
Hans Jansen (arabist).jpg
Hans Jansen in 2003
Member of the European Parliament
for the Netherlands
In office
1 July 2014 – 5 May 2015
Personal details
Born Johannes Juliaan Gijsbert Jansen
(1942-11-17)17 November 1942
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died 5 May 2015(2015-05-05) (aged 72)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Political party Party for Freedom
Children 3 children
Alma mater University of Amsterdam (Master of Letters)
Leiden University (Doctor of Letters)
Occupation Politician

Reformed (1942–1988)

Roman Catholicism (from 1988)

Johannes Juliaan Gijsbert "Hans" Jansen (Dutch pronunciation: [joːˈɦɑnəs ˈjyliaːn ˈɣɛisbɛrt ˈɦɑns ˈjɑnsən]; 17 November 1942 – 5 May 2015) was a Dutch scholar of contemporary Islam, author and politician.[1]

Early life[edit]

Johannes Juliaan Gijsbert Jansen was born on 17 November 1942 in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.[2] His parents were members of an orthodox reformed church.[3]


Jansen started a study of theology but switched to Arabic and Semitic languages.[3] He graduated at the University of Amsterdam, his doctorate in Arabic is from the University of Leiden.

Private life[edit]

Jansen was married a short time with Eefje van Santen, daughter of a Communist politician, Joop van Santen.[3] With his second wife Jansen had three children. His son Ewout Jansen is comedian. In 1988 Jansen converted to the Roman Catholic religion.[3]


He worked in Egypt, where he was the Director of the Dutch Research Institute in Cairo. From 1983 he was an associate professor of Arabic and Islamic studies at Leiden University. Up to 2008, he was Houtsma Professor (financed by an institution in honor of prof. Houtsma) of Modern Islamic Thought at the University of Utrecht.

During his career he developed a more critical view of Islam. His first contact with radical Islam occurred when he was involved as an interpreter during an incident in a Dutch jail, when a Palestine aircraft hijacker together with other prisoners, took hostages from a singing choir that had its performance in the jail.[3]

Jansen became friends with Theo van Gogh, Ayaan Hirshi Ali and Geert Wilders.[1] He was a regular newspaper columnist and frequent media commentator. In 2008 he advised Geert Wilders about his anti-Islam movie Fitna and in 2010 he was a principal witness in the trial of Geert Wilders. During this trial, a judge approached him during a dinner party and allegedly tried to convince him that the trial was justified. As a result, the judges were substituted and a retrial was ordered. The judge who was alleged to have attempted to influence him subsequently retired from the bench.

Jansen was an expert witness on the Koran and Shariah in the trial in Birmingham Magistrates Court (Crown vs Timothy Martin Burton) on 8 April 2014, which came to be known as the Birmingham Taqiyya Trial. Mr Burton was subsequently found not guilty of Racially Aggravated Harassment.

Janssen was on the list for elections as Member of the European Parliament for the political party Party for Freedom.[1] He took the seat as MEP in July 2014 after his party leader Geert Wilders - who received many preference votes - decided not to take up his seat.[4]


Jansen died of a cerebral infarction at the age of 72.[1]


Books in Dutch:

  • Inleiding tot de Islam (1987)
  • De Koran uit het Arabisch Vertaald door Prof. dr. J.H. Kramers (1992) (edited by Asad Jaber & Johannes J.G.Jansen)
  • Nieuwe Inleiding tot de Islam (1998)
  • Het Nut van God (2001)
  • God heeft gezegd: terreur, tolerantie en de onvoltooide modernisering van de islam (2003)
  • De radicaal-islamitische ideologie: Van Ibn Taymiyya tot Osama ben Laden, Oratie Universiteit van Utrecht, 3 februari 2004
  • Islam: een hoorcollege over de islamitische godsdienst en cultuur (2005, audio-cd)
  • De historische Mohammed: de Mekkaanse verhalen (2005)
  • De historische Mohammed: de verhalen uit Medina (2007)
  • Bombrieven (2008, correspondence with Abdul-Jabbar van de Ven)
  • Islam voor varkens, apen, ezels en andere beesten (2008)
  • Zelf Koran lezen (2008)
  • Eindstrijd, edited by Jansen & Snel (2009)

Books in English (Many other titles are not yet available in English):

  • The Interpretation of the Koran in Modern Egypt (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1974)
  • The Neglected Duty: The Creed of Sadat’s Assassins and Islamic Resurgence in the Middle East (New York: Macmillan, 1986)
  • The Dual Nature of Islamic Fundamentalism (London: Hurst & Company, 1997) ppls



  1. ^ a b c d Arabist en PVV-er Hans Jansen overleden NOS May 5, 2015
  2. ^ (Dutch) Prof.Dr. J.J.G. (Hans) Jansen, Parlement & Politiek. Retrieved on 6 May 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Zij aan zij met Wilders tegen de islam". NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). 10 May 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  4. ^ "Dutch MEP Hans Jansen dies". 6 May 2015. Retrieved 6 May 2015. 

External links[edit]