British Islamic scholar and community leader Haitham al-Haddad will not be prosecuted for statements he made this year in Amsterdam. The case against him has been dropped.
Dutch politician Ehsan Jami, who was born in Iran, accused the controversial British Muslim community leader, Haitham Al-Haddad, of issuing threats and inciting hatred and discrimination in the Netherlands. Jami was offended by comments Al-Haddad made while speaking in Amsterdam in February 2012. While speaking, Al-Haddad said that people who abandon Islam or convert to other religions should be put to death, if they live in an Islamic country and the death sentence is handed down by a Sharia court. Among the offensive statements Jami has made in the past was the following: “I will tell you the truth about the fight between us and Jews who are the enemies of God and the descendants of apes and pigs”.
The so-called 'underwear bomber,' the Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, cited Al-Haddad's writings and training at his London-based institute as inspiration for his abortive bombing of an airliner on December 25, 2009 enroute from Amsterdam to Detroit.
Dutch prosecutors have concluded that Al-Haddad did not commit a crime in issuing that statement, because it included a number of preconditions that needed to be met before a person should be executed for leaving the religion.
Al-Haddad's visit to the Netherlands was a source of controversy even before he came from the United Kingdom. He was invited by an Islamic student association at University of Amsterdam, which cancelled the event when a number of political parties protested that that Al-Haddad should not be allowed to enter the country. This led the De Baile debate center in Amsterdam to invite Al-Haddad in the name of preserving freedom of expression.
Jami no longer considers himself a Muslim, and is well known in the Netherlands for his criticism of Islam. In 2007, he co-wrote an op-ed with fellow Dutch politician Geert Wilders that likened the expansion of political Islam in Europe to the rise of Adolf Hitler. Jami's mother is a convert to Christianity.