Fotograaf: onbekend

dhr. prof. dr. mr. R. (Ruud) Peters

  • Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
  • Bezoekadres
    P.C. Hoofthuis
    Spuistraat 134  Amsterdam
  • Postadres:
    Postbus  15540
    1001 NA  Amsterdam


Spuistraat 134, kr 207
Tel. 0206257971 (home)


I am involved in the following research projects:

  • Globalisation and the peripheral periphery: social and legal history of an Egyptian oasis (17th - 20th c.). For more info on the project, see  
  • Editing with Peri Bearman a book for Ashgates Publishers, with the title Research Companion for Islamic Law
  • Editing a book on nineteenth century Egyptian criminal law

A few of my articles that are electronically available

(With G. J. J. de Vries) "Apostasy in Islam,"   Die Welt des Islams 17(1976), pp. 1-26

"The Mysteries of the Oriental Mind: Some Remarks on the Development of Western Stereotypes of Arabs," in: The Challen-ge of the Middle East: Middle Eastern Studies at the Universi-ty of Amsterdam . Ed. by I.A. El-Sheikh, C. Aart van den Koppel and R. Peters. Amsterdam: Institute of Modern Near Eastern Studies, 1982; pp. 73-91

" Idjtihâd and Taqlîd in 18th and 19th Century Islam,"

Die Welt des Islams 20(1980), pp. 131-46

"Muhammad al-`Abbâsî al- Mahdî (d. 1897), Grand Mufti of Egypt, and his al-Fatâwâ al-Mahdiyya.". Islamic Law and Socie-ty, 1 (1994), pp. 66-82

"Islamicand secular criminal law in 19th century Egypt : the roleand function of   the qadi." Islamic Law andSociety , 4 (1997), pp. 70-90

 "Islamic Law and Human Rights: a contribution to an ongoing debate." Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations 10 (1999), pp. 5-14

""For his Correctionandas a Deterrent Example toOthers": Mehmed `Ali's First Criminal Legislation (1829-1830)," Islamic Law and Society 6 (1999), pp. 164-193

"Administrators and Magistrates : The Development of a Secular Judiciary in Egypt , 1842- 1871," Die Welt des Islams, 39 (1999), pp. 378-397

"Murder in Khaybar: some thoughts on the origin of the qasama procedure in Islamic law," Islamic Law and Society, 9 (2002), 132-167

" Egypt and the age of the triumphant prison: Legal punishment in nineteenth century Egypt ," Annales Islamologiques, 36 (2002), pp. 253-285

"Controlled suffering: mortality and living conditions in nineteenth century Egyptian prisons," International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 36 (2004), pp. 387-407

"From jurists' law to statute law or what happens when the sharia is codified." Mediterranean Politics 7(2002), 3, (special issue on Shaping the Current Islamic Refomation. ed. by B.A. Roberson) pp. 82-95 (publ. in 2003)

" 'A Dangerous Book'.  Dutch Public Intellectuals and the Koran." RSCAS Working Paper No .  2006/39.

(with S. Vellenga), "Homoseksualiteit in orthodox-religieuze kring: islam en protestantisme," Justitiële Verkenningen , 2007/1, pp. 70-82

"The poldermujahidin: The radicalization of young DutchMuslims," in: Islam & Europe: Challengesand opportunities. Leuven: Leuven UniversityPress, 2008. Pp. 47-62

"Dutch extremist Islamism: Van Gogh's murderer and his ideas," in: Rik Coolsaet (ed.) Jihadi terrorism and the radicalisation challenge in Europe . London : Ashgate, 2008. Pp. 115-130

"Beween Paris, Istanbul, and Cairo: The origins of criminal legislation in lae Ottoman Egypt," in A. Christmann and R.Gleave,   Studies in Islamic law: A Festschrift for Colin Imber. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2007 (Journal of Semitic Studies, supplement 23), pp. 211-232

" Waar zijn we in godsnaam mee bezig? Over de loopgraven en de valkuilen van de islamwetenschap,"   ZemZem, 2008, 3. Pp.98-105 (Een ingekorte versie van mijn afscheidsrede op 22-10-08)

Other activities

I have acted several times as an expert witness in trials against persons suspected of Islamist terrorism, such as the trials against Mohamed Bouyeri, themurderer of Theo van Gogh, and the group around him.

In April 2007 I lectured on Sharia criminal law and human rights in several cities in Darfur, at the invitation of the Rule of Law Programme of UNDP Sudan. See

From February till June 2008 I was visiting professor and researcher at The Harvard Law School (Islamic Legal Studies Programme) and Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures.

From May 2009 to December 2010 I was acting chair of Arabic studies



  • R. Peters (2013). (In)compatibility of religion and human rights: the case of Islam. In J.A. van der Ven & H.-G. Ziebertz (Eds.), Human rights and the impact of religion (Empirical research in religion and human rights, 3) (pp. 75-96). Leiden: Brill.


  • R. Peters (2010). New sources in the history of the Dakhla Oasis in the Ottoman period. In C. Tomar (Ed.), Proceedings of the International Conference on Egypt during the Ottoman era, 26-30 November 2007, Cairo (pp. 307-324). Istanbul: Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture.




  • N. van Eijk, B. Roessler, F. Zuiderveen Borgesius, M. Oostveen, . et al, R. van Son, F. Verkade, M. Vliek, C. Alberdingk Thijm, K. Apt, B. Böhler, A. den Boon, K. Breemen, V. Breemen, M. de Goede, S. van Gompel, L. Guibault, N. Helberger, A.W. Hins, B. Hugenholtz, J. Kabel, M. Loos, T. Nijhuis, G. van 't Noordende, R. Peters, M. Zieck, T. McGonagle, A. Arnbak, B. Bodó, R. Celikates, M. van Eechoud, W. Kox, J. Bekkenkamp, M. Zoghi, J. van der Ham, J. de Kloet, Y. van Tilborgh, G. Mom, J. Kleinen, Y. Donders, G. Wiegers, J. Früchtl, F. Huysmans, I. van Domselaar, S. van der Ven, A. Schneider, J. Lazardzig, R. Ligtvoet, B. Vercnocke, J. McBrien, C. Weniger, A. Tsoutsanis, P. Bloem, S. Koulouzis & L. Taylor (2014). Academics Against Mass Surveillance. (overig). [go to publisher's site]


  • R. Peters (2011). Wat̲āʼiq madīnat al-Qaṣr bi-al-wāḥāt al-dāk̲ila maṣdaran li-tārīk̲ Miṣr fī al-ʻaṣr al-ʻUt̲mānī (Silsilat Dirāsāt wat̲āʼiqiyya, 1). al-Qāhira: Dār al-Kutub wa-al-Wat̲āʼiq al-Qawmiyya, Dār al-Wat̲āʼiq al-Qawmiyya, Waḥdat al-Buḥūt̲ al-Wat̲āʼiqiyya.


  • R. Peters (2009). Islam en geloofsafval in de diaspora. In P. Kruiniger (Ed.), Teksten van de op 3 juni 2005, 2 juni 2006 en 13 juni 2008 te Leiden gehouden jaarlijkse RIMO-symposia (Recht van de Islam, 23) (pp. 141-147). Den Haag: Boom Juridische Uitgevers.


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