The Truth About Islam: Part 6
© 06.12.2016 By D. Eric Williams
It has been said that Islam is a religion that gains converts at the point of a sword. This is not exactly true. In the perfect Islamic world, Muslim armies gain territory for the Islamic State and everyone who comes under their control is given a choice. They are told they must convert to Islam or, if they choose to reject the faith, they will live as second-class citizens. This applies specifically to Jews and Christians. They are allowed to remain in their faith but only if they pay certain taxes and, according to the Islamic holy books, are made to feel humiliated and subdued (Koran, sura 9.29). The conditions forced upon the dhimmis (non-Muslim people constrained to submit to the rule of Islamic law) were codified in what is known as the pact of Umar. In general they were not forced to convert, but they suffered from restrictions. They paid a special tax; they were not supposed to wear certain colors; they could not marry Muslim women; their testimony was not accepted against that of Muslims in the law courts; their houses or places of worship should not be ostentatious; they were excluded from positions of power1 could not restore a place of worship that needed restoration, could not use such places for the purpose of enmity against Muslims, could not proselytize, could not prevent members of their own community from converting to Islam, were required to provide room and board for Muslims for at least three days when asked, move from a place where they were sitting if a Muslim chose to sit there, could not dress in a way similar to a Muslim and so on.2 These restrictions and more are the norm wherever Islamic law is enforced.
One of the reasons "moderate Muslims" deny the true character of Islam is because Muslims are instructed to deceive the enemies of Islam when they are not in a position to gain the upper hand. This is known as the doctrine of taqiyya. And for Islam, the upper hand is always predicated upon the ascendancy of Islam.
Two of the primary texts allowing deception among the followers of Allah are found in the Koran: Believers are not to take disbelievers for friends instead of believers. Whoever does that has nothing to do with God, unless it is to protect your own selves against them. God warns you to beware of Him. To God is the destiny (sura 3.28) and whoever renounces faith in God after having believed - except for someone who is compelled, while his heart rests securely in faith - but whoever willingly opens up his heart to disbelief - upon them falls wrath from God, and for them is a tremendous torment (16.106). Regarding 3:28, the Islamic scholar Ibn Kathir (1301-1373) wrote: "Whoever at any time or place fears their (infidels') evil, may protect himself through outward show." As proof of this, he quotes Muhammad's companions. "Abu Darda said: 'Let us smile to the face of some people while our hearts curse them.' Al-Hassan said: 'Doing taqiyya is acceptable till the day of judgment.'"
In other words, don't befriend infidels unless it is done in deceit to protect yourself (and further the cause of Islam). In addition, renouncing your faith is okay if it is a deception to protect yourself (and further the cause of Islam).
The Hadith agrees that there are times when lying is permissible: she heard Allah's Apostle saying, "He who makes peace between the people by inventing good information or saying good things, is not a liar" (3.49.857) and Narrated by 'Ali: Whenever I tell you a narration from Allah's Apostle, by Allah, I would rather fall down from the sky than ascribe a false statement to him, but if I tell you something between me and you (not a Hadith) then it was indeed a trick (i.e., I may say things just to cheat my enemy) (9.84.64).
Granted, many of us tell "white lies" in order to keep peace between family and friends. But in the Christian religion, at least, there are no Bible references where permission is granted to do so. Moreover, most of us understand that deception of enemies in time of war is common practice among all nations. But as we will see, taqiyya embodies more than that.
The origins of taqiyya are found in the Shia - Sunni split in Islam. The Shia branch of the religion insists that religious authority resides in the family of Ali, a cousin and son in law of the prophet (Shia is an abbreviation of Shiatu ?Ali, meaning "followers of Ali"). Meanwhile the Sunnis claim to be true followers of Mohammed (Sunni comes from the word "sunna" or "example," as in followers of the example of Mohammed). After the Islamic civil wars of 656 to 661 AD, the Sunnis became a majority within Islam and a general persecution of Shias ensued that continues to this day. The doctrine of taqiyya became crucial to the survival of the Shia minority. Thus, based upon the texts cited above, the Shia minority (about 10% of all Muslims) believes they are morally justified in deceiving the Sunni majority as a means of survival.
Religious freedom as we understand it does not exist in Muslim states and a restriction on unapproved religious practice extends to the minority Shia. For instance, in Saudi Arabia, Shias are considered heretics and infidels and are often persecuted - if discovered. Indeed, many Muslim clerics in Saudi Arabia have issued fatwas authorizing the murder of Shias Under these circumstances, Shias commonly practice taqiyya. They outwardly give abeyance to Sunni beliefs while inwardly they remain Shia. Thus, after 1,400 years of practicing taqiyya, Shias are often accused of being habitual liars by Sunnis.
On the other hand, Sunnis have had little reason to lie about their faith over much of the past 1400 years. With the migration of thousands of Sunni Muslims to the Western world those circumstances have changed. What was once considered a Shia fault is increasingly understood as a broader Muslim duty; deception for the sake of Islamic ascendency.
Once the need to practice taqiyya arose for Sunnis, there was ample precedent for doing so in the life and example of Mohammed. As we have seen, the Koran and Hadith clearly teach that deceit is permissible in certain situations. Moreover, it is not the record of Mohammed's words alone that supply doctrinal support for taqiyya; his actions do so as well.
In 627 AD, the early Muslims found themselves in a conflict with a confederation of non-Islamic tribes and were under siege near present day Medina. One of the "confederates," Naim bin Masud, found his way to the Muslim camp and subsequently became a Muslim believer. He was then counseled by Mohammed to return to the camp of his former comrades and hide his new beliefs while working to convince the attackers to lift the siege. Masud did so; he returned to his former friends, provided them with bad advice and worked to sow discord. Before long, the siege was abandoned and Islam was saved.
It is very important for us to understand the doctrine and practice of taqiyya as it pertains to Islam's relationship to the Western world. Always keep these two things in mind: first, Islam actually codifies deceit. And more importantly, Islam demands deception in war and Islam is always at war against the non-Muslim world - until Islam is universally respected.
In yet another example, Mohammed was angered by the opposition of a certain Jew named Ka'b bin Al-Ashraf. This man had composed unflattering poems about Mohammed and his religion but had not raised a hand against the prophet or any other Muslim. According to the Hadith, Mohammed complained about the man's "abuse" saying, "Who is willing to kill Ka'b bin Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?" Thereupon Muhammad bin Maslama got up saying, "O Allah's Apostle! Would you like that I kill him?" The prophet said, "Yes," Muhammad bin Maslama said, "Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to deceive Kab). "The prophet said, "You may say it" (5.59. 369).
Maslama succeeded in getting close to Ka'b by leading him to believe he was in sympathy with his anti-Muslim views. Then, when the opportunity presented itself, Maslama and a companion killed Ka'b, beheaded him and brought the gory trophy to the prophet of Allah. It is reported that upon seeing the head of Ka'b in the hand of Maslama, Mohammed cried out "Allah Akbar!" Sound familiar?
Thus, Mohammed is not only an advocate of deceit but the orchestrator of cold-blooded murder. Think about it; the Jew Ka'b never did anything against Mohammed and his new religion. Yes, he said things - but that does not justify physical violence against the man let alone murder. And lest we forget, this sort of behavior remains common today. Violent riots have ensued and people have lost their lives, gunned down simply for drawing cartoon pictures of Mohammed. Truly, to a devout Muslim, "oppression" of Islam through ridicule is worse than the murder of those who oppress by ridicule (cf. Koran, sura 2.190). Clearly, freedom of speech and expression of views contrary to Islam have no place whatsoever in the "religion of peace."
Click Here For Previous Article In Series