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Understanding Islamism

Taqqiya - An Tactic of Lying, Concealment

Mon, April 7, 2014

Salafists distributing free copies of the Quran in Germany

Salafists distributing free copies of the Quran in Germany

Taqiyya is an idea of Islamic jurisprudence that has been redefined and appropriated by Islamists as part of their political strategy. This piece is not about use of the concept in mainstream theology.

Hard to define exactly, it has been variously translated as dissimulation, concealment, lying and diplomacy. Other words that are used are kitman and idtirar. These Arabic terms all have subtly different meanings.

Nevertheless they are used to describe the same overall strategy as practiced by Islamists: using deceit as a religious and political weapon.

It has been used by Islamists in a different context. Their interpretations of scripture say that they are allowed to lie about the nature of Islam in order to further their political goals, namely world conquest.

Islamists regard war against the non-believer as perpetual, regardless of whether peace treaty exists or not. This is because any peace treaty with non-Muslims is only a temporary cease fire, or hudna, in terms of the grand plan. Therefore, taqiyya is a permitted during times of peace, as preparation for the next war has already begun. This idea is based on Islamist interpretations of the peace treaty signed between Mohammad and the Quraysh tribe in Mecca, which although signed as a ten year truce was annulled two years into the deal, resulting in Mohammad's successful conquest of Mecca.

Frequently Islamist politicians and scholars say one thing to the west in English and another thing in Arabic to their supporters. For example in 2012 during riots outside the US embassy in Cairo, the Muslim Brotherhood tweeted messages of support and solidarity in English, while exhorting their supporters to riot in Arabic.

Iran is widely suspected of utilizing taqiyya in their negotiations with the US in order to deceitfully obtain nuclear weapons.

Islamists also interpret taqiyya to permit lying about the nature of Islam to non-Muslims in order to convert them to Islam. Mainstream Muslims regard this as forbidden.