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Al-Taqiya

Reader comment on item: Radical Islam as Its Own Antidote[, Argues Reuel Gerecht]

Submitted by Yonason (United States), Jun 24, 2005 at 18:37

Does such a thing as "Moderate Islam" exist, as a clearly distinct counterpoint to "Radical Islam?" Or, is the "difference" a conceptual illusion, created by viewing the extremes of the same continuum as if they were independent entities?

As I've just discovered, and Dr. Pipes certainly must know, our enemies have their own very highly developed form of psy-ops, called "Al-Taqiya." "The word 'al-Taqiya' literally means: 'Concealing or disguising one's beliefs, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions, and/or strategies at a time of eminent danger, whether now or later in time, to save oneself from physical and/or mental injury.' " A one-word translation would be 'Dissimulation.' " (www.al-islam.org/encyclopedia/chapter6b/1.html)

There is also:

"Al-Taqiya, from the verb Ittaqu, means linguistically dodge the threat. Politically it means simulate whatever status you need in order to win the war against the enemy." (www.israelbehindthenews.com/Nov-10.htm#Taqiya)

and:

"According to Al-Taqiya, Muslims were granted the Shar'iya (legitimacy) to infiltrate the Dar el-Harb (war zone), infiltrate the enemy's cities and forums and plant the seeds of discord and sedition." (www.yahoodi.com/peace/islam.html#isjiha)

In order to catch a glimpse of one way Al-Taqiya works, we need only look at organizations like CAIR, and other apologists for Islamist terror, who use false claims of anti-Arab hate crimes to give the appearance of moral superiority. (Not to mention how CAIR maintains credibility, despite the criminal convictions of some of it's more prominent members for direct involvement in terrorist activity. (http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=18000))

Other Islamic organizations of concern are: AMC, AMA, MPAC, ISNA, AMA. No doubt there are others.

In short, deception is so firmly ensconced in the tenets and practice of Islam, that even a naturally honorable man would succumb.

As D.S. Margoliouth says, in Muhammad and the rise of Islam:

"Of any moralising or demoralising effect that Muhammad's[sic] teaching had upon his followers we cannot say with precision. When he was at the head of the Robber community, it is probable that the demoralising influence began to be felt; it was then that men who had never broken an oath learnt that they might evade their obligations, and that men to whom the blood of their clan had been as their own, began to shed it with impunity in the "cause of god". And that lying and treachery in the cause of Islam received divine approval. It was then too that Moslems became distinguished by the obscenity of their language. It was then too, that the coveting of goods and wives possessed by Non-muslims was avowed without discouragement from the Prophet...." (www.yahoodi.com/peace/muhammad.html#whatef)

And, when you consider the personality traits for which this, and the violent aspects of Islam, have been selecting for during the last 13 centuries, it is no stretch to understand the behavior of the 9/11 attackers and their many apologists.

A Non-Muslim with such character trait is defined clinically under DSM-IV as Antisocial Personality Disorder:

*Glibness/superficial charm
*Grandiose sense of self-worth
*Need for stimulation, with a proneness to boredom
*Pathological lying
*Conning and manipulating behaviors
*No sense of remorse or guilt
*A very shallow emotional affect - they display emotions they don't really feel
*A lack of empathy for others "

posted on 10/26/2004 12:46:49 PM PDT by DTA (Proud Pajamista) at (www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1257159/posts)

So, although I would partially agree with Mr. Gerecht that holding out hope for "moderate Islam" is at best problematic and caution is advised, his solution of defaulting to "radical Islam" seems to be on the order of a "psychotic break."


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Submitting....

Daniel Pipes replies:

I disagree with most of this posting. Three corrections:

1. Taqiya (or kitman) is overwhelmingly a Shi'i practice, not a Sunni one. One can find some grounds for Sunni approval of the practice but I know of no instances when establishment Sunni religious authorities sanctioned taqiya except to save one's life.

2. It usually concerns hiding one's Shi'i affiliation by pretending to be a Sunni.

3. It is sanctioned only in circumstances of great stress, specifically when one's life is in danger.

Taqiya is, thus, a very limited recourse, not a general invitation to Muslims to lie at their convenience.

For an example of taqiya in practice, here is a passage of mine from "The Alawi Capture of Power in Syria," published in 1989, on concerning the extreme Shi'i group in Syria, the 'Alawis (or Nusayris):

like other sects of Shi'i origins, 'Alawis practice taqiya (religious dissimulation). This might mean, for example, praying side-by-side with Sunni Muslims but silently cursing the Sunni caliphs. The apostate 'Alawi, Sulayman Efendi al-Adhani, recounted having been sworn to dissimulate about his religion's mysteries. An 'Alawi saying explains the sentiment behind taqiya: "We are the body and other sects are but clothing. However a man dresses does not change him. So we remain always Nusayris, even though we externally adopt the practices of our neighbors. Whoever does not dissimulate is a fool, for no intelligent person goes naked in the market." Another 'Alawi phrase expresses this sentiment succinctly: "Dissimulation is our righteous war!" (al-kitman jihadna).

A British traveler observed in 1697 that the 'Alawis are

of a strange and singular character. For 'tis their principle to adhere to no certain religion; but camelion-like, they put on the colour of religion, whatever it be, which is reflected upon them from the persons with whom they happen to converse.... No body was ever able to discover what shape or standard their consciences are really of. All that is certain concerning them is, that they make much and good wine, and are great drinkers.

A hundred and fifty years later, Benjamin Disraeli described the 'Alawis in a conversation in the novel Tancred:

"Are they Moslemin?"
"It is very easy to say what they are not, and that is about the extent of any knowledge we have of them; they are not Moslemin, they are not Christian, they are not Druzes, and they are not Jews, and certainly they are not Guebres [Zoroastrians]."

Sulayman Efendi al-Adhani explained this flexibility from within:

They take on the outward practices of all sects. If they meet [Sunni] Muslims, they swear to them and say, "We are like you, we fast and we pray." But they fast improperly. If they enter a mosque with Muslims, they do not recite any of the prayers; instead, they lower and raise their bodies like the Muslims, while cursing Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman, and other [major figures of the Sunni tradition].

Taqiya permitted 'Alawis to blow with the wind. When France ruled, they portrayed themselves as lost Christians. When Pan-Arabism was in favor, they became fervent Arabs. Over 10,000 'Alawis living in Damascus pretended to be Sunnis in the years before Asad came to power, only revealing their true identities when this became politically useful. During Asad's presidency, concerted efforts were made to portray the 'Alawis as Twelver Shi'is.

Aug. 1, 2014 update: The Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman (which belongs to the G├╝len movement) offers a looser definition of taqiya:

While Sunni Islam defines takkiyah as a legitimate denial of one's faith in circumstances where admitting this faith would endanger one's life, the Shiite interpretation of Islam also defines takkiyah as a valid means of achieving one's faith-oriented goals without such a serious threat to life.

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Reader comments (36) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
1Islam as an ideology [249 words]Paul Smith NavelOct 11, 2005 00:0526774
Islam not a religiion [7 words]Ja HAug 5, 2008 18:1526774
Militant Islam Burning [7 words]MordechaiJul 11, 2005 01:2023315
Mr. Pipes may be right [65 words]Stephen BlockJul 3, 2005 22:5623093
A pox on both ideas [77 words]ron thompsonJun 27, 2005 20:5722891
Trojan horse [178 words]praful bidwayJun 27, 2005 00:5722882
So what do we do in the meantime? [268 words]PatJun 26, 2005 20:3022880
Radical Islam is not the cure [157 words]Dvora H.Jun 26, 2005 19:0322879
Gerecht proposes deja vu [228 words]GreyGhostJun 26, 2005 17:1822877
The situation in Iran [223 words]H. YazdiJun 26, 2005 02:3922871
Tested to destruction? [133 words]Victor StoneJun 25, 2005 18:3222868
2Al-Taqiya [570 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
YonasonJun 24, 2005 18:3722855
Distinction Without A Difference? [376 words]orange yonasonOct 28, 2009 16:1322855
Dream of Eradicating Radical Islam is Futile [99 words]JaladhiJun 24, 2005 11:3122847
1Burning the house to kill the rodents? [68 words]S.C.PandaJun 24, 2005 04:2622844
One must always fear th evils of negative nationalism! [710 words]Karole du PontJun 24, 2005 00:1022842
Radical Islam as its own Antidote [687 words]Peter J. HerzJun 23, 2005 22:3722841
Islamic Democracy: One (necessary) step backward, then two steps forward [206 words]Billy ChosenJun 23, 2005 22:3122840
Respectfully questioning your views on moderate Islam [193 words]AlwaysOnWatchJun 23, 2005 18:4622837
How Many Decades Will It Take? [432 words]Mike RamirezJun 23, 2005 18:4522836
The Reality [128 words]JohnJun 23, 2005 17:5622835
I agree - please comment on a diverging opinion [171 words]Josh GJun 23, 2005 17:4522834
A Big Story [611 words]Just a readerJun 23, 2005 16:5622833
Your prescription left out something. [92 words]Si LondeJun 23, 2005 13:2422830
Curing the disease, or merely mutating it? [166 words]Joshua TruaxJun 23, 2005 12:2822829
Gerecht critique [166 words]george rosenbaumJun 23, 2005 12:1722828
Democracy vs Republic in Iran (part II) [734 words]Tom MartinJun 23, 2005 11:1822827
What is the solution? [193 words]Roger RickJun 23, 2005 11:1122826
Radical Islam as Its Own Antidote [383 words]IlluminatiJun 23, 2005 10:4722825
Moderation in Islam is flawed [257 words]Arvind MadhavanJun 23, 2005 10:4422824
Full agreement with Arvind Madhavan's comments [88 words]Daniel SchultzDec 30, 2005 10:2922824
1There is no solution [120 words]Dr. Richard TombackJun 23, 2005 10:2822823
The freedom epidemic in the mideast and Iran [320 words]Tom MartinJun 23, 2005 10:2022822
Homeopathic Remedy in Islam courts disaster [202 words]David SabghirJun 23, 2005 10:0922821
Thank you so much Dr Pipes [30 words]Neila Charchour HachichaJun 23, 2005 09:5122820
This is the kind of journalism that I like! [191 words]Octavio JohansonJun 23, 2005 08:1622818

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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