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Concept of "takiyya"

Reader comment on item: Zacarias Moussaoui Asked, Can an Airplane Pilot Shut off Oxygen to Passengers?

Submitted by Clare M. Lopez (United States), Apr 29, 2005 at 18:53

Dear Mr. Pipes:

I am sure you are aware of it, but perhaps it would help the average reader to better understand what we are up against with committed Islamist jihadis, if the concept of "takiyya" were included in a story like this. In fact, to the Western way of thinking and within our ethical framework, deception is deception and it is wrong.

Within the Muslim moral universe, the concept of "takiyya", which is religiously-sanctioned deception to protect or promote Islam, is not only moral, it is admirable because it comes from the Koran and experiences of Muhammad himself. This by no means is to excuse the behavior of a character like Moussaoui, but to place that behavior in a context about which most Americans know nothing. As Sun Tzu said many centuries ago, "Know thine enemy as you know thyself."

Sincerely,
Clare M. Lopez
Executive Director, Iran Policy Committee
Washington, DC
Submitting....

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