Islam Undressed: Islamic Honesty and Honor
With regard to honesty and lying, Islam has some semblance to other religions. There are sections in the Qur’an where honesty is praised as a virtue, and in a general sense lying is forbidden.
In the Hadith,
This approach to communication and ethics is laudable, but unfortunately for many in the world, that direction appears to be intended as a standard limited to Muslim-to-Muslim relations, and does not necessarily apply to non-believers, whom the Islamic God does not love. Unlike most religions, within Islam there are certain provisions under which lying is not only tolerated, but actually encouraged. Bluntly stated, Islam permits Muslims to lie anytime that they perceive that their own well-being, or that of Islam, is threatened. The book "The spirit of Islam," by the Muslim scholar, Afif A. Tabbarah was written to promote Islam. On page 247, Tabbarah stated:
Outlined in the Qur’an and other Islamic sacred works is a description of the murder of one "Kab Ashraf" (see Chapter 4, Incident #4) . In this carefully chronicled event we learn that the Prophet Muhammad specifically sanctioned the use of deceit and lies to kill a troublesome opponent. For some time after his arrival in Medina, Muhammad continued to have problems with various people who refused to acknowledge his claim to prophet-hood, and had several critics murdered prior to this Kab Ashraf. Kab, a prominent local, made it known that he did not believe in Muhammad, yet never lifted a weapon against any Muslim. He only voiced his opinion against Muhammad, and allegedly made up some unsavory poems about Muslim women. Muhammad saw him as a threat, and had him killed in the night. When Kab’s volunteer assassins sought permission from the Prophet to speak falsely to gain the trust of their victim, Muhammad replied
There are other events in the life of Mohammed where he lied and instructed his followers to do the same, rationalizing that the prospect of success in missions to extend Islam's influence overrode Allah's initial prohibitions against lying. An example similar to the assassination of Kab Ashraf just referenced can be found in the story of the killing of Shaaban Ibn Khalid al-Hazly. It was rumored that Shaaban was gathering an army to wage war on Mohammed. Mohammed retaliated by ordering Abdullah Ibn Anis to kill Shaaban. Again, the would-be assassin asked the prophet's permission to lie. Mohammed agreed and then even told Abdullah exactly what lie to tell. He instructed him to lie by stating that he was a member of the Khazaa clan. So when Shaaban saw Abdullah coming, he asked him, "From what tribe are you?" Abdullah answered, "From Khazaa … I have heard that you are gathering an army to fight Mohammed and I came to join you." Abdullah then started walking with Shaaban telling him how Mohammed came to them with the heretical teachings of Islam, and complained how Mohammed badmouthed the Arab patriarchs and ruined the Arab's hopes. They continued in conversation until they arrived at Shaaban's tent. Shaaban's companions departed and Shaaban invited Abdullah to come inside and rest. Abdullah sat there until the atmosphere was quiet and he sensed that everyone was asleep. Abdullah severed Shaaban's head and carried it to Mohammed as a trophy. When Mohammed sighted Abdullah, he jubilantly shouted, "Your face has been triumphant (Aflaha al- wajho)." Abdullah returned the greeting by saying, "It is your face, Apostle of Allah, who has been triumphant. (Aflaha wajhoka, ye rasoul Allah)."
Most Muslims are familiar with the principles and concepts of Islam that justify lying in situations where they sense the need to do so. Principals taught by Muhammad such as
Principals taught by Muhammad are derived from passages in the Qur’an and the Hadith. But when confronted with writings of their own revered scholars on the subject of dishonesty, Muslims hold true to form and in the spirit of what they know is allowed, will lie about lying. An example of Islamic deception is that Muslim activists always quote the passages of the Qur’an from the early part of Mohammed's ministry while living in Mecca. These texts are peaceful and exemplify tolerance towards those that are not followers of Islam. All the while, they are fully aware that most of these passages were abrogated (cancelled and replaced) by passages that came after he migrated to Medina. Another example is in the conduct of Saudi Arabia in the war on terror. Words of support and promises of reform flow easily to Americans, but actions to date demonstrate they are only words, meant for our consumption only.
Unfortunately, passages from the Qur’an clearly reveal that lying is permitted, particularly in reference to non-believers in conflict with Muslims. It is also clear that if forced to do so, Muslims may lie under oath and can even falsely deny faith in Allah, as long as they maintain the profession of faith in their hearts. In the Qur’an,
Sura 2:225. The principal also has support in the Qur’an 3:28 and 16:106.
In the Hadith, Mohammed emphasizes the same concept. From "Ehiaa Oloum al-Din," by the famous Islamic scholar al-Ghazali, Vol. 3: PP.284-287:
One of Mohammed's daughters, Umm Kalthoum, testified that she had never heard the Apostle of Allah condone lying, except in these three situations: 1) For reconciliation among people. 2) In war. 3) Amongst spouses, to keep peace in the family.
One passage from the Hadith quotes Mohammed:
The following quote demonstrates the broadness of situations in which the prophet permitted lying
Considering that Islam has been in a perpetual state of war with non-believers, it appears there is neither accountability nor any practical limitation to deceiving non-Muslims.
The Arabic word, "Takeyya", means "to prevent," or guard against. The principle of Al-taqiyya (also called taqiah, Al-takeyya, Al-taqiyah, or kitman) conveys the understanding that Muslims are permitted to lie as a preventive measure against anticipated harm to one's self or fellow Muslims. This principle gives Muslims the liberty to lie under circumstances that they perceive as life threatening. They can even deny the faith, if they do not mean it in their hearts. Al-taqiyya is based on the following Quranic verse:
According to this verse a Muslim can pretend to befriend infidels (in violation of the teachings of Islam) and even display false adherence with their unbelief to prevent them from harming Muslims. Under this concept of Taqiyya, if under the threat of force, it is legitimate for Muslims to act contrary to their faith. The devout are taught that in such circumstances the following actions are acceptable: Drinking wine and alcoholic beverages, abandoning prayers, skipping fasting during Ramadan, renouncing belief in Allah and Muhammad, kneeling in homage to a deity other than Allah, and uttering insincere oaths and covenants.
Al-taqiyya and dissimulation refer to the practice of Muslims blatantly lying to non-Muslims, but the principal goes beyond mere lying for propaganda purposes. In accordance with this license to deceive, during time of weakness the Qur’an allows Muslims to have both a declared agenda and a secret agenda. The theological principle of Taqiyya means hiding one's true beliefs and intentions to confuse ones adversaries and enable mujahedeen to operate freely amongst enemies. The word comes from a root meaning "to guard against, to keep (oneself)". From the verb Ittaqu, it means linguistically to 'dodge the threat'. In this vein, a Muslim, if necessary, may eat pork, drink alcohol, and even verbally deny the Islamic faith, as long as it is with the tongue only, and he does not "mean it in his heart". A believer is taught he can make any statement as long as the 'heart is comfortable'. If the end result of the lie is perceived by the Muslim to be good for Islam or useful to bringing someone to "submission" to Allah, then it can be sanctioned. Indeed it is common practice for Muslims, especially leaders, to lie about any war or conflict involving Muslims vs. non-Muslims. Muslims reverting to deceptive tactics unashamedly do so with full knowledge they are adhering to Mohammed's words and example, so they operate without conscience believing they are absolved from any negative divine consequence. Even the Islamic God, Allah himself, is described in the Qur’an in the most literal translation from Arabic as; "the best of deceivers." [Sura 8:30] Another English translation goes; "They schemed - but God also schemed. God is most profound in His machinations". So it appears that the deity Muslims worship is a God of deception, or at least to non-believers. This Sura relates that when non-believers deceived and schemed, planning evil against Muslims, that Allah also schemed, and his deceptions were superior. If you can wrap your mind around the concept of a perfect lie, you can understand better the Muslim God.
In state-to-state relations Al-taqiyya political version is known as Kitman. Politically it means to project whatever image is necessary and advantageous in order to gain concessions from an adversary. The accepted principle of sanctioning lying for the cause of Islam bears grave implications in the sphere of international politics. The usual method of civilized diplomacy and negotiations might normally culminate in state treaties or other articles of agreement, but must be based on honesty, trust, and honored by both parties. But this principle of sanctioning lying for the cause of Islam implies that true lasting negotiated settlements may not be possible, as Muslims today seem to be taking ever greater liberty in expanding the parameters and scope of circumstances under which they are permitted to lie or use deceptive tactics. Knowing this, can non-Muslims expect anything more than deception and double-speak from Muslim leaders? Will nation-to-nation treaties with Islamic states yield the hoped for peace and benefits to the non-Muslim participants to such agreements? Unfortunately, when dealing with Muslims, one must keep in mind the implications of the principle of taqiyya, in that Muslims can communicate something with apparent sincerity, when in reality they may have in their hearts the opposite agenda.
In addition to the predisposition to political deception, there is also another method of deception employed in military situations when it comes to treaties, truces, and ceasefires. Many don’t realize that for Muslims the term ‘treaty’ has no true Arab/Islamic equivalent. In western forms of truces the goal is a permanent cessation of hostilities. In Islamic thinking a suspension of hostilities can only be a temporary lull, so the Muslim ‘hunda’ means something very different that the western ‘truce’. There is an important and controlling historical precedent dictating the limits of military negotiations with Muslims. In AD 628 – Muhammad ongoing military conquests were not going well against one certain city, and so for tactical purposes he signed a treaty with the Meccan Quarish tribe. The Al-Hudaybiyya agreement between the Prophet and the Quarish was signed for a period of 10 years, which became, in Islamic tradition, the time limit for any agreement with non-Muslims. The Al-Hudaybiyya agreement was broken just 18 months later when Mohammed’s rejuvenated army advanced and conquered Mecca. Because of the difficulty he had subduing them, after they surrendered Mohammed had all 600 men from the city slaughtered, and sold the women and children into slavery.
Have you noticed that every time militant Arab Muslim groups find themselves in a losing position in conflicts they initiated, they immediately proclaim they are ready to suspend hostilities and begin negotiations? They suddenly become concerned with victims, saying "Peace" so often it becomes meaningless, yet Westerners fall for it every time. Arab Muslims have an insidious habit of negotiating falsely, a tactic that is all too easy to pass off to ignorant Westerners longing for peace. Terrorists who rise up and kill (Saddam Hussein in his time, Yasser Arafat, Osama Bin Laden, the Janjaweed in Darfur, and now Iraqi terrorists Moqtada Sadr and al-Zarqawi) never stop or sue for peace when finding success. But when hit hard and causalities mount, they immediately plead for negotiations, only to start attacking again after resting and regrouping. In most prior wars involving nation states, Islamic countries howl for international intervention only when they start to lose battles they started. Nations need to start learning these rather transparent lessons of history. When they say they want to negotiate a fair ending to the conflict, it's a trick to call for a truce breather - called a "hudna". Perhaps it's forgivable for Western governments to make one or two mistakes in negotiations with Islamists, but when the same mistake is made time and again - then it is no longer mere error, its pure stupidity.
The late Yassar Arafat’s signatures all had about the same value as Muhammad’s 10-year promise made to the Quarish people he slaughtered 1 ½ years later. Arafat was a master in the art of duplicity, respected by his fellows in part because he enjoyed so many propaganda victories in his battle against the truth. Arafat frequently used the hudna ploy, relying upon the ignorance of the West. On May 10, 1994, ten days after signing the First Gaza-Jericho agreement, Arafat spoke in English at a Johannesburg mosque explaining to his people why he was returning to the Peace table. He was unknowingly recorded to say; "This agreement, I am not considering it more than the agreement which had been signed between our prophet Muhammad and Quraysh..." To his own people in Arabic, Arafat had often repeated this illusion to the Hudaibiya Treaty. Although obscure to us, Palestinians understood perfectly well what he meant. Under the false promise of peaceful 'accommodation' or 'truce', Arafat had made and broken many agreements over time. When Arafat's terrorists were stalking around the streets of Amman, Jordan in the 1960s, he made 26 separate agreements with King Hussein, breaking every single one. He went too far when he put out a contract on the King's brother, wherein the King finally declared war in September 1970 and slaughtered 7,000 of Arafat's Terrorists. Palestinians call that purge "Black September", often naming Terror attacks after it. To Israel and Westerners, the Oslo accords were supposed to provide the foundation for peace, but to Islamists they were never more than a temporary "hudna" intended to be broken from the beginning. Even after violating a recently signed cease-file, if the situation on the ground proves too dangerous once again, it is all too easy to follow it with another truce. This kind of "Bait & Switch" tactic harks back to Mohammed’s previously mentioned treaty with the Quarish, and is a template still in use because Muslims have enjoyed so much success with it.
As Muslims are instructed by the eminent Islamic scholar Imam Abu Hammid Ghazali (Al-Ghazali), one of the most famous and respected Muslim theologians of all time: "Speaking is a means to achieve objectives. If a praiseworthy aim is attainable through both telling the truth and lying, it is unlawful to accomplish through lying because there is no need for it. When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible." (The Reliance of the Traveler, sec r8.2, pg 745) By this logic, the praiseworthy, permissible goal of "making the whole world Islamic by Jihad" sanctifies any dishonest statement made to any non-Muslim opposing that effort. Muhammad said, "War is deception" and demonstrated this principal in his numerous Jihadic campaigns. Like Muhammad, it appears that a majority of Muslims consider the act of lying to non-Muslims in the advance of Islam to be a good work. This right to lie is not immoral in Muslim minds for the same reasons that give them the right to murder, rape and enslave infidels under the holy banner of Jihad. Amir Taheri, an Iranian author of ten books on the Middle East and Islam, said regarding taqiyya,
In a book of Arabic maxims, novelist Ayako Sono cites proverbs and truisms describing commonly understood principals of the Arabic culture . The innate principals reduced to familiar sayings are hard for non-Muslims to comprehend, but are simply common sense for Arab Muslims. For instance, one popular saying goes, A man lacking in cunning is like an empty matchbox. Another says, A well-told lie is better than an unbelievable truth. Such guidelines and advice flow easily from a culture illuminated only by the Qur’an. This convenient morality is why few Muslims blink when they hear a spokesperson deceiving ignorant infidels claiming Islam is peaceful and tolerant. Westerners, accustomed to religious leaders and spokespersons that strive for accuracy and honesty, are inclined to assume pious Muslim representatives are similarly predisposed. Muslim representatives are aware of this inclination and delighted their task of verbally twisting Islam into a form acceptable to Americans is so easy. Although quite willing to take advantage of liberal sensibilities, behind our backs they are amused at our overall ignorance and poor awareness of Islam’s mainstream goals and methods.
In mathematics, if A=B, and B=C, and C=D, then it is logical and correct to conclude that A=D. Now we know that Jihad is integral to Islam, and that war has always been a part of Jihad. We also know that for Muhammad and his followers ‘War is deception’. Although not generally true in Muslim-Muslim relations, for non-believers the following same simple logic should always be kept in mind when dealing with Islamists.
Islam = Jihad, Jihad=War, War=Deception …therefore; Islam = Deception.
It is often difficult to differentiate between "extremist" and "moderate" Muslims core values, as indeed it often appears to be more a matter of form than sustenance. But by listening carefully to their spokespersons, some conclusions can be inferred. The "extremists" tell the truth about the teachings of Islam, and have considerable, indeed overwhelming, textual authority on their side in the Qur'an, Hadith, and the Sira. The "moderates", so eagerly repeated and invoked, are actually more ill-defined, under-analyzed, and poorly understood, and have almost no textual authority on their side. The timidity of the supposed larger Muslim community has its roots in acute self-awareness that they are, to the degree that they disavow Jihad, incomplete or bad Muslims. As such this supposed majority, so weak in both foundation and conviction, can be nothing but inept at moderating the much more powerful and authoritive extremist elements amongst them. Most remain silent out of embarrassment, timidity, piety, fear, reverence, or sometimes a desire to support the deliberate religiously-sanctioned Islamic deception machine. More often than they care to admit, Muslims know all about what is expected of them by their religion, and much of what we hear from the Muslim mainstream is simple Taqiyya. After all, to go against true Islam is a death sentence in this life and the next. Although most Muslims will not participate in religiously sanctioned violence and treachery against their own country and neighbors, most are perfectly content to ride the coat tails of those willing to bloody their hands doing the dirty work of the God they worship, as taught by the word and example of His Messenger, Muhammad. Former Muslims often state that the idea of Moderate Islam is a myth, nothing more than a western illusion as such an idea presupposes rejection of some or all core tenants of Islam. Anyone who rejects, or wishes to reform even one single teaching of the Qur’an is considered to be a renegade and an apostate. Should we count on moderate Muslims coming to our rescue in sufficient numbers and strength? Survival dictates we not throw all our eggs in that basket until it becomes something more than an Arabian mirage.
Historically, Jihadic deception was a formidable weapon, even more powerful than Western methods. This is because it has a civilization/global dimensions versus the narrow State interest in classical Western methods of intelligence gathering and subversive tactics deployed on a much smaller scale. The original Fatah refers to the Arab-Islamic invasion and conquest of the upper Middle East and the outside world. In the early years of the Islamic conquest of the Arabian Peninsula, the concept of Al-taqiyya was devised to achieve success against the enemy (non-Muslims). Accordingly, Muslims were granted the right to infiltrate the Dar el-Harb (war zone), infiltrate the enemy's cities and forums, and to plant the seeds of discord and sedition. Such agents were acting on behalf of the Muslim authority at war, and therefore were not considered to be lying against or denouncing tenants of Islam, but were considered "legitimate" mujahedeen, whose mission was to undermine the enemy's resistance and level of mobilization. One of the major objectives of these early agents of sedition was to cause a split among the enemy's camp while downplaying any issues related to Islam. In many instances, they convinced their targeted audiences that the Jihad is not aimed at them. The indigenous people were more than happy to hear that they were not targeted. Local Muslims convinced many Jews that they will be protected from conniving Christians, and they convinced many Christians that Jews were the mortal enemies, because they killed Issa (Jesus). They convinced the Aramaics, Copts, and Hebrews that the enemy is Greece, and signed peace agreements with the Byzantines Greeks at the expense of Maronite Aramaics. Meanwhile the (allegedly) "un-Islamic" Muslims continued their attacks on the target's property and life. About the same period, they convinced the knitted diversity of India to degrade into civil war by introduction of a variant Buddhist/Mystical Islam called Sufism. Decried by most as "deviant Islam", it served a practical purpose to ease the transition of new recruits from local communities in India, resulting in divisions along Muslim/non-Muslim lines, and eventually fomenting unrest and chaos in the land. The net effect was to prepare the region for waves of armed Islamic invaders by Mohammad bin Qasim, Mahmud Ghaznavi, and others. This Jihadic method of deception and subversion was one of the most fascinating and efficient arms of the early Islamic conquests. As a result, in less than four decades, the Middle East fell to Arab-Islamic rule.
Al-taqiyya is still in use and widely practiced today. In the West, Arab-Islamic missionaries continue to succeed converting the uneducated, weak, disillusioned, and criminal elements by feeding them a Western "moderate" version of Islam, while at the same time denouncing the actions of militant Muslims in the rest of the world as 'un-Islamic'. This is done to prevent the new converts from seeing the real face of Islam, or at least until their faith or mental conditioning is strong enough to turn them against their own country, people, and even family. Today taqiyya and the Left have formed an unholy alliance, and are winning massively because of widespread ignorance of the nature of 'true Islam' amongst Westerners, both secular and religious. The dark family secret of the American far-Left is that its followers share one powerful trait with Osama bin Laden: They need to look down on others, to feel superior and just. The Left complain and threaten claiming its racist or Islamophobic to hold the religion or its violent expansive civilization accountable for its own failures and the horrors it inflicts on others. Our domestic Left, and its representative media organizations, self-righteously shout and point to the excesses of a few renegade guards at Abu Ghraib prison, remaining completely silent on the industrial-scale massacres by Saddam Hussein, the government of Sudan, and so many active other terrorist regimes and organizations. Our liberal self-appointed "voices of conscience" fail to speak out against the beheading of Paul Johnson Jr. or Nick Berg, or the hundreds of Iraqi doctors, lawyers, engineers and educators brutally killed trying to build a humane government for themselves and their compatriots. Nor is there any mention of the countless Iraqi civilians killed by car bombs. For that matter, elites would prefer we forget all about the victims of 9/11. To them the only individuals worthy of sympathy and compassion are the downtrodden and oppressed terrorists themselves. In their minds, the terrorists’ grievances and right to violent self-expression trump any victims’ right to life and liberty. So now, to the weak-minded and easily manipulated, right has become wrong, good is evil, black is white, and the earth has become completely flat! To these morally challenged no amount of pain, death and loss will help them to see the truth about the theology determined to destroy the freedoms they use to spew such propaganda. These people will only see the light when they are personally faced with the ‘convert or die’ choice, and to save their own skins will likely be the first to declare; "There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah".
The very famous Greek philosopher, Aristotle (384-322 BC) made a simple observation that: "Liars when they speak the truth are not believed". He may have been influenced by Aesop, the Greek fabulist (620-560 BC) who said;
or he may have simply repeated what his mother told him as a child after catching him in an adolescent fib. Either way, the advice is sound in any age, and tells us essentially that if an individual is known to practice deception, everything he/she states or claims is suspect. To continue to operate, all con-artists need first to be trusted. There has to be some degree of anonymity for a deceptive entity to continue to produce new victims. To successfully end the current Jihad declared against it, it is important that the non-Muslim world stop playing the gullible, willing victim quite so well. Islamic apologists, particularly the left-leaning mass media, need to re-access their agenda and decide if they want to continue advocating for a totalitarianism system masquerading as a religion aspiring to control freedom of religion, political affiliation, free speech, and the free press. Peter Jennings had been the sole anchor on ABC's World News Tonight since 1983. He, Ted Koppel, Dan Rather, and all the rest of the talking heads should make inquiries at Al-Jazeera as to positions available to independent journalists not willing to vilify Jews, Christians, Americans, and Infidels. These guys should be smart enough to connect the dots, draw the lines, infer the obvious, and then re-evaluate their alliances.
- Amir Taheri: "Holy Terror", Sphere Books, London, 1987
- Ayako Sono Arabu-no Kakugen (Arabic maxims) published by Shinchosha, 2001