mainstream. … Taqiyya is very prevalent in Islamic politics, especially in the modern era[p. 7; my own translation]."Some erroneously believe that taqiyya is an exclusively Shia doctrine: as a minoritygroup interspersed among their traditional enemies, the much more numerous Sunnis,Shias have historically had more "reason" to dissemble. Ironically, however, Sunnisliving in the West today find themselves in a similar situation, as
are now theminority surrounded by
historic enemies—Christian infidels.The primary Koranic verse sanctioning deception vis-à-vis non-Muslims states: "Letbelievers [Muslims] not take for friends and allies infidels [non-Muslims] instead of believers. Whoever does this shall have no relationship left with Allah—unless you butguard yourselves against them, taking precautions" (3:28; other verses referenced bythe ulema in support of taqiyya include 2:173, 2:185, 4:29, 16:106, 22:78, 40:28). Al-Tabari's (d. 923) famous
(exegesis of the Koran) is a standard and authoritativereference work in the entire Muslim world. Regarding 3:28, he writes: "If you [Muslims]are under their [infidels'] authority, fearing for yourselves, behave loyally to them,
, while harboring inner animosity for them. … Allah has forbidden believersfrom being friendlyor on intimate terms with the infidels in place of believers—exceptwhen infidels are above them [in authority]. In such a scenario, let them
friendlytowards them."Regarding 3:28, Ibn Kathir (d. 1373, second in authority only to Tabari) writes,"Whoever at any time or place fears their [infidels'] evil may protect himself throughoutward show." As proof of this, he quotes Muhammad's close companion, Abu Darda,who said, "Let us smile to the face of some people [non-Muslims] while our heartscurse them"; another companion, al-Hassan, said, "Doing taqiyya is acceptable till theDay of Judgment [i.e., in perpetuity]."Other prominent ulema, such as al-Qurtubi, al-Razi, and al-Arabi, have extendedtaqiyya to cover deeds. In other words, Muslims can
like infidels—including bybowing down and worshiping idols and crosses, offering false testimony, even exposingfellow Muslims' weaknesses to the infidel enemy—anything short of actually killing aMuslim.Is this why the Muslim American sergeant Hasan Akbar attacked and killed his fellowservicemen in Iraq in 2003? Had his pretense of loyalty finally come up against a wallwhen he realized Muslims might die at his hands? He had written inhis diary: "I maynot have killed any Muslims, but being in the army is the same thing. I may have tomake a choice very soon on who to kill."
War is deceit
None of this should be surprising considering that Muhammad himself—whoseexample as the "most perfect human" is to be tenaciously followed—took an expedientview of lying. It is well known, for instance, that Muhammad permitted lying in threesituations: to reconcile two or more quarreling parties, to one's wife, and in war (seeSahih Muslim B32N6303, deemed an "authentic" hadith).