Taqiyya: The tactic of deception used by Islamists to conceal their true goals
Last week there was a story in Canada about an 11-year-old girl who claimed that a man had attacked her while she was on her way to school with her brother. During the attack 11-year-old Khawlah Noman said that a man had tried to cut off her hijab. As is the case, the international media, politicians and community leaders were quick to come out and condemn the attack. But the big problem was that the full facts of the case was not established and after further investigation it was established by Toronto police that the attack did not happen.
Before these facts were revealed, the girl held a press conference which was organized by the school. The national and international media listened to an 11-year-old girl describe an incident which if true should be condemned in the strongest terms. But after these facts were revealed, I went back and listened to this press conference again and I found myself becoming even more cynical about the whole series of events. The statement that was read Khawlah Noman sounded awfully robotic and scripted. Observing the mother of the girl also, I found her behaviour to be rather suspicious. This is just my opinion, I cannot confirm whether this story was concocted with the help of her family. I just started to have my doubts upon review of the original press conference.
Now there are a couple of ways that we can look at this. It is certainly not without precedent for children to make up stories for attention or some other reason and find themselves caught up in a web of lies that they cannot escape from. This behaviour has been exhibited by children probably since the dawn of time. It is completely conceivable to presume that this is what was behind Khawlah Noman’s fabrication of the story. There is however another reason. This incident reminded me of a word I have heard before, that word is Taqiyya.
Taqiyya, translated into English means “prudence, fear.” The concept of taqiyya is a form of lie that is used by people who practice Islam. Taqiyya originated in the Shia sect of Islam. Taqiyya was originally used by Muslims who feared persecution for their religion, in other words they were allowed to deny their religion if declaring their faith put them in mortal danger. Taqiyya, also known as Kitman which translates into “action of covering” has been adopted by every sect of Islam over the years, and there are very specific scriptures that can be used to condone this action.
The Prophet Muhammed sanctioned deceit to be used in 3 instances: To reconcile two quarrelling parties, to reconcile a husband and wife, or in times of war. The Quran 3:28 reads “Let believers not take for friends and allies infidels instead of believers. Whoever does this shall have no relationship left with Allah – unless you but guard yourselves against them, taking precautions.”
Some scholars have defined this over the years. Al-Tabari’s Tasfir, which is a collection of interpretations of the Quran states when referring to Quran 3:28: “If you [Muslims] are under their [infidels’] authority, fearing for yourselves, behave loyally to them, with your tongue, while harbouring inner animosity for them… Allah has forbidden believers from being friendly or on intimate terms with the infidels in place of believers – except when infidels are above them [in authority]. In such a scenario, let them act friendly towards them.” Al Tabari’s Tasfir was immediately praised by Muslims when it was written in 883 AD and is still held in high regard by Islamic scholars to this day.
There has been other interpretations put forward by other prominent Islamic scholars of Quran 3:28 over the years. Islamic scholar Ismail Ibn Kathir wrote in the 14th century “Whoever at any time or place fears their [infidels’] evil, may protect himself through outward show.” To validate this claim, Ibn Kathir points to quotes from companions of the Prophet Muhammed such as al-Hassan who said, “taqiyya is acceptable till the Day of Judgment.” Abu Darda, another one of Muhammed’s companions said “Let us smile to the face of some people while our hearts curse them.” While using taqiyya Muslims are allowed to drink wine and eat pork if it is required in order to conceal themselves, for example during a time of danger.
I have my own very personal story of “taqiyya” to tell. When I was younger I was often hanging around on the streets of London. Me and my group of friends would often encounter the weird individuals you would often come across while on the streets. One of these men that we came across was a man we knew as George. George was one of those typical oddballs you would often see hanging around on the streets of any major city. When me and my group of friends would see “George,” he was however very receptive and friendly. Maybe this was down to the fact we were a large group of teenagers and we came across as intimidating to say the least.
Even though he was a proper weirdo, he seemed like an okay guy. When we would see George, he would often be drinking alcohol or smoking weed. I remember sometimes when he would come up and talk to us we would ask “Oi Geroge, what do you do with yourself bruv?” We were generally curious because all we would ever see of this weird guy is him cycling around parts of North London on a red bicycle, I remember one time he said to us “I’m just a Christian,” or words to that effect.
The times we used to see George was around 2004-2005. In the summer of 05, the UK experienced its first major Islamist terror attack in the form of the 7/7 bombings which killed 52 people on 4 co-ordinated detonations on the London Underground and a bus. Two weeks later, terrorists attempted to strike again. I remember I was on a bus in a place called Edgware when my mum phoned me and told me to stay off the tube because news was breaking that terrorists had just attempted to attack the London Underground again. These attacks became known as the 21/7 attempted attacks. Thankfully, the attacks failed because the bombs failed to properly detonate, similar to the recent Parsons Green bombing we saw in London last year.
The city was in a panic over the course of the next few days. Tragically a young Brazilian man called Jean Charles De Menezes was shot dead by police the next day at Stockwell Tube Station by officers who mistakenly thought he was a suicide bomber. Over the course of the next few days, police operations netted the cell that was believed to be responsible. One of the places which were raided by the police was a place called Curtis House. Curtis House which is in New Southgate, North London was believed to have been the bomb factory where the terrorists assembled the devicies that they tried to detonate on the tube. This news which was released in the days following the inquiry was shocking to my friends as this tower block was on a council estate that we would often be hanging around on. This however was not to be the most shocking fact that would be revealed to me about this case.
As the months passed, I was watching the news one day when a story came on about the case of the men accused of carrying out the 21/7 bombings. A picture of one of the assailants came on the screen which caused my jaw to hit the floor. The picture starring back at me was that of George! I couldn’t believe it. George, better known as Manfo Kwaku Asiedu was accused of being one of the men who attempted to blow up a train during the failed attacks. It was said that George had “lost his bottle” and ended up dumping his bomb in a place called Wormwood Scrubs.
I could not believe what I was hearing. This utter oddball, who seemed like nothing more than a harmless nutcase had been secretly concealing his identity from all of us. As I began to read throughout my life about the topic of Islamist extremism, it became clear to me that what George was adopting when speaking to us infidels was the tactic of taqiyya. All the quotes I have previously mentioned describe George to a T. He would smile at us when he would encounter us, but secretly would have no qualms about blowing us up indiscriminately on a tube train. For any apologists who claim taqiyya doesn’t exist or is misquoted, I have seen this with my own eyes. George was subsequently found guilty and was sentenced to 33 years in prison and ordered to be deported back to his native Ghana upon his release.
Recently, I have thought of another classic case of taqiyya which seems to have gone largely unnoticed by many people. Following the dreadful Manchester attack which killed 22 people in May of last year, the Didsbury mosque came out and issued a strongly worded statement distancing themselves from former attendee Salman Abedi. Salman Abedi, the man who detonated the bomb in Manchester Arena regularly attended the mosque and his father had even led prayers there. In the statement released by the mosque following the attack, it said that it had worked peacefully in the community for many years. This however was proved not to be the whole truth.
During a topical debate program called BBC Question Time, a man in the audience produced a leaflet which he said he was handed during an open day in Didsbury mosque. The leaflet in question contained strong anti-western sentiment. Some of the statements in the leaflet espoused lines such as “Islam is incompatible with the west,” and “people in the west lack shame.” This appeared to be a contradiction to the strongly worded statement released by the mosque where they insisted these sort of feelings did not exist within the confines of the Didsbury mosque. The mosque said that they did not produce the leaflet in question and sometimes people distributed material without authorization from the mosque.
The mosque disputes that it had any effect on the actions of Salman Abedi, and because there has been seemingly no investigation, I suppose there is no proof to indicate they are lying. With that being said, being familiar with the tactic of taqyyia, please pardon my scepticism.
Picture from bbc.co.uk