This is an article in the series A Look Into Islam.

There is a facet of Islam that isn’t discussed or understood in the West nearly as much as it should be — the religious practice of deception, or taqiyya. Since they were often a tiny minority in the larger Sunni population, Shi’a Muslims would use taqiyya to deceive others around them, concealing the nature of their true beliefs in order to survive. While it could be argued that the practice of taqiyya began with Shi’a Muslims, it is now widely accepted throughout all of Islam. And since Sharia law recognizes no difference between church and state in Islam, the practice of taqiyya has come to be used in all aspects of Muslim life, both religious and political. When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claims that his country is doing nuclear research for purely peaceful applications, he is practicing taqiyya upon the world. When confronted with evidence of plutonium, he will likely continue practicing taqiyya. “What plutonium? Oh, you mean this plutonium. Gosh, how did that get there?”

In an earlier article, I referred to a news report of Sunnis being dragged into the streets and set afire by Shi’as. There is now some real doubt that this story really happened. The news services are all quoting Capt. Jamil Hussein in Iraq, but is this single source credible? It is quite possible that this story is yet another example of taqiyya being used to spread anti-Shi’a hatred — not that Iraq needs any more of that right now. And do you remember the infamous faked-up Reuters photo? Is it just an example of shoddy journalism, or is it taqiyya in action? What about the much-ballyhooed story of the Lebanese ambulance supposedly hit by Israeli munitions? Was this an example of faking the news just for the thrill of it, or was it taqiyya again?

This brings me to a classic example of taqiyya: Palestinian news reports. The people at Second Draft have done a great job of showing two examples of intentional deception in the news. Next time you hear about some atrocity committed by Israeli forces on innocent Palestinian bystanders, you should consider the level of taqiyya used in that area to produce “news.” Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are two videos produced by Second Draft about Palestinian taqiyya. If these YouTube links stop working, you can access the movies directly from the Second Draft site.


Birth of an Icon

All this begs the question: how do you deal with a religious culture that sanctions lying and deception?

I was driving home from work one night when the airhead on Air America Radio suggested that we should just talk with everyone and negotiate peace. This statement came about because of a message in January from Osama bin Laden, promising a truce. The White House was quick to reiterate its position that the U.S. will “not negotiate with terrorists. We put them out of business.” The liberal radio babe lamented this position of the administration, and she wondered out loud if we couldn’t solve most of our current problems with the terrorists if we just sat down with them and talked. After all, can’t we all just get along?

Well, no. We can’t.

Negotiations only work when both parties are willing to compromise their stated positions. Were I not a Luddite when it comes to cell phones, I would have given her a call to explain this concept, since she was obviously unaware of it. In the States, it is common to see management and labor negotiating new contracts. Each side will state what it wants, and the negotiations begin. As long as both sides are willing to compromise their demands to reach an acceptable middle ground, the negotiation will reach a point where both parties are equally content. But even business negotiations can break down when one side or the other is unwilling to budge from its demands.

The problem with negotiating with terrorists is that they want us dead, and we want to live. How can you negotiate a middle ground between life and death so that both sides can agree? Unlike Schrödinger’s cat, people don’t exist in a half-alive/half-dead quantum state. It becomes a question of which side is willing to give up its demands.

The problem with negotiating with someone who wants you dead is just that — he wants you dead. You can’t reason with such a person. You can’t “feel his pain.” Mississippi Klansmen didn’t grab three Northern students in 1964 so they could have a nice, reasonable chat about race relations. When Michael Schwerner attempted to negotiate with his kidnappers by saying, “I understand how you feel, sir,” their response was a bullet to the heart. Yep, there was a whole lot of negotiating done that day.

To be honest, death is not the only thing that the terrorists have demanded. The terrorists have essentially offered the U.S. and the Western world three options: convert to Islam (more specifically, the correct brand of Islam), accept a state of slavery known as dhimmi, or be killed. Are you willing to accept any of these options? Perhaps the same people who said, “Better red than dead” when confronted by the Soviet Union might be willing to accept either of the first two options, but I am not.

When someone says that he wants to kill me, it’s not time to negotiate. It is time to stop him in his tracks and make sure that my family is safe from him. And if that means killing him before he has a chance to attack, then so be it. If the terrorists currently assaulting us had not shown such a willingness to die if it meant taking us with them, then we wouldn’t work so hard to let them accomplish the first part of their desire.

And we have been effective in killing these terrorists — so effective, in fact, that Osama says he is willing to accept a truce from the U.S.:

We do not object to a long-term truce with you on the basis of fair conditions that we respect. We are a nation, for which God has disallowed treachery and lying.

Yep, Osama is willing to accept a truce from us because he is winning, right? Hah! The losing side sues for peace. But assuming that Osama is honest about wanting a truce — and I agree with Victor David Hanson that he doesn’t — I would never accept a truce with him because of one word.


Broadly translated, hudna is an Arabic word meaning “truce,” “armistice” or “cease-fire,” but it has a special meaning for Muslims.

Wikipedia gives this description of hudna:

According to Umdat as-Salik, a medieval summary of Shafi’i jurisprudence, hudnas with a non-Muslim enemy should be limited to 10 years: “if Muslims are weak, a truce may be made for ten years if necessary, for the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) made a truce with the Quraysh for that long, as is related by Abu Dawud” (‘Umdat as-Salik, o9.16). defines hudna thus:

Hudna has a distinct meaning to Islamic fundamentalists, well-versed in their history: The prophet Mohammad struck a legendary, ten-year hudna with the Quraysh tribe that controlled Mecca in the seventh century. Over the following two years, Mohammad rearmed and took advantage of a minor Quraysh infraction to break the hudna and launch the full conquest of Mecca, the holiest city in Islam.

In essence, this is religious license to renege on ones word, and to regroup, rearm, and reorganize to attack when ones enemy is lulled into thinking that one will be honest and fulfill ones side of a truce. This is tactic has been used over and over in Islam’s history, and is used to great effect today by Yasser Arafat, Hamas, al-Aqsa, and other Islamic terrorists all over the world. Recent examples include Fallujah and Najaf. What Westerners need to do is to read Islamic scripture and learn that in Islam there is no concept of permanent submission to any other power than God’s. Treaties mean nothing. Beware the hudna.

So to a radical Muslim, a truce is only to be entered into for strategic reasons. Once the Muslim force is no longer weak, the truce may be broken on any pretext in order to crush the infidel with their righteous jihad. Knowing this, how effective do you think negotiations will be with a group of religious radicals who believe they have carte blanche to lie to us? Still don’t believe me? Then it’s time to look up the definition of two other words worth learning (thanks again to

kitman: hiding the truth about Islam from the infidels; lie by omission, rather than by commission, as in taqiyya.

taqiyya: Dissimulation; lying for the sake of ones religion; concealing ones true religious beliefs for strategic reasons. Taqiyya is a lie by commission, rather than by omission, as in kitman. The concept of al-taqiyya is one historically associated with Shia Islam. This is because Sunni Muslims, who believe that Shiites are heretics, would impel them to denounce their faith, thinking this would expose them as mushrikeen when they refused to. In response, the Shia would do so, but hold true to their faith in their hearts, thus preserving their faith and their lives. Taqiyya is now used by all Muslims as a means of deceiving infidels about Islam’s aims, practices, and aspirations.

When Osama says, “We are a nation, for which God has disallowed treachery and lying,” he is practicing taqiyya.

How can you agree to negotiate with someone who not only desires your death, but who is willing to lie, deceive and backstab to get what he desires?