Taqiya, Jaqiya and Chaqiya
M Akmal Makhdum
Taqiya is a topic that appeared after 9/11, when a group of previously unknown authors suddenly started writing polemics about Islam, Prophet Muhammad and Muslims in general. The gist of these writings was that Muslims were suspect citizens of the West at least and potential terrorists at worst. The pseudo-philosophy that emanated from the contrived clash of civilisations is fully embedded in the anti-Muslim policies that are needed to continue the war-on-terror-crusade.
Robert Spencer, a previously unknown author, and a rabid Islamophobe is one of such authors, writing insulting books on Islam and Muslims. He and colleagues preach hate against Muslims. They suggest, on some remote historical authority that Taqiya is a concept in Shia Muslim sharia. According to this ‘discovery’, they suggest that Shia Muslims may hide the fact that they are Shia for fear of persecution.
If this concept of Taqiya is left there, there is no issue with that. It is logical, intuitive, humane and understandable religious dispensation granted to protect life and limb of its followers. So far so good, but, then these “experts” make a fantasy leap of attribution. Surprisingly, they all seem to have the same idea about how to expand the concept of Taqiya and attribute their conclusions on Taqiya onto all Muslims. These authors synchronously write that Taqiya is a necessary act of deliberate deceit incumbent on all Muslims, Sunni or Shia, against their western co-citizens.
This attribution is dangerous. This is the same strategy of hate Nazis perpetrated onto Jews of Germany. They attributed all inhumane characteristics to them. Similarly, the Taqiya hate campaign is being relentlessly waged against Muslims. For the American population it may be effective in its impact.
Most recently, a republican politician, Dr Ben Carson, a GOP presidential aspirant stated that a Muslim should never become president of USA. His stated reason, Taqiya! Muslims in USA, who are aware of this propaganda pejorative, are aghast at such Islamophobic, hateful and anti-American statement in political mainstream. But, this is what he said and shamelessly defended it on TV appearances.
Amongst Muslims, across the World, hardly anyone has any clue as to what is Taqiya Muslim-Haters are talking about. That is now a mainstream discussion in USA.
A clique of Islamophobic TV persons berates Muslims, ad nauseum, about Taqiya. These authors say that, as this is a concept in Shia Islam that Shia may refuse to state that they are Shia, under persecution. Their giant fantasy leap, from saving ones life to making it a universal duty to lie is purely a Horowitz-Pipes-Spencer-Geller concoction. It is their ‘expert’ opinion. Nowadays anyone who writes prolific polemics about Islam is a media, terrorism, Islam expert.
How these post 9/11 polemical authors charge Muslims of compulsory religious lying is staggering. But vociferous propagandists are preaching this message of hate against Muslims in the West on all media outlets.
It is now a matter of record that a cabal of Muslim hating extremist groups and donors is funding these “personalities” on TV and media, as experts on Islam. These are the people who started the campaign that triggered Jullends Posten publish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005. They deliberately incite repeated hate preaching initiatives on all types of media. All such initiatives are funded by extreme-Zionist (Jew-ists, a parallel of Islamist) and Extremist-Christian (Christian-ists, a parallel of Jew-ists) spreading suspicion and hate against Muslims.
Religious History of Taqiyya
Muslims describe Taqiya as ‘Being Pious’, derived from the Quranic word, Taqwa: to ‘Fear God’, ‘piety’, ‘to do good in obedience to God’, ‘in restricting self from committing sins’. There are other similar pious and virtuous meanings of the word and its derivatives. If we accept the assertion of these Jew-ists and Christian-ists that Taqiya exists in Islamic literature, albeit a few hundred years after the advent of Islam, we see that it is an act of derived from piety but saving oneself from severe persecution. The other fact is that there is no contemporary relevance of Taqiya even in Shia Islam, at least for the last many hundreds of years.
Lying is strictly prohibited in Islam. A liar is descried as unfit to be a Muslim. If it is something Shias Sharia did allow its followers in 7th and 8th century AD, when Shias were brutally persecuted by Sunni Caliphs. It is contemporarily redundant. There is no persecution of Shia in the World, except when they are a minority, like any other minority community in any part of the World. There is no threat to being a Shia in any modern, UNO recognised state of being killed for just being a Shia. Why would this be a necessity in the West, for a Shia? Western societies are not persecuting Shias. Why would this archaic concept be valid in the West?
Judeo-Christian History of Taqiyya
If one accepts the original conception of Taqiya, it actually means religious dispensation for refuting one’s faith, in the face of death. If that is the case then we should be able to search, and find, dispensation for similar acts in all monotheistic faiths. No faith would wish severe persecution on its followers. Jews were persecuted in their early history, so were Christians. We could see many strings that bind these faiths together. Monotheistic religions are called Abrahamic religions because Abraham is the father of all such religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Religious doctrines are similar; religious personalities are the same, if only for Muslims and not for Jews and Christians. Books are the same, from one God, which, in Islam is called “The Book”, culminating in its final version, Quran.
When we search for this particular thread of thought and actions, in Judaism and Christianity, patriarchs of faiths easily direct us to two very distinct sets of actions and statements, about Taqiyya.
Taqiya in Torah and Bible
The beginnings of Taqiya are seen in the Bible when Abraham is described denying that Sarah (Sarai) is not his wife, to Pharaoh, for fear of being killed. He suspected that the king was attracted to his wife. As a result of his statement the king actually takes Sarah to his harem. Once again, on another occasion, in the Bible, we see Abraham denies the same to King Abimelech that Sarah was not his wife. Once again he fears being killed by the King and princes who are attracted to his wife for her beauty. Both times he says that Sarah is his sister. As a result of his statement, king Abimelech takes Sarah to his harem and some records suggest keeps her there for a significant period of time, as his wife. When confronted by King Abimelech about this falsehood, Abraham says that he was actually truthful because Sarah (Sarai) was also his half sister, from the same father but from a different mother (Genesis 20:2). Then Bible tells us that Isaac, Abraham’s son tells Abimelech (because he also has to find sanctuary in his country) that Rebekah was his sister and not his wife for fear of being killed. King and princes were desirous of Rebekah. Here we see patriarchs of monotheistic religions committing Taqiyya. For fear of life and for fear of their loved one’s safety they hide facts from potential persecutors. (Genesis 26:7)
We do not see evidence of Taqiya in Jesus’s life. We also do not see Taqiyya in the life of Muhammad. (Quran 22:5).
We arrive at the same place from where we started that: Taqiya is a post 9/11, modern polemic against Muslims by well organised Islamophobic think tanks and organisations that serve anti-Muslim interests. To demonise Muslims in this regard allows them to dehumanise Muslims. (The undeniable overlap: right-wing Zionism and Islamophobia. H Aked. 29 September 2015).
In reality, Taqiya is a concept unknown in Islamic world. It is never practiced as no Muslim calls himself a non-Muslim in his own country or for that matter even in a non-Muslims country. It is not referred to in any Sunni Muslim doctrine.
Nowadays, it is used as an Islamophobic, anti-Muslim tool by the likes of anti-Muslim propagandist cliques of Horowitz-Pipes-Spencer and Geller. They have constructed the argument that Muslims must lie in Christian communities about their intentions (Anti-Muslim bigotry is being funded by the Israel-right-or-wrong crowd. E. Bulkin, D. Nevel on October 12, 2012). If that’s the case and Muslims are threatened with their lives and lives of their families and they say that they are not Muslims then one may accept it’s presence or validity. The fact is that nowhere any Muslim is under coercion in a Christian community, and denying being a Muslim, to save his life!
What Horowitz-Pipes-Spencer-Geller cabal suggests: that Muslims must lie as part of religious doctrine, is anti-Muslim hate speech. It is hate inciting against Muslims across the world, particularly against Muslims in the USA and Europe. It is primal Islamophobic hate. If we apply the same hate-philosophy to Christians, it is saying that: Bible was used by Apartheid South African whites to kill, maim and enslave blacks Bible is the manual of slavery and murder. But, in reality, the Taqiya-talk-rule says much more than that: it also says that because a small group in Christianity committed holocaust against Jews in Europe, it is incumbent upon all Christians to be mass murderers. Or every Christian who claims to be Christian must be suspected of having genocidal urges, all the time.
In Islamic populations across the world, the concept of Taqiya is as elusive as the golden winged dragon sitting on a flying carpet eating hummus!
A Druze (non-Muslim) author, Sami Makarem and abovementioned Muslim hating Christian-ists and Jewish-ist authors have written wildly about this topic. Their aim, of those who talk of Taqiya, is to create suspicion against and hate towards Muslims and Islam.
To give any credence to these authors who are funded and published by Muslim-hating publishing houses, extremist Christian, Zionist financed groups, is to accept hate. They are spreading hate that’s contrived and deliberate. (Sami Makarem. Al Taqiya fil Islam; Raymond Ibrahim, Islam Translated, David Horowitz Freedom Centre)
Taqiya, if it is a valid ecclesiastical thought in Shia doctrine, is directly reflected in the Christian Bible: from Peter ‘s Denial. Peter’s Denial is narrated in Mark, Mathew and Luke. In this act, Peter denies knowing Jesus three times for fear of persecution or worse. Jesus predicts that denial by Peter. When Jesus narrates his prediction to Peter he protests and says he’d rather die than disown Jesus. But when the time comes Peter, in fear of his life and frightened of persecution disowns Jesus three times at three different occasions. This is the Christian act of Taqiya. This occurs at the moment when Christianity is born, by the father of modern Christianity. The religious source is in Judaism originally, and after that in Christianity. The father of monotheistic religions, father of Judaism, Abraham, repeatedly does Taqiya (Genesis 20:2 & 26:7). We may call it Jaqiya. Later on, it is the first seat of Catholic Church that does Taqiya (John 18:15; Mark 14:69; Luke 22:54, The Holy Bible). We may call it Chaqiya.