The Truth of Taqiyya

Rise of Islam

In direct opposition to the concept of Biblical truth is the concept of Islamic taqiyya, which, in Islam, is generally known as “lying for the faith.”

On the eve of Jesus’ crucifixion, He and Pontius Pilate engaged in a conversation that begged the question still being asked today—What is truth? John 18:37-38 describes the scene:

Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?…

In direct opposition to the concept of Biblical truth is the concept of Islamic taqiyya.

A March 2012 public relations campaign to teach America about Shari’a law ignited a new round of dialogue regarding the truth of Islamic taqiyya. The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), a New York-based group, is planning to spend $3 million on its “Defending Religious Freedom” campaign. The effort includes billboards, TV, and radio ads in 25 major cities—including New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Additionally, Muslim academics and activists are holding town hall meetings and seminars on university campuses in an effort to slow the two-year progress of state legislation banning Shari’a law in the U.S.


Taqiyya, in Islam, is generally known as “lying for the faith.” There are two basic uses of taqiyya: 1) disavowing one’s religious identity during fear of persecution (Shi’a Muslims vs. Sunni Muslims), and 2) active deceit during jihad against the realm of unbelief (Dar al-Islam vs. Dar al-Harb). This form of deceit is grounded in Islamic doctrine and is often depicted as being equal to, or superior to, other military virtues such as courage, fortitude, or self-sacrifice.

Former Islamic studies professor at the American University of Beirut, Sami Mukaram, wrote in his book, At-Taqiyya fi’l-Islam (Dissimulation in Islam):

Taqiyya is of fundamental importance in Islam. Practically every Islamic sect agrees to it and practices it. We can go so far as to say that the practice of taqiyya is mainstream in Islam, and that those few sects not practicing it diverge from the mainstream. Taqiyya is very prevalent in Islamic politics, especially in the modern era.

His book clearly reveals the ubiquity and broad applicability of taqiyya within Islam. Within Shari’a—the body of legal rulings that defines the appropriate behavior of Muslims in all circumstances—deception is not only permitted in certain situations, it is often deemed obligatory. Muslims who were forced to choose between recanting Islam or suffering persecution were permitted to lie and feign apostasy. Other jurists have decreed that Muslims are obligated to lie in order to preserve themselves because of verses in the Qur’an that forbid Muslims from being instrumental in their own deaths.

The writings of Qur’anic scholars detail the history of the authorization and use of Taqiyya. Sura 3:28 is used most often as the verse that sanctions deception towards non-Muslims:

Let believers [Muslims] not take infidels [non-Muslims] for friends and allies instead of believers. Whoever does this shall have no relationship left with God—unless you but guard yourselves against them, taking precautions.

In his Qur’an commentary, Muhammad ibn jarir at-Tabari clarifies verse 3:28 as follows:

If you [Muslims] are under their [non-Muslims’] authority, fearing for yourselves, behave loyally to them with your tongue while harboring inner animosity for them… [know that] God has forbidden believers from being friendly or on intimate terms with the infidels rather than other believers—except when infidels are above them [in authority]. Should that be the case, let them act friendly towards them while preserving their religion.

Some Qur’anic scholars extended taqiyya to cover deeds. Abu ‘Abdullah al-Qurtubi (1214-73) and Muhyi ‘d-Din ibn al-Arabi (1165-1240) supported bowing down and worshiping idols and crosses, offering false testimony, and exposing the weaknesses of fellow Muslims to the infidel enemy. Anything short of actually killing a Muslim is deemed acceptable: “Taqiyya, even if committed without duress, does not lead to a state of infidelity, even if it leads to sin deserving of hellfire.”

Taqiyya and Islamic Public Relations

As this article is being written, two U.S. states have banned the practice of Shari’a law, twelve are in the process of drafting and approving legislation, and three have proposed legislation that failed to pass. For Islamic proponents of Shari’a in America, the battleground has been taken to a new level—the American billboard.

The slogan created by the Defending Religious Freedom campaign: Shariah: Got Questions? Get Answers hopes to catch the attention of the American voter with hopes of educating us to stop the bans. For many analysts, the issue is not one of creating a backlash of Islamophobia, but the reality of the use of taqiyya in the education process and the reality of Shari’a in America.

Shari’a literally means “the path to a watering hole.” Shari’a is the law of the Qur’an that is comprised of five main branches: adab (behavior, morals and manners), ibadah (ritual worship), I’tiqadat (beliefs), mu’amalat (transactions and contracts), and ‘uqubat (punishments).

According to its proponents, these branches of Shari’a combine to create a society based on “justice, pluralism and equity for every member of society.” They would like for us to believe that Shari’a forbids that it be imposed on any unwilling person. In fact, they propose that the Prophet Muhammad himself demonstrated that Shari’a may only be applied if people willingly apply it to themselves—never through forced government implementation.


One of the primary reasons for the backlash against the practice of Shari’a in America is the growing public awareness of honor killings. Human Rights Watch defines honor killings:

Honor killings are acts of vengeance, usually death, committed by male family members against female family members, who are held to have brought dishonor upon the family. A woman can be targeted by individuals within her family for a variety of reasons, including: refusing to enter into an arranged marriage, being the victim of a sexual assault, seeking a divorce—even from an abusive husband—or (allegedly) committing adultery. The mere perception that a woman has behaved in a way that “dishonors” her family is sufficient to trigger an attack on her life.

In her 2009 Middle East Quarterly article, Phyllis Chesler argues that the U.S. is far behind Europe in acknowledging that honor killings are a special form of domestic violence—a form of violence in which the perpetrators are protected by Shari’a law. While the 8th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states there shall be no “cruel and unusual punishments inflicted,” the Qur’an states:

  • Sura 5:38 – Cut off the hands of thieves, whether they are male or female, as punishment for what they have done—a deterrent from Allah.
  • Sura 24:2 – A raped woman is punished with the man: The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication, flog each of them with 100 stripes.

The complexities and the deceit of the Islamic Circle of North America’s Defending Religious Freedom campaign are meant to assuage fears of Islam and Shari’a. However, even the name of the campaign denies the truth. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion,” yet Mohammed said, “Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him.” (Hadith Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 9, Book 84, No. 57)

In his book, What Every American Needs to Know About the Qur’an: A History of Islam & the United States, William J. Federer presents an exhaustive study of the truth of taqiyya in U.S.-Islam relations. In contrast to the First Amendment Federer states, “Islamic law (Shari’a) relegates non-Muslims to ‘dhimmi’ status, where they are not to propagate their customs amongst Muslims and cannot display a Cross or Star of David.”


Sadly, in America, it does not matter if the “public relations campaign” is for the Islamic implementation of Shari’a law or the demoralizing implementation of humanism in every aspect of daily life, the result is the same—a life without the God-given freedoms and foundations established on our shores over two centuries ago.