by Yoram Ettinger
The Quran-derived "taqiyya" concept is a core cause of systematically-failed U.S. peace initiatives in the Middle East; 1,400 years of intra-Muslim/Arab warfare and the lack of intra-Muslim/Arab comprehensive peace; the tenuous nature of intra-Muslim/Arab agreements; and the inherently shifty, unpredictable and violent intra-Muslim/Arab relations, as currently demonstrated on the chaotic, seismic Arab street.
The taqiyya concept constitutes Islam-sanctioned dissimulation, deception and concealment of inconvenient data, aimed at shielding Islam and "believers" from "infidels" and hostile Muslims. It is a tactic utilized by Muslims during times of strategic inferiority, intended to achieve provisional accords, only to be abrogated once conditions are ripe for vanquishing adversity.
For example, Iran’s president-elect, Hasan Rouhani, who was hand-picked by Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, demonstrated his taqiyya capabilities during his term as Iran’s chief negotiator with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Rouhani perfected double-talk, misleading the "infidel" IAEA negotiators, thus providing Iran with extra time to acquire nuclear capabilities, while systematically violating commitments made to the IAEA. In September 2002, Rouhani stated, in his capacity as the chairman of Iran's Supreme National Security Council: "When we sign international treaties, it means that we are not pursuing nuclear weapons. We are not pursuing chemical weapons. We are not pursuing biological weapons. Iran is not interested in any of these."
Rouhani’s talent for taqiyya earned him the image of a moderate in Western circles, in defiance of his track record: an early supporter of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini; he represented Khomeini at the Supreme National Security Council; he served as National Security Advisor to presidents Hashemi and Khatami; and he was one of the planners of the AMIA Jewish community center bombing in 1994, which murdered 85 civilians in Buenos Aires.
Quran-based taqiyya was initially adopted by the Shiite minority, then by the Sunni majority. According to the Quran’s Sura 3 verse 28, Muslims may appease "infidels" with their lips but not their hearts. Sura 3:54, Sura 8:30 and Sura 10:21 state that "God is the best schemer… ." Sura 16:106 emphasizes that Muslims may be coerced by adverse circumstances -- as a precautionary measure -- to pacify "infidels," by pretending to depart from Islamic values and goals. Sura 2:225 determines that "Allah will not call you to account for thoughtlessness in your oaths, but for the intention in your hearts."
Hence, Arab leaders have spoken moderately to Western media, while speaking their minds to their own media. Mahmoud Abbas, like Arafat, has implemented "taqiyya," double-talking to Israelis, Americans and Arabs, while hate-educating Palestinian youngsters and inciting Palestinians via the Abbas-controlled media and mosques.
The essence of taqiyya is reflected through the 628 C.E. Hudaybiyyah Treaty, which is pivotal in contemporary Islam, since it was concluded by Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam. It stipulates that truce with the "infidel" is a temporary, noncommittal tactical step, enabling Muslims to gather sufficient force to overwhelm the enemy and achieve the strategic goal -- subordinating the Abode of the Infidel to the Abode of Islam.
According to Raymond Ibrahim, a researcher of Islam, "The practice of taqiyya is mainstream Islam. … Taqiyya is very prevalent in Islamic politics, especially in the modern era. … War against the infidel is a perpetual affair until, in the words of the Quran, all chaos ceases, and all religions belong to God. … Peace with non-Muslim nations is, therefore, a provisional state of affairs… A struggle continues until the realm of Islam subsumes the non-Islamic world. … Taqiyya is of fundamental importance in Islam. … Deception directed at non-Muslims falls within the legal category of things that are permissible for Muslims. … According to Shariah -- the body of legal rulings that defines how a Muslim should behave in all circumstances -- deception is not only permitted in certain situations but may be deemed obligatory in others."
The imploding Arab street has demonstrated the destructive power of taqiyya -- Arabs dissimulating and violently violating commitments made with one another, reaffirming the illusive nature of intra-Arab agreements in the Middle East. Intra-Arab agreements have been signed in ice, not in stone. Can one really expect agreements concluded with the "infidel" Western democracies and Jewish state to be less illusive?
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