A few days ago, in a thread about the killing of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens a conservative Christian reader of this site, who goes by the name EOS, proclaimed definitively, “There is no such thing as moderate Islam regardless of how much we might wish it were so.” When confronted with facts, and asked to elaborate, he then offered the following.
Al-Takeyya- The Islamic principle of lying for the sake of Allah. Falsehoods told to prevent denigration of Islam, to protect oneself, or to promote the cause of Islam are sanctioned by the Qur’an, including lying under penalty of perjury in testimony before the United States Congress, lying or making distorted statements to the media such as claiming that Islam is a religion of peace, and deceiving fellow Muslims when the one lying has deemed them to be apostates. The word literally means to protect or guard against and conveys the principle that Muslims are permitted to lie as a preventative measure to protect themselves and Islam, especially in life or liberty threatening circumstances. It is important that the Muslim does not mean it in his heart, however.
As with most of his not so intellectually rigorous scholarship, it seems as though EOS plagiarized this from elsewhere, without citing his source. Regardless, though, the rest of the MarkMaynard.com community came forward in good faith, as they often do, and attempted to speak reason to him. The following response came from our friend in New York, Doug Skinner.
Well, I must admit I’m no expert; but as far as I know, takeyya (or taqiyya) is an obscure Shi’ite term taken out of context and promoted by Robert Spencer and other anti-Islamic writers, and many Muslims have never heard of it. Similarly, antisemitic writers used to charge that a passage in the Kol Nidre meant that Jews were encouraged to lie to Christians.
By the way, Christian and Jewish theologians also discuss when lying is permissible. Most agree that the question “Do I look fat in this dress?” need not be answered with scrupulous honesty.
And, EOS, are you unaware that there are different sects of Islam? The fact that they are different means that they’re not all the same.
EOS, I think it’s safe to say, was unmoved by this line of reasoning. In his mind, it would seem, there can, by definition, be no such thing as a moderate Muslim, regardless of the polling data we see from Eastern Libya, for instance, which reveals, in the words of noted historian Juan Cole, “the United States has a 60% favorability rating, while the Salafis or hard line Muslims stand at only 28% favorable.” The filter though which EOS sees the world, it would seem, cannot accept the fact that we’re not facing a monolithic, cartoon-like foe. Pictures of a dying Chris Stevens being whisked away to a hospital on the shoulders of sympathetic Muslims, becomes, in the mind of EOS, and those like him, images of our Ambassador being kidnapped for the purposes of sodomy. There is, in other words, no reasoning with the man. And, the sad thing is, there are millions more like him in our country. In spite of that, though, the evidence to the contrary keeps building, and, I would hope, eventually the tide will turn.
Here, speaking of evidence to the contrary, is a clip from CNN this morning.
Ten days after four Americans were killed in their Libyan city, hundreds marched in Benghazi and took over the headquarters of a radical Islamist group tied to the attack.
Thousands of protesters had taken to the street earlier Friday, loudly declaring that they — and not those behind last week’s deadly attack — represent the real sentiments of the Libyan people.
“I am sorry, America,” one man said. “This is the real Libya.”
In the evening, an offshoot of several hundred people then headed toward the headquarters for Ansar al-Sharia, a loosely connected radical Islamist group.
As militia members fled, the protesters torched a vehicle and took over the group’s building without firing a single shot. Some of those involved claimed to have freed at least 20 captives held inside, and expressed their intent to assume control over other Ansar al-Sharia buildings.
Army General Naji al-Shuaibi said the citizens, whom he referred to as “revolutionaries of the February 17 uprising,” later asked that the Ansar al-Sharia headquarters be handed over to the Libyan army.
“Indeed, we rushed here and we will now take it over,” said the general. “There are also other places that we intend to take over (which belong to armed groups) if the revolutionaries and the people allow us to do so.”
But some of the protesters gathered at locations that house forces loyal to the national authority, he said, including the headquarters of the Rufallah al-Sihati battalion. Gunfire could be heard at the headquarters, but it was not initially clear who was responsible.
Mohamed al-Magariaf, president of Libya’s General National Congress, thanked the protesters for helping evict “armed groups. He also said the Rufallah al-Sihati brigade was actually “under the command of — and committed to — the national authority,” the case appeared to be one of mistaken identity. Magariaf asked demonstrators to stop their activities and go home…
So, I have a question to pose to EOS… Were all of these people, who drove the jihadists from their headquarters yesterday, acting? Were the jihadists firing at them shooting blanks? Was this all an elaborate ruse, justified under Al-Takeyya, and coordinated by our terrorist-loving President, meant to somehow distract us from the global threat of radical Islam?
[note: Just so we’re clear, I do believe that radical Islam poses a significant threat to mankind. I think, in fact, that, in spite of global warming and everything else, religious fundamentalism is probably the biggest threat that humanity faces at the moment. That doesn’t mean, however, that I’m so foolish as to believe that all Muslims are working behind the scenes to impose Sharia law i the West and eliminate all Christians from the face of the planet. And I find it incredibly frustrating that others, like EOS, seem unwilling to accept the fact that we share common cause with a certain percentage of those who consider themselves Muslims, who desperately want to live in countries that protect the rights of minorities, treat women equally, and enjoy a free press, among other things. We can argue as to how big this percentage is, but it’s absolutely ridiculous, in my opinion, to suggest that there’s not one Muslim on the face of the planet who isn’t actively engaged in jihad.]