Muslims are allowed to lie to unbelievers in order to
defeat them. The two forms are:
Taqiyya - Saying something that isn't true.
Kitman - Lying by omission. An example
would be when Muslim apologists quote only a fragment of verse
(that if anyone kills "it shall be as if he had killed all mankind")
while neglecting to mention that the rest of the verse (and the next) mandate
murder in undefined cases of "corruption" and "mischief."
Though not called Taqiyya by name, Muhammad clearly
used deception when he signed a 10-year treaty with the Meccans that allowed him
access to their city while he secretly prepared his own forces for a takeover.
The unsuspecting residents were conquered in easy fashion after he broke the
treaty two years later, and some of the people in the city who had trusted him
at his word were executed.
Another example of lying is when Muhammad used deception to trick
his personal enemies into letting down their guard and exposing themselves to
slaughter by pretending to seek peace. This happened in the case of Ka'b
bin al-Ashraf (as previously noted) and again later against Usayr ibn Zarim, a
surviving leader of the Banu Nadir tribe, which had been evicted from their home
in Medina by the Muslims.
At the time, Usayr ibn Zarim was attempting to gather an
armed force against the Muslims from among a tribe allied with the Quraish
(against which Muhammad had already declared war). Muhammad's "emissaries"
went to ibn Zarim and persuaded him to leave his safe haven on the
pretext of meeting with the prophet of Islam in Medina to discuss peace.
Once vulnerable, the leader and his thirty companions were massacred by the
Muslims with ease, belying the probability that they were mostly unarmed, having
been given a guarantee of safe passage (Ibn Ishaq 981).
Such was the reputation of Muslims for lying and then
killing that even those who "accepted Islam" did not feel entirely safe.
The fate of the Jadhima is tragic evidence for this. When Muslim
"missionaries" approached their tribe one of the members insisted that they
would be slaughtered even though they had already "converted" to Islam to avoid
just such a demise. However, the others were convinced that they could
trust the Muslim leader's promise that they would not be harmed if they simply
offered no resistance. (After convincing the skeptic to lay down his arms,
the unarmed men of the tribe were quickly tied up and beheaded - Ibn Ishaq 834 &
Today's Muslims often try to justify Muhammad's murder of
poets and others who criticized him at Medina by saying that they broke a treaty
by their actions. Yet, these same apologists place little value on
treaties broken by Muslims. From Muhammad to Saddam Hussein, promises made
to non-Muslim are distinctly non-binding in the Muslim mindset.
Leaders in the Arab world routinely say one thing to
English-speaking audiences and then something entirely different to their own
people in Arabic. Yassir Arafat was famous for telling Western newspapers
about his desire for peace with Israel, then turning right around and whipping
Palestinians into a hateful and violent frenzy against Jews.
The 9/11 hijackers practiced deception by going into bars
and drinking alcohol, thus throwing off potential suspicion that they were
fundamentalists plotting jihad. This effort worked so well, in fact, that
even weeks after 9/11, John Walsh, the host of a popular American television
show, said that their bar trips were evidence of 'hypocrisy.'
The transmission from Flight 93 records the hijackers
telling their doomed passengers that there is "a bomb on board" but that
everyone will "be safe" as long as "their demands are met." Obviously none
of these things were true, but these men, who were so intensely devoted to Islam
that they were willing to "slay and be slain for the cause of Allah" (as the
Qur'an puts it) saw nothing wrong with employing Taqiyya in order to
facilitate their mission of mass murder.
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) insists that it
"has not now or ever been involved with the Muslim Brotherhood, or supported
any covert, illegal, or terrorist activity or organization." In fact,
it was created by the Muslim Brotherhood and has bankrolled Hamas. At
least nine founders or board members of ISNA have been accused by prosecutors of
Prior to engineering several deadly terror plots, such as
the Fort Hood massacre and the attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner,
American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was regularly sought out by NPR, PBS and even
government leaders to expound on the peaceful nature of Islam.
The near absence of Qur'anic verse and reliable Hadith that
encourage truthfulness is somewhat surprising, given that many Muslims are
convinced that their religion teaches honesty. In fact, it is because of
this ingrained belief that many Muslims are quite honest. When lying is
addressed in the Qur'an, it is nearly always in reference to the "lies against
Allah" - referring to the Jews and Christians who rejected Muhammad's claim to
being a prophet.
Finally, the circumstances by which Muhammad allowed a
believer to lie to a non-spouse are limited to those that either advance the cause of Islam or
enable a Muslim to avoid harm to his well-being (and presumably that of other
Muslims as well). Although this should be kept very much in mind when
dealing with matters of global security, such as Iran's nuclear intentions, it
grounds for assuming that the Muslim one might personally encounter on the
street or in the workplace is any less honest than anyone else.