Taqiyya was practiced by a small population of Muslims. It allowed Muslims to lie in order to escape persecution. Taqiyya is not a widespread Muslim practice. In fact, most Muslims never heard of the term until it was used against us by people critical of Muslims and who questioned whether Muslims could be honest.
I certainly didn’t grow up learning the language of deceit.
As a South Asian Muslim, I initially wondered why people were talking about “pillows.” (Taqiyya means pillow in Urdu, the language I grew up speaking.)
One of the biggest hurdles in trying to talk to non-Muslims who have become critical of Islam and Muslims is that they’re convinced every Muslim is lying. It is impossible to move forward and hear each other if someone is convinced you’re starting from a place of deceit. That territory is made even more convoluted with the rise in hoax crimes, including Muslim hate crime hoaxes.
Where does that leave us? And where does that leave everyday Americans including American Muslims and Muslim reformers trying to develop common ground? Let me offer a line of reasoning that shows why radical Islamists don’t even need taqiyya to promote their ideas and ideology.
Let’s start with the present-day meaning of the word taqiyya (as defined by certain factions of the American political Right). Taqiyya is using deception and falsehood to gain political favor.
While all hoax crimes fall under taqiyya per that definition, we need to have a broader perspective for the sake of moving forward so we can build common ground based on mutual goals.
The Islamist machine (which includes CAIR, Linda Sarsour, Ilhan Omar, etc.) doesn’t need to plot “taqiyya” tactics to gain political favor. They exploit a soft American culture that leans in favor of victimized groups. So these folks make themselves appear more marginalized, more oppressed and more victimized without needing to be fork-tongued in their day-to-day exchange.
In other words, the American political and cultural climate is so ripe to shelter perceived victims that all Islamists need to do is lean into victimization. Of course, this is not real persecution; it is smoke and mirrors.
A perfect example is Trump’s temporary travel ban that they reshaped into a notorious “Muslim ban” that made it easier to paint Muslims as some oppressed community. Yet, everyone knew it was never a broad-stroked Muslim ban.
The smoke and mirrors clan doesn’t include every single Muslim, and it certainly doesn’t include those challenging the smoke and mirror narratives.
But, when I speak with American patriots and the subject of taqiyya comes up, I ask them:
What do you think Islamists are lying about? Do they have to lie at this stage? They are openly showing us who they are and the American Left is lapping it up, catering to it and giving them a bigger and bigger platform.
While hoax crimes exist and need to be called out, the larger “grand plan” of taqiyya doesn’t really exist in the way it is imagined. The wolf doesn’t need to hide in sheep’s clothing; it is openly telling you it is a wolf and the sheep are welcoming it home.
Simply look at the rise of narratives that:
- Excuse terror groups
- Entertain jihadi brides with ample airtime and sympathy
- Glamorize Islamist radicals
- Put terrorists on the front pages of magazines
- Welcome the radicalization of Muslims
So I ask you, what taqiyya? They are showing you exactly who they are and the regressive Left is rolling out the red carpet for them.