07 May 2017

Tackling Taqiyya

.... A recent article in the Huffington post – written by Omar Suleiman and Nazir Khan of the Yaqeen Institute* – sets out to criticise the way the Taqiyya charge is weaponised. The authors’ comments on this specific point are fair enough. However there seems – both ironically and unnecessarily – to be some obfuscation in the authors’ more general preamble.

"[W]ords like “Shariah” and “Jihad” have been exploited by Islamophobes who affirm the perverted meanings assigned to these terms by terrorists. Meanwhile, mainstream Muslims believe that Jihad refers to a struggle undertaken for the sake of God to protect the lives and rights of others, and that Shariah refers to a divinely ordained system that enjoins treating all human beings in the best manner.

Islamophobes, when faced with this discrepancy between what they want the words to mean and what mainstream Muslims believe they actually mean, resort to a profoundly unsophisticated tactic – they simply declare all Muslims to be compulsive liars."

I’ll just focus on the discussion of ‘Shariah’. It’s pretty ambiguous. It could be glossed as meaning that hudud punishments are a perversion and that true ‘Shariah’ is something reassuringly benign (if vague). Yet presumably Muslims who support the harshest penalties in an ideal state would concur that Shariah means ‘treating all human beings in the best manner’. So the whole argument is rather circular. [Harry’s Place] Read more