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#1
Old 02-15-2011, 11:02 AM
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No, there is no "taqiyya" doctrine that lets all Muslims lie for the good of the faith

RWs seem to constantly invoke it -- "Who cares what the MB in Egypt says they're going to do?! They really want an Egyptian theocracy and a pan-Islamic Caliphate! You can't believe anything they say -- taqiyya!"

There is such thing as Taqiyya. It is a Shi'a Islamic term for "concealing one's faith in dangerous circumstances," which is only common sense if you think about it. Sunni Muslims see things differently:

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While Sunnis agree that it is allowed to conceal the faith to protect their lives, they greatly differ with the Shia point of view. There is no such terminology as taqiyya in Sunni jurisprudence. Protecting one's belief during extreme or exigent circumstances is called "idtirar" (إضطرار) and this word is not specific to concealing the faith. For example, one is allowed to consume prohibited or haraam food to protect one's life under the jurisprudence of idtirar. However, in no way does this suggest that this is used as a means to promote the religion. In Sunni theological framework, announcing the truth and being witness for it has great significance. Prominent personalities who announced the truth and went through the hardship for announcing truth are highly revered among Sunnis.[9] Therefore, Taqiyya as a separate concept does not exist in Sunni jurisprudence. While idtirar is allowed in some cases, concealment of faith has never been revered or praised in Sunni schools of thought.
Practically all Muslims in Egypt and North Africa are Sunni. Needless to say, attributing taqiyya thinking to them is like charging all those Mormon and JW and Baptist missionaries with plotting to bring us all under the rule of the Pope of Rome.
#2
Old 02-15-2011, 12:18 PM
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Excellent post.
#3
Old 02-15-2011, 12:45 PM
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Thank you.

Here's what it's about, I think: Taqiyya is a Shi'ite thing. Muslims are supposed to proclaim their faith and never hide it. But the Shi'ites were the underdogs for much of Islamic history, and sometimes and in some places had to profess their beliefs underground, as it were; taqiyya told them it was all right to do so, if proclaiming Shi'a doctrine publicly would get them in trouble. That is all. Nothing about "Lie to those Sunni dogs so we can undermine them in secret from within!", which is something like what RWs seem to think it means.

The concept -- and the intra-Islamic controversy over it -- really should not be all that hard for Westerners to understand. Christianity has faced similar problems in its history -- from the start, in fact. It was an illegal, underground religion and Christians could hardly admit it publicly. Some even made the required public sacrifice to Rome or Caesar, just to get the magistrate off their backs. And even after Christianity was legalized, Christians were divided by the Donatist Controversy (If a priest, under state pressure, committed the mortal sins of apostasy and idolatry, were his sacraments still valid? The question was decided in the affirmative -- a priest in a state of mortal sin remains a priest and can administer valid communions, absolutions, marriages, etc. Which has a reassuring relevance to contemporary Catholics, on which I will not here comment further.)
#4
Old 02-15-2011, 12:49 PM
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Isn't this Idtirar thing the same as the Jewish precept that if threatened with death or what not it's okay to pretend to covert, etc? I seem to recall reading something about htis precept in Judiac law (re Jews in Europe).
#5
Old 02-15-2011, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
Excellent post.
Is this equivocal?
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:27 AM
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No, it was much shorter.
#7
Old 02-16-2011, 05:13 AM
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Taqiyya means pillow. End of discussion.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:44 AM
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A good OP that will have no effect at all on our resident Islamophobes, because they'll simply assume the OP is "taquiyya."
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#9
Old 02-16-2011, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by BrainGlutton View Post
Needless to say, attributing taqiyya thinking to them is like charging all those Mormon and JW and Baptist missionaries with plotting to bring us all under the rule of the Pope of Rome.
I've actually heard in person some wingnut state that the Mormons, JWs, et al, are actually plots of the Roman pontiff.
#10
Old 02-16-2011, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Monty View Post
I've actually heard in person some wingnut state that the Mormons, JWs, et al, are actually plots of the Roman pontiff.
Sound like a Jack Chick plot (in one of his comix he blamed Islam on the RCC).

Just remember: If Jack Chick believes something, no matter how outrageous . . . he can't be the only one.
#11
Old 02-16-2011, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by AK84 View Post
Taqiyya means pillow. End of discussion.
Nope. The word تقية taqīyah is derived from the Arabic verbal root W-Q-Y, meaning 'protect'. It literally means protecting oneself from danger. The word you're thinking of is تكية takyah or takiyah, which is Persian for 'pillow, support'. The former uses the letter ق qāf and the latter uses the letter ك kāf.

The word takyah in Arabic is only used in the extended metaphorical sense of a religious institution run by Sufis, providing retreat space or social services.

Carry on with the discussion.
#12
Old 02-16-2011, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Johanna View Post
Nope. The word تقية taqīyah is derived from the Arabic verbal root W-Q-Y, meaning 'protect'. It literally means protecting oneself from danger. The word you're thinking of is تكية takyah or takiyah, which is Persian for 'pillow, support'. The former uses the letter ق qāf and the latter uses the letter ك kāf.

The word takyah in Arabic is only used in the extended metaphorical sense of a religious institution run by Sufis, providing retreat space or social services.

Carry on with the discussion.
Interesting. Thanks. But the point is made, I had never heard of the term until recently and I can bet you that most people who are muslims will have no idea what it is or means and urdu speakers will simply say in a puzzled tone "a pillow"?

I must say it is amusing, informative and at times exasperating to be told about some concept or law or tradition about Islam from a non muslim westerner often times using a technical term I have never heard off, for instance "dhimmi".
#13
Old 02-16-2011, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by AK84 View Post
I must say it is amusing, informative and at times exasperating to be told about some concept or law or tradition about Islam from a non muslim westerner often times using a technical term I have never heard off, for instance "dhimmi".
No doubt it is amusing, informative and at time exasperating to Communists to hear RWs misattribute the phrase "useful idiot" to Lenin, and so on. (As they so often do even after correction, IME.) This is an enterprise in which intellectual honesty has no home.
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by BrainGlutton View Post
No doubt it is amusing, informative and at time exasperating to Communists to hear RWs misattribute the phrase "useful idiot" to Lenin, and so on. (As they so often do even after correction, IME.) This is an enterprise in which intellectual honesty has no home.
As anyone reading George Orwell and other communists, however misattributed that is, the phrase sticks because it was at that time a quite accurate description of at least Stalinist approaches to Western hard-left sympathisers. Communists crying over such is rather crocodile tears for me.
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:44 PM
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As anyone reading George Orwell and other communists, however misattributed that is, the phrase sticks because it was at that time a quite accurate description of at least Stalinist approaches to Western hard-left sympathisers. Communists crying over such is rather crocodile tears for me.
But now the RW uses it for practically anything, calling non-socialist Obama supporters, or anyone who doesn't hate Muslims, etc., "useful idiots" of the bugbear in question; and they still keep attributing it to Lenin.

Oh, and Orwell was no Communist and had a lot of things to say about Communists. He always called himself a Socialist (with a capital "S" despite non-identification with any particular socialist party -- convention of his time and place, I suppose).

Last edited by BrainGlutton; 02-16-2011 at 12:46 PM.
#16
Old 02-16-2011, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by BrainGlutton View Post
....
Oh, and Orwell was no Communist and had a lot of things to say about Communists. He always called himself a Socialist ....
Yes I know, I made a mistake in editing (it should have read and ex-communists).
#17
Old 02-16-2011, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by wmfellows View Post
Yes I know, I made a mistake in editing (it should have read and ex-communists).
He was not an ex-Communist either.
#18
Old 02-16-2011, 01:39 PM
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Orwell's politics are a hijack. Go open a new thread.

[ /Modding ]

Last edited by tomndebb; 02-16-2011 at 01:39 PM.
#19
Old 02-16-2011, 01:59 PM
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People lie often. Muslim or not. I don't need to attribute any particularly Muslim doctrine to anyone to question whether a group in politics might not be on the up-and-up. I've noticed in past discussions (not necessarily on this forum) that questioning the veracity of any statement regarding Islam is often met with a similar response as the OP, accusing me of believing in the "taqqiya" thing, which I have never accused anyone of using.
#20
Old 02-16-2011, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by AK84 View Post
I can bet you that most people who are muslims will have no idea what it is or means and urdu speakers will simply say in a puzzled tone "a pillow"?
No—because in Urdu the letters qāf and kāf are pronounced differently, even though they aren't in Hindi or other Indo-Aryan languages. I learned to speak Urdu from Dakhni dialect speakers. I don't use Dakhni myself, but I noticed that they make a stronger differentiation between the two sounds than in standard Urdu.
Quote:
I must say it is amusing, informative and at times exasperating to be told about some concept or law or tradition about Islam from a non muslim westerner often times using a technical term I have never heard off, for instance "dhimmi".
I must differ, considering how in Islam one's learning is given more importance than one's ethnicity. There are other matters given as much importance as learning, such as belief and praxis. But still--"Westerners"? There are lots of Westerners who are Muslim, and lots more who are learned in Islamic studies 'n' stuff. I bet it would be taken as offensive if a Westerner said how amusing and exasperating for them it is when Desis learn knowledge of Western origin, like computer science, better than most Westerners. I guess I just can't see knowledge of objectively falsifiable facts as dependent on ethnicity or even faith, but rather this kind of knowledge is open and in theory equally accessible to all. There are ways of knowing dependent on the experience of belonging to a particular group. But this instance isn't one of them.

P.S. the Arabic word for pillow is wisādah.
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Old 02-16-2011, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Condescending Robot View Post
People lie often. Muslim or not. I don't need to attribute any particularly Muslim doctrine to anyone to question whether a group in politics might not be on the up-and-up. I've noticed in past discussions (not necessarily on this forum) that questioning the veracity of any statement regarding Islam is often met with a similar response as the OP, accusing me of believing in the "taqqiya" thing, which I have never accused anyone of using.
That seems to be the root of it. Glutton was recent called out after making the laughably transparent claim that the MB was no more extreme than the American religious right. That their PR is being eaten up and vomited back out by a certain segment of their target audience is, unfortunately, unsurprising.

Quote:
The Brotherhood would seek "the preservation of honor" by stoning adulterers, punishing gays, requiring Muslim women to cover their heads and shoulders in public and killing Muslims who leave their faith


But, well, ya know... I suppose if someone claims "And they're saying it's 'taquiya!'" then it's okay.
#22
Old 02-16-2011, 03:37 PM
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I know Orwell's politics, I didn't mean to say he was an ex communist, I meant for an "and" to be there. I think that ends the discussion.
#23
Old 02-16-2011, 04:19 PM
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Hey!! This isn't a thread about Tequila!!


I'm Out a heah!
#24
Old 02-16-2011, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by cosmosdan View Post
Hey!! This isn't a thread about Tequila!!


I'm Out a heah!
No, I'm afraid Muslims know very little about tequila.
#25
Old 02-16-2011, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by FinnAgain View Post
That seems to be the root of it. Glutton was recent called out after making the laughably transparent claim that the MB was no more extreme than the American religious right. That their PR is being eaten up and vomited back out by a certain segment of their target audience is, unfortunately, unsurprising.



But, well, ya know... I suppose if someone claims "And they're saying it's 'taquiya!'" then it's okay.
The MB in Egypt, or some representatives of it, are saying, now, not that the MB has gone secular, but only that, in essence, it finds secular democracy acceptable for the time being, and will support it and work with it (implicitly, until such time as an Islamic republic is politically possible). Now, they might be lying about even that. But that's just lying as political movements lie, not because some Islamic doctrine tells them it is moral to lie in such circumstances. There is no such doctrine. That's the only point I'm trying to make here. (Well, that, and that the RW seems to do dishonest things of that kind a lot these days, see above discussion of "useful idiots.") Let all please discontinue use of the word taqiyya to mean such a doctrine, on this Board and anywhere else.

Last edited by BrainGlutton; 02-16-2011 at 05:46 PM.
#26
Old 02-16-2011, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by BrainGlutton View Post
the MB in Egypt, or some representatives of it, are saying, now, not that the MB has gone secular, but only that, in essence, it finds secular democracy acceptable for the time being
No. They're putting out certain PR bits that are picked up and amplified by others.
This should not be confused for what they're actually saying.

What they're actually saying about secular democracy is what I quoted and cited.
"The Brotherhood would seek "the preservation of honor" by stoning adulterers, punishing gays, requiring Muslim women to cover their heads and shoulders in public and killing Muslims who leave their faith."
This is the party of Qutb and Al-Banna, and it's going to take a lot more than a few PR releases for them to show that they're really ready to embrace a secular republic ruled by laws which enshrine the fundamental rights of minority groups.



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Originally Posted by BrainGlutton View Post
But that's just lying as political movements lie, not because some Islamic doctrine tells them it is moral to lie in such circumstances.
Of course. How many times has someone who's not Valteron argued otherwise on the Dope? And a discussion of useful idiots is hardly the sole province of the right wing. If you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow, after all. Many folks have been willing to champion communism, the Iranian revolution, etc... Even when the actual events were diametrically opposed to what their western champions' politics actually were.

A group that would murder adulterers by stoning them to death, murder apostates for the crime of exercising freedom of religion, persecuted gays and subject women to specific 'decency' standards is a moderate? Well, they most likely stand opposed to what most Americans on the left and right would consider to be decent, let alone sane conduct.
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:55 PM
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A group that would murder adulterers by stoning them to death, murder apostates for the crime of exercising freedom of religion, persecuted gays and subject women to specific 'decency' standards is a moderate? Well, they most likely stand opposed to what most Americans on the left and right would consider to be decent, let alone sane conduct.
I'm generally sympathetic to your position contra BrainGlutton, but I urge you to be a little fairer here. Nowhere in this thread has anyone called the Muslim Brotherhood "moderate". You and BrainGlutton seem (in fact) to be in violent agreement about that group's willingness to throw out some PR lies when its ultimate goal is not democracy.

Further: whether or not belief in taqiyya holds wide purchase on the SDMB, it's clearly a myth held onto by a large contingent of less -- erm -- discerning right-leaning individuals. I don't think this is a strawman or otherwise an illegitimate topic for discussion.
#28
Old 02-17-2011, 06:23 AM
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No—because in Urdu the letters qāf and kāf are pronounced differently, even though they aren't in Hindi or other Indo-Aryan languages. I learned to speak Urdu from Dakhni dialect speakers. I don't use Dakhni myself, but I noticed that they make a stronger differentiation between the two sounds than in standard Urdu.

I must differ, considering how in Islam one's learning is given more importance than one's ethnicity. There are other matters given as much importance as learning, such as belief and praxis. But still--"Westerners"? There are lots of Westerners who are Muslim, and lots more who are learned in Islamic studies 'n' stuff. I bet it would be taken as offensive if a Westerner said how amusing and exasperating for them it is when Desis learn knowledge of Western origin, like computer science, better than most Westerners. I guess I just can't see knowledge of objectively falsifiable facts as dependent on ethnicity or even faith, but rather this kind of knowledge is open and in theory equally accessible to all. There are ways of knowing dependent on the experience of belonging to a particular group. But this instance isn't one of them.

P.S. the Arabic word for pillow is wisādah.
The qaf and kaf differentiation is something that is often lost is normal speech, in the media if someone from outside of Karachi is shown emphasizing the qaf is it is often shorthand for "pretentious prick". So a Pakistani like myself will ordinarily not differentiate in normal speech and will not realise the difference unless the words are written/ So writing about taqqiya in Roman letters or in the spoken form will elicit the same response as was given by me, "what the hell is it about the pillows".

On the second issue I would disagree. Coming from a muslim family and one where knowledge of religion was hammered into us at an early age, I can safely say that concepts such as taqqiya or dhimmi never came up except in the most abstract terms. I never knew what the terms were and my own knowledge of religion is quite broad thanks to my grandparents.

Meharbani!
#29
Old 02-17-2011, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Paranoid Randroid View Post
I'm generally sympathetic to your position contra BrainGlutton, but I urge you to be a little fairer here. Nowhere in this thread has anyone called the Muslim Brotherhood "moderate".
You're correct that it wasn't in this thread, it was a couple back.

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Originally Posted by BrainGlutton View Post
Based on this article, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has changed in recent decades and is changing still and yet is still too stuffy and old-fashioned for the younger membership. These are not your Ayatollah's Islamists. Now they're a lot like the American religious-right (only less violent, less bigoted and less ignorant). Really, they're more like the center-right Christian Democrat parties of Europe than anything else. What's the big deal?
And while I haven't seen much in the news about the MB and taquiya, that the MB was used as an example to open this thread put me in mind of the earlier comment.
#30
Old 02-17-2011, 02:34 PM
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But, well, ya know... I suppose if someone claims "And they're saying it's 'taquiya!'" then it's okay.
And do you have any idea how intellectually dishonest this is?! Also irrelevant.
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Old 02-17-2011, 03:56 PM
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Yes, now that you mention it I did think it was pretty intellectually dishonest to cover your mistake about how "moderate" the MB was by starting a thread alleging that those who criticize such formulations are crying "taquiya!". Didn't feel I needed to put that fine a point on it though.
#32
Old 02-17-2011, 04:07 PM
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Yes, now that you mention it I did think it was pretty intellectually dishonest to cover your mistake about how "moderate" the MB was by starting a thread alleging that those who criticize such formulations are crying "taquiya!".
That is not what I did.

And for Og's and Allah's sake, if you must misuse the word, please learn to spell it right. One "q", no "u", two "y"s. This ain't Qaddafi/Gaddafi/Khadaffi we're dealing with were.

Last edited by BrainGlutton; 02-17-2011 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 02-17-2011, 04:30 PM
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Yeah... that's pretty much exactly what you did. Unless, of course, you can point to your retraction of you claim that the MB was somehow more moderate than American religious righters? Or speaking of this awful menace of claiming that the MB is bad because of "Taqiya!!!", please cite, say, a dozen MSM articles and/or dopers (who aren't Valteron) who've made the claim that you're responding to. Should be easy, yes?
So a cite of your retraction and a cite of what you've actually responding to would be downright spiffy. Rather than, of course, a thread that suggests that those who criticize claims that the MB is "moderate" are doing so because they're alleging Islamic-based-dishonesty.

Those cites will be along quickly, yes?

Speaking of intellectual dishonesty, and cites, surely you can find a cite for me "misusing" the word, yes?
We can ignore your bit of ignorance about how there's only one correct English spelling, even though it's a transliterated word, just like Quadafi.
#34
Old 02-17-2011, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by FinnAgain View Post
Yeah... that's pretty much exactly what you did.
I started two different GD threads at roughly the same time on different but related topics currently much in the air. Any rhetorical connection between the two is your invention.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinnAgain View Post
Or speaking of this awful menace of claiming that the MB is bad because of "Taqiya!!!",
And I never said that here or there. I do not recall anyone citing to the purported "taqiyya" concept in the other thread.

Last edited by BrainGlutton; 02-17-2011 at 05:38 PM.
#35
Old 02-17-2011, 05:38 PM
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Further: whether or not belief in taqiyya holds wide purchase on the SDMB, it's clearly a myth held onto by a large contingent of less -- erm -- discerning right-leaning individuals. I don't think this is a strawman or otherwise an illegitimate topic for discussion.
Exactly.
#36
Old 02-17-2011, 05:40 PM
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But, well, ya know... I suppose if someone claims "And they're saying it's 'taquiya!'" then it's okay.
And this lameass attempt at pre-emptive strawmanning is indeed intellectually dishonest, and irrelevant, and in all ways pure-D bullshit.
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by BrainGlutton View Post
rhetorical connection
Well, gee, zero cites of your retraction. Zero cites of people on the Dope or the mainstream media making the claim you're arguing against, and the very first words of this thread are trying to suggest that people distrust your claims about the MB because of "taqiyah!!!"
Go figure.

Speaking of things you don't have cites for, still not got a cite for me "misusing" Taqiyah? Almost as if you invented the claim, perhaps?
(Figured out what "transliteration" means yet, too?)

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Originally Posted by BrainGlutton View Post
And this lameass attempt
You've now addressed the same post three times, and still don't have any coherent points. ah well. Rather obviously, your own argument is not a strawman. I like that you think it is, though.
Yet again, do you have a retraction, anywhere, for your rather laughable claim that people who want to murder married folks who sleep around as well as people who convert from Islam to another region, and simply want to 'punish' gays are more moderate than the American religious right? Do you have any cites for anybody in the MSM or on the Dope saying that you can't trust apologias for the MB, like yours, because of "taqiyah!!!"?

Or did you, instead, make some very obviously wrong claims about how moderate the MB was and then instead of retracting, claim that anybody was saying "Who cares what the MB in Egypt says they're going to do?! They really want an Egyptian theocracy and a pan-Islamic Caliphate! You can't believe anything they say -- taqiyya!"
Just curious.
Care to provide cites for that retraction or anybody using the whole "Taqiyah!!" argument about the MB in the MSM or on the Dope?
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:03 PM
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Well, gee, zero cites of your retraction.
Zero relevance of the request.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by BrainGlutton View Post
That is not what I did.

And for Og's and Allah's sake, if you must misuse the word, please learn to spell it right. One "q", no "u", two "y"s. This ain't Qaddafi/Gaddafi/Khadaffi we're dealing with were.

His spelling of the word is perfectly fine.

It's translitered.
#40
Old 02-17-2011, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by BrainGlutton View Post
Zero
Speaking of zero... zero cites for any admission that you were incorrect about how 'moderate' the MB was. Indeed, there is no such admission at all, but you did start a thread claiming that people are disbelieving the apologia because, you claim, they state that the MB is engaged in "taqiyah!!" But you offer up absolutely no cite that people are actually disbelieving the apologia that you and others are offering up because of "taqiyah!!"
And you've provided no cite for me "misusing" the concept of Taqiyah, either, because of course it never happened.

Go figure.

Last edited by FinnAgain; 02-17-2011 at 06:33 PM.
#41
Old 02-17-2011, 07:46 PM
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Speaking of zero... zero cites for any admission that you were incorrect about how 'moderate' the MB was.
The Egyptian MB, or at least significant factions thereof, is moderate. Relative to al Qaeda. Probably not so much relative to the Turkish AKP. But it's all on a sliding scale. If the claim is just that the EMB is as currently configured is more moderate than the jihadist-salafists like GIA/GSPC or even Hamas, I'd have to agree.

But at any rate I'd also agree this seems to be a bit of hijack to the thread.

And just for the additional pedantic quotient, while it is true that taqiyya is a Shi'a notion, it is probably worth noting that it is not even universal there. The Zaydi Shi'a in particular directly reject such dissembling as a matter of faith.
#42
Old 02-17-2011, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by FinnAgain View Post
Speaking of zero... zero cites for any admission that you were incorrect about how 'moderate' the MB was.
See post #38.
#43
Old 02-17-2011, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Tamerlane View Post
The Egyptian MB, or at least significant factions thereof, is moderate. Relative to al Qaeda. Probably not so much relative to the Turkish AKP. But it's all on a sliding scale. If the claim is just that the EMB is as currently configured is more moderate than the jihadist-salafists like GIA/GSPC or even Hamas, I'd have to agree.
Much obliged if you could post that in this thread where it belongs, thankee-sai.
#44
Old 02-17-2011, 09:16 PM
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Tamerlane: well, hell, compared to Al Quaeda almost everybody is a moderate. But people whose official position is to murder apostates and adulterers and to "punish" gays is hardly a moderate faction. That's like claiming that the Iranian theocracy is also moderate... but Glutton also has claimed that Iran is a thriving civil society.
Trying to claim, as Glutton did, they they the MB is less extreme than the American religious right is beyond absurdity. Then claiming that people are distrustful of the MB's propaganda efforts, and the Westerners who spread them, due go some sort of Islamapobic misuse of terms, when not one single Doper or MSM source is offered as a basis for such a claim?

And still no retraction from Glutton about how moderate the MB is and how the American religious right is worse. But that's okay because hey, some uncited, unquoted, unnamed people disagree with Glutton due to Islamaphobic nonsense about the MB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainGlutton View Post
See post #38.
Yes. I know. No retraction of your absurd error. No proof ghat any on the dope or in the MSM ever said anything like what you're arguing about here. No cite to back up your claim that I "misused" the concept of Taquiya.
But, after refusing to retract your error, you did start a thread alleging that people were objecting to your error based on some sort of a Islamophobic basis. You can't cite any of them though.
#45
Old 02-17-2011, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FinnAgain View Post
Tamerlane: well, hell, compared to Al Quaeda almost everybody is a moderate.
My point, more or less. They generally don't seem to be bright-line extremists of the "let's exterminate the takfiri" sort. But they aren't the least conservative flavor of Islamism, either. And all Islamists are going to be on the conservative side of the coin relative to secularists.

Quote:
Trying to claim, as Glutton did, they they the MB is less extreme than the American religious right is beyond absurdity.
I haven't been following these debates closely, as I've grown weary of this set of topics over the years. But in general, yes, EMB is probably more conservative than the average conservative American evangelical, most of whom aren't genuine theocrats ( ETA: though to be fair most Sunni Islamists aren't exactly theocrats either, some oddball Khomeini-admiring groups like the flavors of Islamic Jihad possibly excepted ). However on the fringe I'd say Christian Reconstructionists are probably loosely analogous.

Last edited by Tamerlane; 02-17-2011 at 10:02 PM.
#46
Old 02-17-2011, 10:56 PM
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Sure, and the Dominionists are some scary fuckers. But those who want to murder adulterers and apostates and "punish" gays are anything but moderate or safe to trust with power. And arguing that people are distrustful of the MB due Islamaphobic bias, sans cite, is obfuscatory.
#47
Old 02-18-2011, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by BrainGlutton View Post
Much obliged if you could post that in this thread where it belongs, thankee-sai.
Sorry, that must have sounded snarky; I meant only that Tamerlane's contribution to the other thread would be valuable.
#48
Old 02-21-2011, 01:23 AM
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While I don’t remember seeing anyone claim that the Muslim Brotherhood specifically cannot be trusted because they are practicing “taqiyya,” I have seen how certain sectors of American society have recently applied the term “taqiyya” to the perceived inclination of Muslims to lie to non-Muslims about distasteful beliefs/practices in Islam as some kind of divinely mandated PR strategy.

Needless to say, this is a twisted viewing of what taqiyya actually is, and the implications of this view lead quite clearly to unnecessary anti-Islamic prejudice. However, while the view of taqiyya the OP counters with is far closer to the truth, I also find it lacking, so I’m going to give a brief overview of this fascinating concept.

The first point I want to make is that when it comes to Shia (specifically, Imami or Twelver Shi’ism, the kind that I’ll be spending the most attention on and the kind that is the dominant faith of Iran) Islam, taqiyya is not just a name for not drawing attention to yourself as a Shia when big men with swords are about. In fact, both non-Shia Muslim and Western scholars have traditionally seen taqiyya as an essential element of Imami Shi’ism, practiced and encouraged by Imami leaders throughout the ages. Examining the Imami tradition’s views makes this idea much more complicated, but the main point is this: taqiyya has been instrumental in the development and preservation of Imami Shi’ism.

Before looking at what exactly this concept that I’ve declared so big and important means, we should think about the historical context that gave it life. The first mentions of taqiyya in Imami literature come from the Imamates of Muhammad al-Baqir (the 5th one) and his son Jafar al-Sadiq (the 6th one) in the middle of the eighth century, or a century plus after the death of Muhammad. This was a tumultuous time in Islamic history; the transition from the Umayyad to Abbasid caliphate, and the beginning of the formation of Imami Shi’ism as a distinct sect within the party of Ali, were happening. Previous to this, the Shia had fought for their claims, and the martyrs of that era are still revered, despite the Wikipedia article’s snobbish insinuations that only Sunnis admire people willing to die for their beliefs. The activist phase ended after the slaughter at Karbala, and the Imami found themselves in a painful situation. Unlike certain other religious minority groups, such as Sunnis in Spain after the Reconquista, they were right in the middle of the oppressive empire and they clearly did not see emigration as a viable option for their community. Staying alive was the only thing that could be done to ensure the survival of the community.

Understanding the tremendous persecution of the Shia is essential to understanding taqiyya and in general the Shia mindset. The Imami elaborated taqiyya in response to their persecution, and justified it with some verses from the Qur’an. So, ok, the Shia concealed their religion from people who might oppress them, at times even to the point of lying about what they believed in or acting like Sunnis in order to avoid harm. But this simple concept quickly took on an almost unbelievably central place in Shia thought. Imam Sadiq, alluding to Quran 49:13, said, “He is most excellent in performing his religious duties in the eyes of God who is best at observing taqiyya.” He compared the situation of the Shia to bees among birds: If the birds realized the bees had sweet honey inside them, they would eat the bees out of envy.

The obsession with secretism was a big part of Imami Shi’ism, with one medieval Shia scholar writing that God imposed Shi’ism in secret and will not allow believers to publicly acknowledge their faith, to the point where the guardian of paradise (the angel Ridwan) will not even notice the Shia entering heaven until the day of Resurrection. You don’t just get the sense that people had to hide distinctive marks in public, key doctrines and hadiths also had to be hidden lest they arose ire from the community. An example of this is the Imami doctrine of “raja” that asserted that some would resurrect before the “main event” Resurrection. Opponents like the medieval Mutazilite (a later discredited theological party) al-Khayyat observed that holding this doctrine was, for the bulk of Muslims, like committing apostasy and so it was kept secret by the Shia.

Here you can see the seeds of “lying to the Sunni dogs” that Sunnis felt was going on.

So you had a bunch of Imami Shia who were persecuted. And they decided to not fight or leave, so the only hope was this concept of taqiyya. What did it actually involve? As a technical term, we can understand taqiyya to mean “precautionary dissimulation.” It involved both concealment in a passive way (kitman) and actually dissembling. The outward expression of this has already been covered, but there was also inward taqiyya, which was just as important.

The first type of inward taqiyya was concealing texts, beliefs, and information on the Imams from other Shia. You get this interesting rebuke from Imam Sadiq: Whoever propagates our traditions is like someone who denies it.” The reason for this is simple. If you tell everyone about the secrets, (and in Imami thought, the Imams possessed special knowledge) then it could get back to the leaders andthat’s bad. The Imams were somewhat untrustworthy of their followers’ ability to keep a secret. When Imams would provide contradictory answers to the same questions, that was also a form of taqiyya, the one inconsistent with the Sunni position was seen as the true version.

The second kind of inward taqiyya was more reminiscent of the Gnostics. Shi’ism was really concerned with keeping secrets from the uninitiated. There was a very strong distinction between the elite and the masses. Imam Sadiq claimed that God gave the Imams knowledge not even the angels or prophets could bear. Part of this secret knowledge could be revealed to Shi’is but part of it would have to wait, possible until the coming of the Messiah. So there is that. Especially on controversial issues, it is hard to note when taqiyya is being practiced to protect the community from harm, or out of this notion of keeping special knowledge. There was a clear hierarchy of knowledge and revealing esoteric Shia doctrines to those who were not ready for them was bad. This helps to explain the Imam’s statements on taqiyya like “he who has no taqiyya has no faith” even though the concept of taqiyya as protecting yourself from outside influences was clearly seen as a temporary and non-universal state of affairs that would eventually end. Though circumstances at times dictated when taqiyya was an obligation, Imam al-Bariq noted that it was always, in the end, the choice of the believer when and how to exercise it.

As you can imagine, taqiyya really annoyed the Sunni. Not so much because it allowed the Shi’a to keep on living (though they did call out that aspect of it as cowardly) but because they saw it as a Shia strategy to explain away history that seemed to disprove Shia doctrine. Sunni scholars felt like, whenever they would say something like, “Ali recognized the rule of the other Caliphs! If he was deprived of his rights, why didn’t he fight?” Shia would just say “oh, Ali was practicing taqiyya.” Now, Shia don’t actually say that Ali practiced taqiyya per se, but they did claim a number of famous Sunni as being Shia who were practicing taqiyya. Because taqiyya became used as a way to justify the superiority of Shi’ism, it fell under extreme criticism from the Sunni. I’ve met Sunnis from Iraq who will still complain about Shia using taqiyya in pretty derogatory language.

So the Shia, especially after the occlusion of the 12th Imam (which was termed an act of taqiyya) were not happy to hear this criticism, and they were eager to expound on the righteousness of their beliefs whenever they could, which did start to become a bigger area over time. So you do get much more of the notion in medieval Imami thought that suffering for your faith is more virtuous than concealing it, and that taqiyya is more properly thought of as a dispensation rather than an obligation. It was a mercy given by God to his weak believers. So rules started to develop about when it was OK to use taqiyya, and when you had to stand your ground. These rules generally depended on the situation on the ground. A great source is al-Shaykh al-Mufid, a Persian scholar. He wrote that taqiyya is only meant to be done when you are reasonably sure that not doing it will result in harm to the true religion or its believers.

People were eager to spread their beliefs because if you constantly live a secret life, eventually you have a hard time telling what is true and what is not. This is a big problem for the Shia. If their followers live every day like Sunni, will they become Sunni? And how can you teach others if you don't spread your faith? This was a force against taqiyya within the Shia tradition.

More contemporary scholars like al-Ghita did try to minimize it a lot, emphasizing the reasonableness of not dying for a religious point. He asked his Sunni readers, “don’t make the practice of taqiyya necessary then criticize us for doing it.” But again, he is writing for a Sunni audience, and that would play a role in how he wrote. There is no discussion of the keeping of secret knowledge, for example.

So now we have the issue that confronts us, oddly enough, with the Muslim Brotherhood in this thread, which is, when a Shia scholar makes a pronouncement on taqiyya, or indeed, any other sensitive topic, how do we know it’s not taqiyya? After all, many Shia will explain offsetting statements of historical figures by saying they used taqiyya themselves, so it’s clearly something that happens. In this situation, what we just have to do is look at the audience of the statement, the conditions it was written in, and previous literature. This is why we can trust al-Mufid more than another scholar who was writing in a state of oppression.

If we promote an environment where someone feels secure they are more likely to succumb to the impulse of proclaiming their faith then hiding it as some kind of long-term ploy. Thankfully, I have never heard of America being called "dar al-taqiyya." (a place where taqiyya is required, no largely defunct term)

Taqiyya as a protection measure is much less important now than it used to be, because now there are actual Shi’a states. You don’t see Ahmadinejad or Hezbollah saying that they are Sunnis, right. Interestingly, in Iran, where taqiyya is a social institution, you are far more likely to find it, in practice if not in name, among the Jews, Christians, and especially Baha’I who suffer persecution there. If you look at the book of Esther in the Bible, you can see that the practice of taqiyya, in certain forms, stretch back to far beyond the Islamic days of Iran. Where there is no persecution, the need for taqiyya dries up, and that’s seen as a good thing. If you see Saudi Arabia go nuclear and then Iran start calling itself a Sunni country, that’s taqiyya. The idea that taqiyya is not a temporary state, or that it is a requirement of all muslims, or even all Shia, fails when you see taqiyya being abandoned as freedom grows.

I reiterate the idea that we can get a good judge of what the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood thinks by examining their historical statements and literature, and that if they are lying at this moment, it is not out of their conscious adherence to the Shia doctrine of taqiyya. There are plenty of ways to justify whatever they do within the confines of Sunni Islam. They don't need to go looking for help from the Shia.

To the extent that taqiyya is relevant in world events today, I would say it is more about it being meaningful as a theological and cultural concept dealing doctrinal issues, minorities, and spiritual hierarchies, rather than practical political strategy. The last true instance of protection taqiyya I'm aware of deals with the Ismaili Shia in Afghanistan, who have long been persecuted for supposedly being too promiscuous. I do know Shia have trouble in a variety of other nations, though, I can't say for sure.

I guess you could say that if there was a Shia (Or Sunni, if you want) cleric who made a habit of saying in Britain moderate things in order to keep his Visa and then back home in a different country saying much more extreme things, then you could define it as taqiyya. This, I think, is what some opponents of Islam get angry about. But this is not really taqiyya as the term is historically conceived of. There is no threat of death, among other things. It's more useful to just call it lying.


Oh, man, I wrote a lot. Does it even make any sense? Did anyone read it? If not, here’s my TLDR version for now:

Taqiyya is a Shia concept that was born out of intense persecution. It is very Imami and very Persian, and many Sunni scholars spent a lot of time attacking it, so it’s unlikely that they would adopt it. It not only involves concealing or dissimulating about your beliefs in order to protect the community, but also keeping secret knowledge from the unready, untrustworthy, or uninitiated. It holds a central place in Shia history, but its practical applications are today limited by the increasing power of many Shia communities. It’s about core beliefs, practices, and doctrines, not politics. The actions of the Muslim Brotherhood, who are not Shia in Egypt, don’t have anything to do with taqiyya as a doctrinal concept. That said, while the secret knowledge part is more particular to Shi'ism, the behavioral parts of taqiyya are relatively unremarkable and can be justified in a huge variety of religious traditions who use their own terminology. It's best we just judge motivations of modern groups using all available evidence.

I hope that some of the knowledgeable dopers we have here will offer their comments and critique, since I have no doubt I made some errors. I'm sorry to just lay a huge essay on you all. I hope I’ve informed as much as I’ve amused and frustrated.

Sources:

Etan Kohlberg, Some Imami Views on Taqiyya
Etan Kohlberg, Taqiyya in Shia Theology and Religion
Cyrus Gordon, The Substratum of Taqiyya in Iran
#49
Old 02-21-2011, 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ñañi View Post
....so I’m going to give a brief overview of this fascinating concept. [emphasis added]
I take it that this statement is an example of taqiyya?

Actually I read the whole thing. Quite fascinating, especially the bits about inward taqiyya. Thanks.
#50
Old 02-21-2011, 04:11 AM
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Nani,

thank you, that was a terrific post.
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