What is Taqiyah?….And What is NOT

Please carefully read the following definition. It will help you spot whether the term is being used correctly or someone is just showing off his/her pedestrian grasp of Islamic jurisprudence.

||| Taqiyah, literally meaning ‘to safeguard’ or ‘to defend’, is a defensive mechanism that becomes operational when one is confronted with severe religious oppression. To save his/her life, he/she dissimulates his/her true religious beliefs beneath the garb of the ‘official line’ which he/she is forced to adhere on pain of death by the oppressor. |||

Now, the italics in the above text are of crucial importance. These are the conditions which trigger this doctrine. If they are not present then the doctrine becomes automatically inapplicable.

Oftentimes ignorant writers use this term as a synonym for ‘deception’ as if it is some Machiavellian directive which is deployed to divert your opponent’s focus in some run-of-the-mill conflict.

It does NOT mean wherever Muslims are in a minority, they are religiously sanctioned to lie, cheat, and swindle whenever they come into contact with those who do not happen to be Muslims. Anyone who holds on the contrary is only making a fool of himself.

You only undermine your own credibility if you toss around terms which you might find difficult even to pronounce correctly.

Yesterday I came across this essay [ https://m.rediff.com/news/column/rajeev-srinivasan-pakistan-will-soon-control-all-of-afghanistan/20210714.htm ], which was published on Rediff.com, an Indian web news portal. It was written by someone named Rajeev Srinivasan.

At the end of his ‘geopolitical analysis’, Mr. Srinivasan cautions his readers against taking him seriously.

He writes:

“One, the Afghans are not superhuman. Maharaja Ranjit Singh did defeat the Afghans and keep them under his control for some years.

Two, unless they are doing taqiya, both the Taliban and Pakistan, despite avowed support for Muslims, have been deathly silent about the Uyghurs.”

Till next time.

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