Atlas readers often hear me refer to taqiya - lies to advance Islam. Raymond Ibrahim, of The Al Qaeda Reader: has an excellent piece over at Jihadwatch explaining why a pious Muslim, a good Muslim, must lie.
Raymond Ibrahim: "Islam's Doctrines of Deception" Jihadwatch (hat tip Fjordman)
To better understand Islam, one must appreciate the thoroughly legalistic nature of the religion. According to sharia (Islamic law) every conceivable human act is categorized as being either forbidden, discouraged, permissible, recommended, or obligatory. “Common sense” or “universal opinion” have little to do with Islam’s notions of right and wrong. All that matters is what do Allah (via the Koran) and his prophet Muhammad (through the Hadith) have to say about any given thing; and how Islam’s greatest theologians and jurists—collectively known as the ulema, literally, the “ones who know”—have articulated it.
Consider the concept of lying. According to sharia, deception in general—based on the Koran’s terminology, also known as “taqiyya”—is not only permitted in certain situations but sometimes “obligatory.” For instance, and quite contrary to Christian tradition, not only are Muslims who must choose between either recanting Islam or being put to death permitted to lie by pretending to have apostatized; but some jurists have decreed that, according to Koran 4:29, Muslims are obligated to lie.
THE DOCTRINE OF TAQIYYA
According to the authoritative Arabic text, Al-Taqiyya fi Al-Islam, “Taqiyya [deception] is of fundamental importance in Islam. Practically every Islamic sect agrees to it and practices it. We can go so far as to say that the practice of taqiyya is mainstream in Islam, and that those few sects not practicing it diverge from the mainstream…. Taqiyya is very prevalent in Islamic politics, especially in the modern era.”
Some erroneously believe that taqiyya is an exclusively Shia doctrine. That is because the Shia have traditionally relied on it due to the fact that, as a minority group interspersed among their traditional enemies, the much more numerous Sunnis, they have historically had more “reason” to dissemble. However, Sunnis living in the West today find themselves in a similar situation, as they are now the minority surrounded by their historic enemies, non-Muslims.
The primary Koranic verse sanctioning deception vis-à-vis non-Muslims states: “Let believers not take for friends and allies infidels instead of believers. Whoever does this shall have no relationship left with Allah—unless you but guard yourselves against them, taking precautions” (3:28; other verses relied on by the ulema include 2:173; 2:185; 4:29; 16:106; 22:78; 40:28).
Please read it all -- it is excellent.