CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 8, 2015 – Sometimes there is nothing sweeter than a historic precedent that verifies a contemporary debate. Such is the case from the 1980s with former President Ronald Reagan and Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, then president of Pakistan, and as recalled by Middle East expert Raymond Ibrahim.
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has expectedly drawn harsh media criticism as he has risen in the polls in recent weeks. Among Carson’s most severe rebukes from the [liberal] main stream media relate to Carsons opinions regarding a Muslim president and the doctrine of taqiyya, which is basically lying in order to protect yourself or the common “good” of Islamic teachings.
In a column for his website, Ibrahim writes that Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, sent him an interesting little story about Reagan and Zia-ul-Haq when the American president asked the Pakistani president to explain “how it was no problem for Pakistanis to sign the Geneva agreements and yet continue supplying weapons to the Afghan jihadis (“freedom fighters”) combating the Soviet Union.”
Zia easily dismissed any difficulty he might have had with the situation by saying, “We’ll just lie about it. That’s what we’ve been doing for eight years. Muslims have the right to lie in a good cause.” (The comment is on page 280 of the book, “From the Cold War to a New Era: The United States and the Soviet Union, 1983-1991.”)
As Ibrahim points out, Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post quoted UCLA professor Abou El Fadl as saying, “There is no concept that would encourage a Muslim to lie to pursue a goal. That is complete invention.”
Unfortunately for El Fadl, there are several verses in the Quran that refute his premise that lying is “complete invention.” The most common verse which sanctions deception toward non-Muslims is Sura 3:28:
“Let not believers make friends with infidels in preference to the faithful – he that does this has nothing to hope for from God – except in self-defence.”
Islamic apologists always counter the argument with Koranic verse 17:81:
“Truth has come and Falsehood has departed. Falsehood was bound to be routed.”
However, what Islamic scholars do not mention is the concept of abrogation, which the Prophet Muhammad used on numerous occasions to override his earlier teachings with newer “revelations of convenience” that helped him justify his current needs in any given situation.
There is a wonderful scene in Stanley Donen’s 1963 movie mystery “Charade,” starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, in which the dialogue helps answer the question:
Reggie: “Alex – how can you tell if someone is lying or not?”
Alex: “You can’t.”
Reggie: “There must be some way.”
Alex: “There’s an old riddle about two tribes of Indians — the Whitefeet always tell the truth and the Blackfeet always lie. So one day you meet an Indian, you ask him if he’s a truthful Whitefoot or a lying Blackfoot? He tells you he’s a truthful Whitefoot, but which one is he?”
Reggie: “Why couldn’t you just look at his feet?”
Alex: “Because he’s wearing moccasins.”
Reggie: “Oh. Well, then he’s a truthful Whitefoot, of course.”
Alex: “Why not a lying Blackfoot?”
Raymond Ibrahim presents the same argument.
“So which Muslim do you believe? The strong and secure Muslim who said that ‘Muslims have the right to lie in a good cause’ — in this case, jihad against ‘infidels.’ Or the Muslim minority surrounded by American ‘infidels’ who claims that there is ‘no concept that would encourage a Muslim to lie to pursue a goal’?”
The American people have been inundated with falsehood after falsehood for the past seven years. Some are still gullible enough to believe the mumbo-jumbo coming out of Washington, but most have become infinitely smarter.
If nothing else, it explains the phenomena of the current popularity of Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina in the Republican presidential campaign.
“Apparently it never occurred to the WaPo’s Kessler that El Fadl himself may have been exercising, in Zia’s words, his Muslim “right to lie in a good cause” — in this case, to prevent Americans from ever being suspicious of Muslim individuals and organizations in the U.S.”
Those who do question the motives of Muslim extremists are immediately labeled “Islamophobes.” No matter how you view it, “Islamophobia” did not bring down the Twin Towers in New York, and terrorism today is far worse on a global scale than it was in 2001.
If that’s “Islamophobia,” it’s a phobia based upon truth.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award-winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of the Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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