“The chief end of man is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever!” This is the first statement that 120 British theologians came up with in their Long Parliament as part of ‘The Westminster Shorter Catechism.’ Many Christian children in the Western world memorized this confession as part of their church confirmation service.
According to the Hadith (Sahih al–Bukhari 1:25), the highest calling a Muslim can engage in is armed jihad: “Muḥammad once was asked: ‘What is the best deed for the Muslim next to believing in Allah and his messenger?’ His answer was: ‘To participate in jihad in Allah’s cause.’”
- Biblical and Islamic traditions thus present two markedly different understandings of what is the highest value and the calling of the human race.
- In order to understand the jihadi perspective and how hatred of the Jews, the Jewish state and the West is so integral to that, one must unpack the religious worldview – the matrix – that embraces and influences Qur’an-believing Muslims
9/11 is nearly 1,400 years old
Osama bin Laden clarified jihad – this highest of all Muslim callings – in his letter responding to a group of prominent Muslims just after 9/11. He states that unchanging core convictions undergird and justify jihadi terrorism in both Qur’an and Hadith.
- “As to the relationship between Muslims and infidels, this is summarized by the Most High’s Word: ‘We [Muslims] renounce you [non – Muslims]. Enmity and hate shall forever reign between us – until you believe in Allah alone’ [Qur’an Surah 60:4]. So, there is an enmity [which we have], evidenced by fierce hostility from the heart. And this fierce hostility – that is, [this] battle – ceases only if the infidel submits to the authority of Islam, or if [the infidel’s] blood is forbidden from being shed [i.e., if he is a dhimmi, a protected minority], or if Muslims are at that point in time weak and incapable. But if the hate at any time gets extinguished from the [Muslim] heart, this is great apostasy! . . . Such then is the basis and foundation of the relationship between the infidel [kāfir] and the Muslim. Battle, animosity, and hatred – directed from the Muslim to the infidel – is the foundation of our religion. And we consider this a justice and kindness to them.”
Nearly 1,400 years previous, in 634 A.D., a pre-battle conversation took place between Persian General Rostam Farrokhzad and Rabi’ bin Amir (the envoy of Muslim commander Sa’d ibn Abī Waqqas), recorded in ‘The History of a-Tabari, Vol. 12.’ Bin Amir lays out his military and religious goals for the coming clash in a manner strikingly similar to bin Laden, rooting them in fundamental Islamic doctrine:
- “Allah has sent us and brought us here so that we may free those who desire from servitude to earthly rulers and make them servants of Allah, that we may change their poverty into wealth and free them from the tyranny and chaos of [false] religions and bring them to the justice of Islam. He has sent us to bring his religion to all his creatures and call them to Islam. Whoever accepts it from us will be safe, and we shall leave him alone; but whoever refuses, we shall fight until we fulfill the promise of Allah.”
Qur’anic Muslims see jihad as a religious duty, a universal missionary obligation to convert everyone to Islam – either by persuasion or by force. Expansionist jihad for them is an altruistic endeavor – to bring Allah’s rule to a world living in bondage. Islamic dictatorship under Shari’a [Islamic law] rule is seen as a supreme good for both Muslims and non–Muslims. The Qur’an and Hadith also encourage violent behavior while doing jihad (see Qur’an 8:60 and 47:4) – similar to Hamas terrorist actions on October 7, 2023 – rape, kidnapping, murder and torture (see my book at https://davidstent.org/books/ for more details: ‘Jews, Arabs & the Middle East – A Messianic Perspective’).
‘We hate you until you change’
Westerners find it hard to comprehend why hatred for non–Muslims is considered ‘kosher’ by most Islamic religious authorities. Since many Westerners have been influenced by a Marxist perspective of history, the consensus jumps to the assumption that Islamic hatred is a by-product of economic deprivation, of poverty. Then again, others opine: perhaps it was something the West did – dismantling Turkey’s Caliphate in WWI; conquering Muslim nations from Casablanca to Baghdad; creating the sinful evils of Hollywood, McDonald’s, Madonna or the Beatles . . . But the unpalatable truth (one that upsets the secular ‘woke’ apple-cart) is that Muslim hatred of Jews, of Christians and of the West flows directly from Islam’s source documents:
- “Let believers [Muslims] not take infidels [non–Muslims] for friends and allies in place of believers. Whoever does so will have nothing to hope for from Allah” (Qur’an 3:28 (also see 2:173; 2:185; 4:29; 16:106; 22:78; 40:28)
- “O believers! Take neither Jews nor Christians for friends and allies – for they are friends and allies of one another. Whoever does so will be counted as one of them. Surely Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people” (Qur’an 5:51)
- “We renounce you. Enmity and hate shall forever reign between us – until you believe in Allah alone” (Qur’an 60:4)
- “We hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers; you reject the oneness of Allah – whether you realize it or not – by making partners for Him in worship. You blaspheme against Him, claiming that He has a son [Messiah]. You fabricate lies against His prophets and messengers, and you indulge in all manner of devilish practices. It is for this reason that we were commanded to openly declare our hatred for you and our enmity towards you. There has already been for you an excellent example in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people, ‘Indeed, we are disassociated from you and from whatever you worship other than Allah. We have rejected you, and there has arisen, between us and you, enmity and hatred forever until you believe in Allah alone’ (al–Mumtahanah 4 [i.e., Qur’an 60:4]). Furthermore, just as your disbelief is the primary reason we hate you, your disbelief is the primary reason we fight you, as we have been commanded to fight the disbelievers until they submit to the authority of Islam, either by becoming Muslims, or by paying jizyah (i.e., slave poll-tax) – for those afforded this option [the dhimmi or ‘People of the Book’] – and living in humiliation under the rule of the Muslims” [as per Qur’an 9:29].
In this ISIS document, reasons #5 and #6 mention ‘grievances’ against Western foreign policies – only to quickly clarify:
- “What’s important to understand here is that although some might argue that your foreign policies are the extent of what drives our hatred, this particular reason for hating you is secondary, hence the reason we addressed it at the end of the above list . . . The fact is, even if you were to stop bombing us, imprisoning us, torturing us, vilifying us, and usurping our lands, we would continue to hate you because our primary reason for hating you will not cease to exist until you embrace Islam. Even if you were to pay jizyah and live under the authority of Islam in humiliation, we would continue to hate you.”
One of the main sources of jihadi hatred, violence and murder stems from the fact Muslims can’t accept the reality that Jews, Christians and secular people don’t want to become Muslims. This has engendered a spiritual unease which casts a shadow on Islam’s truth-claims: if Islam’s revelation is the last and final revelation and if Mohammed is the greatest prophet, how can it be that this fact is not accepted by the nations? It is interesting to note that the Islamic shout ‘allahu akbar’ (often yelled out during jihadi terror attacks) technically means ‘Allah is greater’ – greater than Jewish or Christian perspectives. A competitive one-upmanship lies at the root of this jihadi shout.
Muslims are supposed to do dawah – to do outreach and social welfare to non-Muslims – in order to bring them into the community of Islam. But when the world spurns Islamic advances, what springs up in the hot Middle Eastern soil is a combination of fear, control and murderous hatred. The dynamic is like that of David’s son Amnon who tried to seduce his step-sister Tamar. When spurned, he ended up violently raping her and throwing her out of the palace: “Then Amnon hated her with a very great hatred. Indeed, the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her” (2 Samuel 13:15).
‘This declaration is for foreign consumption’
Back in 2002 Bin Laden sent a different letter out, this time to non-Muslim Americans. That communication focused on the presentation Western-friendly talking points and the airing of social-justice grievances. The reasoning behind these two different letters is instructive:
- Qur’an-obedient jihadi Muslims understand 100% that the fundamental motive for jihad is essentially Islamic duty.
- Al-Qa’eda, Hamas, the PLO/PA and the Islamic Republic of Iran have a shorter-term goal as well: they want to neutralize the West in stages. If they can get the West to stop supporting Israel, then the mujāhidīn (jihad warriors) can focus on destroying Israel before moving on to ‘cleansing’ Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria of what they consider ‘compromised Islam.’ Then they can move on to absorbing England, France, German, Russia and the United States into their long-awaited world-wide Islamist Caliphate.
By framing ‘grievances’ to Western audiences in secular political terms, these jihadi armies are hinting that, if the West withdraws support from Israel, terrorism will cease in the West and peace will come to the Middle East. This is deceptive rhetoric, giving the false impression that Islam can be tamed and controlled. Unfortunately, this propagandistic spin has been accepted at face value by many so-called ‘experts,’ including CIA thinkers, US State Department diplomats and White House leaders.
Yet when speaking to the Muslim world, jihadi terror groups like al-Qa’eda and Hamas speak plainly – in Israel we say “they are speaking in Arabic” – and boldly state their top priority – a zealous commitment to jihad as presented in Islamic holy texts. Their view of the Last Days is an Islamic one: they look forward to a full destruction of the Jewish people, to the crushing and enslavement of Christians, and to the murder of all secularists and pagans who refuse to bend the knee to Allah.
- The Western-tailored ‘grievances and reasons’ disseminated to the world’s media outlets are meant to distract ‘the infidel.’ They are tailor-made to ‘divide and conquer.’ This is an Islamic tactic known as taqiyya – the pursuit of jihadi goals through deception or dissimulation. Much of how the world media covers the Hamas-Israel war reveals that Hamas, Hezbollah, the Palestinian Authority, Iran, etc. have carried out a highly successful taqiyya media manipulation campaign which is leading many superpowers by the nose, fundamentally deceived by these dissimulating schemes.
‘This declaration is for internal consumption’
For decades Yasser Arafat and the various streams of the PLO have declared their commitment to peace and reconciliation with Israel – when addressing Western English-speaking audiences. Yet when addressing Arabic-speakers, these same PLO leaders preach jihad and hatred for Israel. One outstanding example of many, is the May 10, 1994 closed-doors speech that Arafat gave at a Johannesburg, South Africa mosque (which was secretly recorded). Everything Arafat said in Arabic that day was a basic breach of PLO legal commitments under the Oslo Accords:
- “This has to be understood by everybody. The permanent state of Israel? No! The permanent state of Palestine! You have to come and to fight and to start the Jihad to liberate Jerusalem, your first shrine . . . This [Oslo] agreement, I am not considering it more than the agreement which had been signed between our prophet Mohammed and the Quraysh, and you remember the Caliph Omar had refused this agreement and [considered] it a despicable truce . . . We are in need of you as Moslems, as warriors of Jihad [in Arabic, mujāhidīn].”
Abbas Zaki, former PLO Ambassador to Lebanon and a member of Fatah’s Central Committee, is a stellar example of a PLO leader whose many statements in Arabic reveal that the PLO is duplicitous (using taqiyya) regarding its commitments to the peace agreements that it has signed with Israel:
- Arabic interview on Lebanese NBN TV, April 9th 2008: “We believe wholeheartedly that the Right of Return is guaranteed by our will, by our weapons, and by our faith. The P.L.O. . . . has not changed its platform even one iota . . . The P.L.O. proceeds through phases, without changing its strategy. Let me tell you, when the ideology of Israel collapses, and we take, at least, Jerusalem, the Israeli ideology will collapse in its entirety, and we will begin to progress with our own ideology, Allah willing, and drive them out of all of Palestine.”
- Arabic interview on ANB TV, May 7, 2009: “With the two-state solution, in my opinion, Israel will collapse, because if they get out of Jerusalem, what will become of all the talk about the Promised Land and the Chosen People? What will become of all the sacrifices they made – just to be told to leave? They consider Jerusalem to have a spiritual status. The Jews consider Judea and Samaria to be their historic dream. If the Jews leave those places, the Zionist idea will begin to collapse. It will regress of its own accord. Then we will move forward.”
- Arabic interview on Qatar’s al-Jazeera network, September 23, 2011: “When we say that the settlement should be based upon these  borders, President [Abbas] understands, we understand, and everybody knows that the greater goal cannot be accomplished in one go. If Israel withdraws from Jerusalem, evacuates the 650,000 settlers and dismantles the wall – what will become of Israel? It will come to an end . . . If one says that one wants to wipe Israel out, . . . c’mon, it’s too difficult! It’s not [acceptable] policy to say so. Don’t say these things to the world. Keep it to yourself.”
- Arabic interview on Palestinian Authority TV, March 12, 2014: “Those Israelis have no religion and no principles. They are nothing but advanced tools for evil. They talk about the Holocaust and so on. So why are they doing this to us? Therefore, in my view, Allah will gather them so that we can kill them. Every killer is bound to be killed. There is no other option.”
- Arabic interview on Hezbollah Iranian-connected Lebanese Mayadeen TV, October 14, 2023: “After October 7, there has been a Palestinian revival. We thank the [Hamas] Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades for making these preparations. Once they set out, they know how to finish the job, without relinquishing our goals . . . The skulls of all the Jews and Americans in the region will be crushed . . . I am pleased with [Hamas Politburo member] Osama Hamdan. We are friends. We understand each other. Victory has been promised to us. The ruse (in Arabic, khid’ah) by Hamas, how it prepared [for the attack], and how it accomplished this victory – I believe that people will emulate this. It may happen [in the West Bank]. If they [the Israelis] want to slaughter the entire Palestinian people, they [the Israelis] will be the ones slaughtered.” Osama Hamdan, Hamas Politburo member chimes in, “We are prepared to repeat this hoax [Arabic, ‘heela’ meaning hoax or deception] and this attack in the West Bank, hand in hand with you.”
Lying like a rug in the Middle East
The sobering lesson from these examples is that jihadi declarations and ‘facts’ cannot be accepted as truthful. Lying and deception are baked into the public pronouncements of Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, etc., because. As Mohammed declared, “war is deceit” (in Arabic, am-harb khid’ah). Hamas press releases regarding the number of casualties (as well as how many were women, children, etc.), the number of wounded Gazans, how many hostages there are, where they are, and how they died or were murdered – all of these figures are considered part of jihadi propaganda campaigns. From an Islamist perspective, what is happening cannot be described as ‘war and peace,’ but ‘war and deceit.’
- When it comes to the connection between Islam and violence against non-Muslims, one fact must be embraced: the majority of those in positions of leadership and authority in the West are either liars or fools, or both . . . Thus, the real battle revolves around getting the West to see reality – a battle which involves rooting out the liars and fools from government, media, education, and other positions of influence – an admittedly herculean task, considering that the lie is now the narrative and truth is evil.
Taqiyya – by way of deception
The Arabic word taqiyya is related to the Arabic concept for ‘piety,’ Its root meaning is ‘to protect’ or ‘to guard against.’ The Qur’an advocate for taqiyya in Surah 3:28 and Surah 16:106, where the context deals self-preservation from persecution or murder. The late Dr. Sami Makaram, a Druze Islamic Studies professor at the American University in Beirut, was the world authority on taqiyya and the author of the only academic book exclusively devoted to it, states in his ‘At-Taqiyya fi’l-Islam’ (‘Dissimulation in Islam’) that “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.”
The Islamic pedigree of this teaching is ancient:
- In the Hadith (Bukhari vol 5 #369): “The rasūl [Arabic for Mohammed the messenger] said ‘Who is willing to kill Ka’b bin al-Ashraf?’ Thereupon Maslama got up saying, ‘O Allah’s messenger! Would you like that I kill him?’ The prophet said, ‘Yes.’ Maslama said, ‘Then allow me to lie’ [to deceive Ka’b]. The prophet said, ‘You may say it.’
- In the ‘Book of Jihad’ (Riyad as-Salihin 1352; Book 11, Hadith 68), Mohammed authorizes the use of deception in the furtherance of jihad: “The Prophet said, ‘War is deception.’”
- In the Hadith (Sahih al-Bukhari 6623, Book 83, Hadith 3), Mohammed declares: “By Allah, and Allah willing, if I ever take an oath and later find something else that is better than that, then I do what is better and expiate my oath.”
Years ago, I was privileged to hear a series of lectures given by an American missionary to Muslims. He took great pains to explain that, while lying is a cause for shame in the West, that is not the case for taqiyya in Islam. For Muslims, he clarified, taqiyya (or lying to infidels in order to advance and protect Islam) is both a virtue and a duty. There is shame, however, in being caught in a lie. This basic understanding of accepted Islamic behavior is essential for anyone who wants to make sense of jihadi strategies, whether they be Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, etc.
Taqiyya forever as a weapon of war
Commenting on Qur’an 3:28, Ibn Kathir, a highly regarded authority on the Qur’an, writes in defense of taqiyya, “Whoever at any time or place fears … evil [from non-Muslims] may protect himself through outward show.” He then quotes the Hadith al-Bukhari where Mohammed’s close companion Abu ad-Darda said, “We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.” That same passage quotes al-Hasan, “Doing taqiyya is acceptable until the Day of Judgment.”
- Ibn al-‘Arabi declares that “in the Hadith [sayings and actions of Muhammad], practicing deceit in war is well demonstrated. Indeed, its need is more stressed than the need for courage.”
- Ibn al-Munir writes, “War is deceit, i.e., the most complete and perfect war waged by a holy warrior is a war of deception, not confrontation, due to the latter’s inherent danger, and the fact that one can attain victory through treachery without harm [to oneself].”
- Ibn Hajar counsels Muslims “to take great caution in war, while [publicly] lamenting and mourning in order to dupe the infidels.”
The Qur’an describes Allah in various places (Surahs 3:54, 8:30, 10:21) as the best makar, that is, the best deceiver or schemer. The Arabic word used here is ‘ماكر’ (‘maakir’), comes from the root m-k-r. The cognate word ‘makr’ meaning deception. In the Qur’an (Surah 3:54), referring to those who opposed Jesus/Isa, it says, “Then they schemed [against the Messiah], and Allah countered their schemes by schemes of His own. Allah is the best of schemers.”
- It is not surprising that those who follow a god with these moral characteristics, will themselves end up resembling the object of their worship.
Taqiyya in Gaza
In an Arabic interview on October 8, 2023 on Russia Today TV, Senior Hamas official and Head of Hamas Foreign Relations Ali Baraka boasted openly about how Hamas used taqiyya to deceive the Israeli military and security services:
- “The zero hour was kept completely secret. A limited number of Hamas leaders knew it. The number of people who knew about the attack and its timing could be counted on one hand . . . In the past couple of years, Hamas has adopted a ‘rational’ approach. It did not go into any war, and did not join the Islamic Jihad in its recent battle.” Interviewer: ”But all this was part of Hamas’s strategy in preparing for this attack.” Baraka: ”Of course. We made them think that Hamas was busy with governing Gaza, and that it wanted to focus on the 2.5 million Palestinians [in Gaza], and has abandoned the resistance altogether. All the while, under the table, Hamas was preparing for this big attack . . . In order to keep the attack secret and successful, the different factions and our allies did not know the zero hour . . . The Israelis are known to love life. We, on the other hand, sacrifice ourselves. We consider our dead to be martyrs. The thing any Palestinian desires the most is to be martyred for the sake of Allah, defending his land . . . We have been preparing for this for two years . . . Our allies are those that support us with weapons and money. First and foremost, it is Iran that is giving us money and weapons. There is also Hezbollah, and the Arab and Islamic people who are standing by us. There are countries that support us politically. Even Russia sympathizes with us.”
The Islamist strategy of taqiyya is not only used by Hamas in Gaza. It is used throughout the world, including in the US, Canada and Europe.
On the morning of March 22, 2012, Mohamed Merah, a 23-year-old French-Algerian – also known as ‘the Toulouse gunman’ – shouted out something to the RAID elite French anti-terror unit before he jumped out of his Toulouse apartment window and was neutralized. “It’s not the money, it’s the deception that’s critical!” he yelled. Merah’s ‘last will and testament’ may have seemed enigmatic to the uninformed, but it was chock-full of meaning for counterterrorism experts. Merah was referring to the role of ‘taqiyya’ in his ability to remain a ‘sleeper agent’ as an Islamic form of religious dissimulation as an act of jihadi deception. One of the best-known jihadi taqiyya sleepers was the al-Qa’eda ‘Hamburg cell’, the infamous group of jihadis who carried out the September 11, 2001, attacks, led by Mohamed Atta.
Taqiyya is “a radicalized version of concealment,” said French anti-terrorism judge Marc Trévidic in an interview with FRANCE 24. Intelligence agencies have been aware of the taqiyya dynamic since the mid-1990s, when al-Qa’eda began to advocate this technique among recruits plotting attacks on Western targets. “These people who took the path of taqiyya were called ‘sleepers.’ This is when we began to discover that after their passage through the jihadist training camps in Afghanistan, the recruits were sent home and directed to make a show of their ordinary, integrated lives – sometimes even masquerading as unbelievers,” said Trévidic.
A divine right to deceive?
Raymond Ibrahim contributes two sober suggestions to this discussion:
- “Whereas it may be more appropriate to talk of ‘war and peace’ as natural corollaries in a Western context, when discussing Islam, it is more accurate to talk of ‘war and deceit.’ For, from an Islamic point of view, times of peace – that is, whenever Islam is significantly weaker than its infidel rivals – are times of feigned peace and pretense, in a word, taqiyya.”
- Questions can be raised “about Saudi Arabia’s recent initiatives for ‘dialogue.’ Saudi Arabia closely follows sharia. For instance, the Saudi government will not allow the construction of churches or synagogues on its land; Bibles are banned and burned. Christians engaged in any kind of missionary activity are arrested, tortured, and sometimes killed. Muslim converts to Christianity can be put to death in the kingdom. Despite such limitations on religious freedom, the Saudis have been pushing for more dialogue between Muslims and non-Muslims.”
“At the most recent inter-faith conference in Madrid in July 2008, King Abdullah asserted: ‘Islam is a religion of moderation and tolerance, a message that calls for constructive dialogue among followers of all religions.’ Days later, it was revealed that Saudi children’s textbooks still call Christians and Jews ‘infidels,’ ‘hated enemies’ and ‘pigs and swine.’ A multiple-choice test in a book for fourth-graders asks: ‘Who is a ‘true’ Muslim?’ The correct answer is not the man who prays and fasts, but rather: ‘A man who worships God alone, loves the believers and hates the infidels.’ These infidels are the same people the Saudis want dialogue with. This raises the question of whether, when Saudis call for dialogue, they are merely following Mohammad’s companion Abu Darda’s advice: ‘Let us smile to the face of some people while our hearts curse them’?”
“There is also a philosophical – more particularly, epistemological – problem with taqiyya. Anyone who truly believes that no less an authority than God justifies and, through his prophet’s example, sometimes even encourages deception, will not experience any ethical qualms or dilemmas about lying. This is especially true if the human mind is indeed a tabula rasa shaped by environment and education. Deception becomes second nature . . . ‘Radical’ Muslims who closely observe sharia law, which splits the world into two perpetually warring halves, will always have a ‘divinely sanctioned’ right to deceive, until ‘all chaos ceases, and all religion belongs to Allah’ (Qur’an, Surah 8:39).”
How should we then pray?
- Pray for jihadi deception, dissimulation and lying to be exposed and expelled from the councils and deliberations the world’s leaders
- Pray for clarity, moral courage, discernment and strategies for Israel’s leadership at all levels in destroying the Hamas threat
- Pray for Israel’s leaders to withstand international pressure so that Hamas’ cruel terror dictatorship in Gaza can finally be shattered
- Pray for minimal loss of life on Israel’s side and for those Gazans who are truly innocent
- Pray for the physical rescue of the approximately 238 Israelis (including babies) kidnapped by Hamas. Four of those kidnapped have been murdered by Hamas while in captivity, their bodies discovered in buildings adjoining al – Shifa Hospital in Gaza City
- Pray that the outstretched arm of YHVH will not return before it brings justice to God’s enemies
- Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s prophetic Jewish army throughout the earth
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
In Messiah Yeshua,
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