Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Taqiyya and kitman: The role of Deception in Islamic terrorism

Home - ci-ce-ct.com Taqiyya and kitman: The role of Deception in Islamic terrorism

Tradecraft. Persona. Deception. Disinformation. Cover: Western operational terms and techniques. But, Islamic terrorists have their own terms: taqiyya (pronounced tark-e-ya) : precautionary dissimulation or deception and keeping one’s convictions secret and a synonymous term, kitman: mental reservation and dissimulation or concealment of malevolent intentions...

Taqiyya and kitman or ‘holy hypocrisy’ has been diffused throughout Arabic culture for over fourteen hundred years since it was developed by Shiites as a means of defence and concealment of beliefs against Sunni unbelievers. As the Prophet said: 'he who keeps secrets shall soon attain his objectives.’

The skilful use of taqiyya and kitman was often a matter of life and death against enemies; it is also a matter of life and death to many contemporary Islamic terrorists. As so often in the history of Islam, a theological doctrine became operational.

During the Spanish inquisition, Sunni Moriscos attended mass and returned home to wash their hands of the ‘holy water’. In operational terms, taqiyya and kitman allowed the ‘mujahadeen ’ to assume whatever identity was necessary to fulfill their mission; they had doctrinal and theological and later jurisprudential sanction to pretend to be Jews or Christians to gain access to Christian and Jewish targets: ‘the mujahadeen can take the shape of the enemy’.

Taqiyya is common to both Shiite and Sunni Muslim discourse and has significant implications for understanding Islamic fundamentalism and terrorist operations. The theory and practice of counter terrorism would be counter productive, indeed pointless, and even harmful, without reference to taqiyya and kitman and the crucial role of deception ranging from Islamic jurisprudence to Al Qaeda training manuals, which carry detailed instructions on the use of deception by terrorists in Western target countries.

According to Christian ethics lying is a sin; In Islamic jurisprudence and theology, the use of taqiyya against the unbelievers is regarded as a virtue and a religious duty.


"Verily the most honourable of you in the sight of God is the most pious among you; verily, God is knowing, aware!" 49:13


Shi'a interpret the phrase above as "he among you who exercises Taqiyya most"



Like many Islamic concepts taqiyya and kitman were formed within the context of the Arab-Islamic matrix of tribalism, expansionary warfare and conflict. Taqiyya has been used by Muslims since the 7th century to confuse and split 'the enemy’. A favored tactic was ‘deceptive triangulation’; to persuade the enemy that jihad was not aimed at them but at another enemy. Another tactic was to deny that there was jihad at all. The fate for such faulty assessments by the target was death.

No comments: