Over at PJ Media I discuss Iran’s rationale for its ongoing and constant practice of deception:
Newly declassified State Department cables revealed that, in January 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini sent a secret message to the Jimmy Carter White House. He promised that if Carter did not stand in the way of the mullahs taking power in Iran, the new Islamic Republic would safeguard U.S. interests there.
Khomeini was lying, of course.
The Carter administration had not been willing to allow for that possibility, any more than the Obama administration is willing to admit that Iran today is lying about the nuke deal. (Given that Ben Rhodes and the rest of the Obama team was busy lyingto the American people about the deal, it is odd they would assume the Iranians were being truthful.)
Washington policymakers in both eras — tightly bound to the politically correct dogma that Islam is peaceful and benign — failed to consider the importance of the Shi’ite doctrine oftaqiyya.
Yet if any of our political leaders had dared bring up taqiyya in connection with the deal, it might have been much clearer to the nation why the deal had to be stopped.
No one can say we weren’t warned that the whole thing was a lie. The warning couldn’t have been clearer.
On November 24, 2013, Iran, the U.S., and its allies concluded a preliminary agreement on Iran’s nuclear program that paved the way for the later deal. Several weeks later, Iranian political analyst Mohammad Sadeq Al-Hosseini — who had been a political advisor to the “moderate” Mohammad Khatami, president of Iran from 1997 to 2005 — gave a revealing interview.
Hosseini was contemptuous of the notion that the Geneva deal represented a new friendship between the U.S. and Iran:
There is no honeymoon. We are engaged in a fierce war with the Americans on all levels. This is the Treaty of Hudaybiyya in Geneva, and it will be followed by a “conquest of Mecca.”
This was a clear admission of deception.
Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, concluded the Treaty of Hudaybiyya with the pagan Arabs of Mecca at terms disadvantageous to the Muslims — but only to give them time to gather strength. When the Muslim forces were much stronger several years later, he broke the agreement, marched on Mecca, and conquered it. The treaty, with its unfavorable terms, was based on a lie, and Muhammad discarded it when he didn’t need it anymore.
Hosseini boasted openly about Iran’s long-term plan:
The Geneva agreement was achieved due to three things. The first was our strategic patience. Iran has maintained strategic patience for a very long time — 10 or 11 years. We have been patient, preparing for the day that comes after those 10 years.
Hosseini was referring to the day when the deal lapses, and Iran is completely free to pursue nuclear weapons without the deal’s sham restrictions. More:
When you conduct political negotiations with Iran, you lose even when you think you have won.
Hosseini — again, an advisor on policy for a prior “moderate” Iranian administration — was admitting that deception is a core element of Iranian foreign policy. It has been right from the beginning of the Islamic Republic, when Khomeini sent his secret cable to Washington.
Deception is a frequently used weapon of the Islamic Republic because it is a core element of Shi’ite Islam.
Although deception of unbelievers is found in the Qur’an (3:28) and is thus acceptable among all Islamic sects, taqiyya (concealment) is a particularly Shi’ite doctrine. When he gave his assurances to Carter, Khomeini, as a Shi’ite leader, was using taqiyya in its classic sense.
The concept of taqiyya developed during the time of the sixth Imam, Jafar al-Sadiq, in middle of the eighth century. The Shi’ites were being persecuted by the Sunni caliph al-Mansur. Taqiyya allowed Shi’ites to pretend to be Sunnis in order to protect themselves, as Sunnis were killing Shi’ites.
Until the conversion of Persia to Shi’ism, taqiyya was an important element of Shi’ite survival. Sunnis, in the majority almost everywhere, would not infrequently take it upon themselves to “cleanse” the land of those whom they referred to as Rafidites, or “rejecters.” The Shi’ites “rejected” the caliphates of Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman.
Later, some Shi’ite thinkers turned the secrecy that had become a necessity into a virtue.
The medieval Shi’ite scholar Ali ibn Musa ibn Tawus, who died in 1266, taught that Allah had revealed Shi’ism secretly, and it was incumbent upon the believers to practice it in secret. At the end of days, Allah will admit them secretly into Paradise. Some secrets were never to be revealed under any circumstances.
The fifth imam, Muhammad al-Baqir, who died in 732, once gave a book to one of his disciples, telling him:
If you ever transmit any of it, my curse and the curse of my forefathers will fall upon you.
The sixth Imam, Jafar Al-Sadiq, who died in 765, had a servant who was suspected of having revealed some of the secrets of the faith. The Imam lectured:
Whoever propagates our tradition is like someone who denies it.
Conceal our doctrine and do not divulge it. God elevates in this world one who conceals our doctrine and does not divulge it and he turns it in the next world into a light between his eyes which will lead him to Paradise. God abases in this world one who divulges our tradition and our doctrine and does not conceal it, and in the next world he removes the light from between his eyes and turns it into darkness which will lead him to hell.
Taqiyyais our religion and the religion of our fathers; he who has no taqiyya has no religion.
Other imams also emphasized the cardinal importance of taqiyya, apparently not only because Shi’ites were under constant threat from Sunnis, but because Shi’ite Islam contained doctrines that must stay hidden from outsiders.
Some other sayings of the imams regarding taqiyya include:
“He who has no taqiyya has no faith.”
“He who forsakes taqiyya is like him who forsakes prayer.”
“He who does not adhere to taqiyya and does not protect us from the ignoble common people is not part of us.”