Taqiyya, Territorial Expansion, and the Western European Future

On my class list-serv (class of ’71), we’ve had a discussion of the relationship of Muslim demographics to aggressive behavior. I posted these remarks based on two remarkable pieces, one by Raymond Ibrahim on Taqiyya and Islam, and one a video made by a exceptionally courageous Parisian of the take-over of some public streets in Paris every Friday for 2 and a half hours.

As everyone who’s spent some time with the Quran knows, it’s full of contradictions, especially on the subject of the use of violence. “No coercion in matters of religion” (sura 2) vs “Fight against the infidel till they either convert or submit” (suras 8, 9). The Muslim commentators came up with the principle of abrogation, in which the later passages (the suras are not listed chronologically, but the later Medina suras are the more coercive) abrogated the earlier ones.

In a very important article Raymond Ibrahim lays out the implications of this for Islam:

However interpreted, the standard view [among Muslim scholars] on Qur’anic abrogation concerning war and peace verses is that when Muslims are weak and in a minority position, they should preach and behave according to the ethos of the Meccan verses (peace and tolerance); when strong, however, they should go on the offensive on the basis of what is commanded in the Medinan verses (war and conquest). The vicissitudes of Islamic history are a testimony to this dichotomy, best captured by the popular Muslim notion, based on a hadith, that, if possible, jihad should be performed by the hand (force), if not, then by the tongue (through preaching); and, if that is not possible, then with the heart or one’s intentions.[23]

In a study of tolerance in the Protestant Reformation, Andrew Pettegree came to the conclusion that “tolerance was a loser’s creed” (p. 198), that when they began, Protestant movements were in favor of free speech and dissent (protest), but as soon as they were in a position to take power, then they argue that God gave them their strength because they are right, and imposing their belief is what God wants. Thus, the US constitution is the first time in the history of Christianity that tolerance is a winner’s creed.

Now how that happened, and how it can happen in Islam is not something we will figure out by making arguments about moral equivalence (we were just as bad) or moral inversion (we’re worse).

I strongly recommend the Ibrahim article for many reasons, not the least being the problem it sets before us on this issue: while in Christianity there is no hint of the principle that drove so many Christians to seek power to impose their beliefs on others — on the contrary, everything “argues” against it — the Quran has actually embedded in its collection of suras that very argument, formalized by later commentators across the board (all four schools of jurisprudence). If libido dominandi (the lust to dominate) can have that affect on Christians whose texts are against these principles, a fortiori, will it be difficult for Muslims to confront them… especially if we don’t confront them about these matters.

Before 2000, virtually every book on Islam argued that it was overwhelming a fatalistic religion (inshallah — if God wills it), an attitude that permits many today to argue that the “vast majority of Muslims are moderate.” In the 1960s and 70s sociologists, working on the “secularization model” were depicting its imminent demise.

1979 marks the beginning and 2000 marks a key turning point in Muslim attitudes globally (aided by both media and the second intifada/9-11), in which allahu akhbar as a war cry became more and more widespread. This “awakening” has changed many Muslim attitudes towards both themselves and their neighbors.

There is a territorial battle going on that we are losing because we don’t/won’t even recognize it.

I recommend watching the video full screen in order to read the English subtitles.

27 Responses to Taqiyya, Territorial Expansion, and the Western European Future

  1. ajm says:

    Well, if you really read it, like you’d read, say, a bill of law (which it definitely is), there is no “peace and tolerance” in the Meccan verses: the very first verse revealed is already promising hell to unbelievers. What is new in Medina is sanctified violence against them.

    Muslims have to accept non-Muslims only when they can’t possibly do otherwise (Surah al Kafirun) or when it is smarter to do so (Hudaybiyah). The rest is outside the realm of the text. You have to lie or to depart from the Koran to defend it.

  2. E.G. says:


    And nobody mentioned Heinsohn’s “Youth bulge” thesis?

  3. Paul Freeman says:

    “Does our government know what this doctrine is all about…”

    Let’s see…

    Obama insisted again yesterday that he was going to close Guantanamo. A reason he gave was that Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular had cited its existence as one the “provocations” causing them to form their group.

  4. Joanne says:

    Sorry, but I tried the full-screen mode, and the captions still weren’t there.

  5. Joanne says:

    Never mind, I saw it on Youtube, where there were visible captions. I thought the thing would be in Arabic (it sounded like it), but it was mostly in French. It was just as well to have the captions, however, because the heavily accented French of the Muslims was sometimes hard to understand.

    What I don’t get is their assumption that they can enforce censorship on an activity in a public space. They chose to be out in public, so they would presumably have to accept that they could be filmed, as this wouldn’t be against any law. Yet they didn’t get this. I don’t know if it’s because these guys were uneducated or were reflecting deeply embedded values in Muslim culture.

  6. Cynic says:


    Before 2000, virtually every book on Islam argued that it was overwhelming a fatalistic religion (inshallah — if God wills it),

    Just being with them daily one came across this attitude; on some occasions hair raising experiences.

    Several times being taken home at night from work on an unlit road traveling at close to 100m/h, on being requested to slow down, the reply was that if Allah wills it, it will be, no matter what he the driver does.

  7. Cynic says:


    What I don’t get is their assumption that they can enforce censorship on an activity in a public space.

    Why not? They have already determined their power by closing down discussion of their behaviour in Europe and the US.They can say what they want to about Jews and Christians but the infidel dare not point out certain aspects of their “culture” and the media along with the politicians get their panties in a knot.

  8. E.G. says:


    What they’re stating and trying to make clear is that “here we rule”: it’s their territory. The Mosque representative even adds that they have a tacit accord with the Paris Mayor/City hall (I don’t think they do, but would not be surprised to ack. the inverse).

    In the suburbs it’s worse.

  9. Eliyahu says:

    Don’t forget that you can’t build a church or synagogue anywhere in the Desert Democracy of Our Great Friend and Ally, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Yet in Paris we can extend the mosque onto the sidewalk and street. C’est notre droit. I forgot to add that according to Saudi law, Jews are not allowed into the country period. But exceptions have been made for Kissinger and such like.

    I am somewhat surprised, but not too much, that Obama would cite an al-Qaida claim of “provocations” by the US as a reason for shutting the Guantanamo prison. I am sure that the current Communist govt of Cuba considers the Gitmo jail a provocation too. But we never hear about what the Cuban govt thinks of the Gitmo jail. It’s nice, or maybe just curious, that the Cuban Communists do not attack Gitmo with military force to drive out the Yanqui imperialists, although they see it as part of the Cuban patria and Fidel declared years ago Patria o Muerte, that is, it’s worth dying for the Patria. But they never attacked Gitmo.

    Now, if Obama cites the al-Qa`ida complaint about a “provovation” as an explanation or justification for his actions, then that’s dangerous for him, because they’ll call anything and everything a provocation in order to get him to do what they want –and in fact they will make a fool out of him.

    So al-Qa`ida called the Gitmo jail a provocation. So the Arabs call everything that Israel does an aggression. What many people don’t realize is that Muslims give their own definitions to all sorts of terms, whether peace, justice, resistance [the Hizbullah in Lebanon call their terrorism and violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty “resistance”], aggression, the law, rights, etc. If Islam is divinely assigned to take over the whole world, then any resistance to Islamic conquest is aggression. They have rights, in their own minds, that Western law does not recognize but quite often Western govts do not want to enforce their law on Muslims.

    A Muslim speaker in the video spoke of La Loi. He probably was sincere and meant Muslim law, not French law.

    When dealing with Muslims you always have to keep in mind that their usage and definitions of words referring to abstractions: aggression, law, resistance, justice, etc., is often unique to themselves. But one should not take their use of words at face value as if it represented what it means to the rest of the world.

    RL, the Qur’an when recited has a strong rhythm that some call spellbinding. However, the literary style of the Qur’an is –shall we say– choppy. It is not only full of contradictions but of stories that suddenly end without a conclusion, of partial quotes from pre-Islamic sources [for example, the Quranic version of the story of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba is taken not from the Biblical book of Kings but from the Jewish Midrash. Yet the quote is partial and inexplicably ends before the conclusion]. Many of the goody-goody, tolerant, universally humane verses in the Qur’an, commonly cited by apologists for Islam, are contradicted by other verses following close after in the text. I suppose this is part of the Meccan-Medinan opposition. Such is the verse about saving one soul being like saving the whole world [slightly reworked from the original in the Talmud]. This is contradicted in the next few verses. Or the verse about there being no compulsion in religion, which is likewise contradicted.

  10. Michelle Schatzman says:

    The muslim prayer in the streets in the Barbès area in Paris has been going on for at least twenty years. At first, the rationale was that the muslims did not have enough room in the mosques, so they spilled over in the surronding streets. I do not know for how long they have been able to put barriers, to interrupt motor transit, to forbid pedestrian transit and even entrance to and exit from the neighboring apartments.

    You bet there is a tacit agreement with the police and town hall! Or even an oral agreement! What do you think? The tradition in the french administration is that, when you have to apply the law, you must make all possible effort to avoid the «trouble à l’ordre public», i.e. disturbance of public order.

    The classical example where the prevention of public disturbance is the key to good administration is the following dilemma : a stadium is full of fans waiting for a show by a rock star. The rock star lands into the neighboring airport, and drugs, lots of drugs, are found in his/her luggage. Do you arrest the star and therefore delay the show? Certainly not, and if the star is arrested, you free her/him as fast as possible, because delaying the show would cause rioting in the stadium and this is a much more serious problem for public order than drug consumption and maybe dealing by a rock star.

    My take on muslim prayers in some Paris streets is that townhall and police authorities have decided that more trouble would come from forbidding this unlawful use of the public domain than from letting them go on. What they may not have forecast is that the problem is getting worse and worse. These muslims are marking their territory and extending it. Their religion is first and foremost a public display, and has little to do with changing personal attitudes and instilling more morality in life. The Barbès area is also known for drug dealing, and one of the people who has started photographing public muslim prayer mentions that the drug dealers stop dealing at the time of the prayer, pray, and go back to business afterwards.

    Reminds me of the following saying : there is no such thing as a religious jew who steals, but there are thieves who pray three times a day.

    For more pictures etc., look at the following web site (in french) :


    and Maxime Lepante is the name of the person who takes pictures in Barbès. The name of the person who filmed the dialogue must be somewhere.

    My opinion about this site is “il y a à boire et à manger”, which means that you can find good articles and lousy ones. For instance, a lady wrote about the right to drink moderately before driving. Only, her definition of moderation did not fit the present french law, which she found totalitarian. In US terms, I’d say that there is a lot of libertarian ideology. The site also defends a very nationalistic attitude, is anti-european sometimes to the verge of paranoia. So, I suppose that everything there should be taken with a grain of salt.

  11. E.G. says:


    Let’s not forget that these same people reproach Israel her policy of “fait accompli”. Especially “colonisation” of land that is not her propriety…

  12. E.G. says:

    Sorry, read: property.

  13. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Hey, E.G., how can you compare the true religion of Muhammad and the lies of the descendants of pigs and apes? Come on…

  14. Who Are We Fighting?…

    In Synthesis I noted that among other problems in our current confrontation with those who wish to do us harm is a conspicuous lacunae of our acknowledgement and naming of the enemy. According to the Bush administration we were fighting……

  15. […] Yesterday Richard Landes at the Augean Stables discussed this issue from a slightly different angle: Taqiyya, Territorial Expansion, and the Western European Future […]

  16. E.G. says:

    The European (but not only) dilemma:
    When human rights can put lives at risk

  17. sshender says:


    If I remember correctly, it was here that I read a few times that the mood of the Muslim street is such that whenever given the chance of free elections, they go overwhelmingly for the Islamists. The obvious implication was that any attempts to force or facilitate democracy are bound to fail and even backfire.

    (correct me if I’m wrong on this one. However I’m certain I’ve encountered these claims not once in some of the blogs I follow regularly).

    This is why I was surprised to read this:


    Over the past 40 years, 86 parliamentary elections in 20 countries have included one or more Islamic parties, according to annual reports from the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Voters in these places have overwhelmingly turned up their noses at such parties. Eighty percent of these Islamic parties earned less than 20 percent of the vote, and a majority got less than 10 percent — hardly landslide victories. The same is true even over the last few years, with numbers barely changing since 2001.

    I don’t know what to make of it now.

    Another claim of the article is that participation of Islmist parties in the democratic process has a moderating effect on them, and is therefore a means of combating radicalism.

    Now, everything that I know about the Arabs screams with dissent, so I’d love to hear other opinions.

  18. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Arab is not muslim! The arab street supposedly favors the islamists. It is a well-known fact in Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood has won over the majority of the osciety – and this can be seen just by comparing pictures of Egyptian women fifty years ago and now. They did not wear a hijab then, they do now.

    The Arabs are a minority among the muslims. Think of India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Iran, Bangladesh : their combined muslim population is about 700 million people, while the combined muslim Arab population is about 300 million.

    Beyond these observations, democracy is more than elections : if you think of Iran, they have had elections since 1979, but candidacies were severely filtered, with only appropriately islamic candidates kept. This is not really far from the old soviet polling : you could vote, in fact, you had to, but there was only one list of candidates, approved by the communist party. I can say that the iranian regime is smarter, since you can choose between several candidates approved by the regime.

    Besides that, a claim of Kurzman and Naqvi is contradicted in one of the comments on the page you linked to. Indeed, the islamist party in Jordan has *not* removed its aim of establishing sharia.

    I would argue that the problem is not only islamist winning in free elections versus violent islamic politics. Imagine that sharia is not enforced in state law, but is enforced in practice, then the islamists gain with less effort!

    A current example is the use of the word «Allah» by Christians in Malaysia. A march 2009 law has forbidden this use, and a catholic newspaper sued, arguing that this was the only word that made sense in the local language for «God». They won. Attacks on churches followed : just search the internet with keywords «allah, god, malaysia», and you’ll get as much information as you wish.

  19. E.G. says:

    Taqiyya is one thing. Another cardinal concept is “al wala wal bara”. See p. 134:

    The war for Muslim minds: Islam and the West By Gilles Kepel

  20. […] Augean Stables » Taqiyya, Territorial Expansion, and the Western … […]

  21. […] For a further analysis of just what Hamas is up to, to understand the racist Islamist mindset that drives this and countless similar organisations, and to understand how close the West is to committing collective suicide in the face of the Islamist onslaught, read another piece from Augean Stables. […]

  22. […] För en djupare analys av vad Hamas håller på med, för att förstå de rasistiska islamistiska tankegångar som driver denna samt otaliga liknande organisationer, och för att förstå hur nära Västvärlden är till att begå kollektivt självmord på grund av den islamistiska anstormningen, läs en till artikel på bloggen Augean Stables. […]

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