How Google Censors Accurate Results About the Muslim Practice of Taqiyya or Lying to Non Believers

Last Updated on May 6, 2022 by Shaun Snapp

Executive Summary

  • Google started with the promise of providing authentic search results to readers.
  • However, on Muslim topics, Google is now censoring results in favor of false information.

Introduction

Taqiyya is the practice of lying to non-believers. It is practiced when Muslims are outnumbered. The idea is that the Muslims bide their time until they are strong and subjugate the non-believer. It is a well established as well as a well-practiced strategy of Muslims codified in the Koran. However, Google does not want you to know about taqiyya and promotes Muslims who practice taqiyya.

See our references for this article and related articles at this link.

How Google Changed its Results in Response to Muslim Pressure

The following describes what Google did to its algorithm concerning the taqiyya search.

Google tweaked its algorithm late last year following criticism from Suleiman and others, and now features more neutral links on the first page of search results.

“Over the past year, we’ve made improvements to surface more authoritative content for search terms that may have had low-quality results in the past,” a Google spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.“Over the past year, we’ve made improvements to surface more authoritative content for search terms that may have had low-quality results in the past,” a Google spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. A Google search for “taqiyya” now returns a Wikipedia entry as the top result, but sources with strong anti-Muslim leanings still dominate the first page of results.

This article by Buzzfeed is a poor quality article that presents taqiyya statements from Muslims, and yet it is ranked high by Google. What is “authoritative” in this arena? It appears to be pro-Muslim sources that lie about Islam professionally.

Comparing Search Results on Taqiyya

Let us review Google’s “adjusted” search results.

These are the first page results for taqiyya in Islam. Let us review each of these articles.

The first result is Wikipedia, which is essentially always the first result for most terms. Normally quite reliable, this article only emphasizes taqiyya’s defensive nature and entirely ignores Islam’s history of violent conquest, presenting Muslims as victims of persecution who only practice taqiyya to defend themselves. However, as Wikipedia will be the first result due to its authority ranking, I won’t count this either way for or against Google.

Google Result #2: Britannica

Britannica’s first result is an accurate article, but short and a bit muddled in its writing. It is not inaccurate, but it also does not provide sufficient clarity on how taqiyya is used.

Google Result #3: Buzzfeed

The second article, by Buzzfeed, is a politically correct diminution of taqiyya, presenting it as only known by a tiny minority and a myth exaggerated by those opposed to Islam. It is written by a journalist who knows nothing about the subject matter and is interested in presenting a politically correct view. It also makes the mistake of assuming that Islamic sources will not practice taqiyya in answering questions about taqiyya.

Google Result #4: Middle East Forum

This article is both accurate and insightful. Note the following quotation.

While the Qur’an is against believers deceiving other believers—for “surely God guides not him who is prodigal and a liar”[1]—deception directed at non-Muslims, generally known in Arabic as taqiyya, also has Qur’anic support and falls within the legal category of things that are permissible for Muslims.

taqiyya offers two basic uses. The better known revolves around dissembling over one’s religious identity when in fear of persecution. Such has been the historical usage of taqiyya among Shi’i communities whenever and wherever their Sunni rivals have outnumbered and thus threatened them. Conversely, Sunni Muslims, far from suffering persecution have, whenever capability allowed, waged jihad against the realm of unbelief; and it is here that they have deployed taqiyya—not as dissimulation but as active deceit. In fact, deceit, which is doctrinally grounded in Islam, is often depicted as being equal—sometimes superior—to other universal military virtues, such as courage, fortitude, or self-sacrifice.

Based on an Arabic word denoting fear, taqiyya has long been understood, especially by Western academics, as something to resort to in times of religious persecution and, for the most part, used in this sense by minority Shi’i groups living among hostile Sunni majorities.

Why Do Western Academics Misunderstand Taqiyya in This Way?

Before we move on to more of the quote, one might ask, why is this a belief among “western academics?” This is because western academics have a history of whitewashing Muslim history. For example, there are almost no books on Islamic slavery, even though no one enslaved more humans than Muslims in history. This goes back to a belief that western academics do not want to appear racist, so they apply one moral standard to white societies and a second to non-white or non-western societies. As Islamic societies don’t allow books to be written or research to be performed on the Muslim involvement in slavery, the combined guilt of western sources with the state censorship in Muslim societies means that very few people are generally aware of how extensive and how much a part of Islam slavery is. We cover this topic in the article Where African Slaves Come From And Where Did They Go.

The quote continues..

However, one of the few books devoted to the subject, At-Taqiyya fi’l-Islam (Dissimulation in Islam) makes it clear that taqiyya is not limited to Shi’a dissimulating in fear of persecution. Written by Sami Mukaram, a former Islamic studies professor at the American University of Beirut and author of some twenty-five books on Islam, the book clearly demonstrates the ubiquity and broad applicability of taqiyya:

Taqiyya 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.

Taqiyya is, therefore, not, as is often supposed, an exclusively Shi’i phenomenon. Of course, as a minority group interspersed among their Sunni enemies, the Shi’a have historically had more reason to dissemble. Conversely, Sunni Islam rapidly dominated vast empires from Spain to China. As a result, its followers were beholden to no one, had nothing to apologize for, and had no need to hide from the infidel nonbeliever (rare exceptions include Spain and Portugal during the Reconquista when Sunnis did dissimulate over their religious identity[6]). Ironically, however, Sunnis living in the West today find themselves in the place of the Shi’a: Now they are the minority surrounded by their traditional enemies—Christian infidels—even if the latter, as opposed to their Reconquista predecessors, rarely act on, let alone acknowledge, this historic enmity. In short, Sunnis are currently experiencing the general circumstances that made taqiyya integral to Shi’ism although without the physical threat that had so necessitated it.

Qur’anic verse 3:28 is often seen as the primary verse that sanctions deception towards non-Muslims: “Let believers [Muslims] not take infidels [non-Muslims] for friends and allies instead of believers. Whoever does this shall have no relationship left with God—unless you but guard yourselves against them, taking precautions.”[7]

If you [Muslims] are under their [non-Muslims’] authority, fearing for yourselves, behave loyally to them with your tongue while harboring inner animosity for them … [know that] God has forbidden believers from being friendly or on intimate terms with the infidels rather than other believers—except when infidels are above them [in authority]. Should that be the case, let them act friendly towards them while preserving their religion.

How Much and When Did Mohammed Lie?

The following quote from Middle East Forum gets into a crucial topic: Mohammed’s behavior. In Islam, Mohammed cannot be questioned, and his behavior is to be replicated in a Muslim’s life. This analysis is entirely left out of the articles that seek to present taqiyya as an “Islamophobic” exaggeration.

Muhammad—whose example as the “most perfect human” is to be followed in every detail—took an expedient view on lying. It is well known, for instance, that he permitted lying in three situations: to reconcile two or more quarreling parties, to placate one’s wife, and in war.[11] According to one Arabic legal manual devoted to jihad as defined by the four schools of law, “The ulema agree that deception during warfare is legitimate … deception is a form of art in war.”[12] Moreover, according to Mukaram, this deception is classified as taqiyya: “Taqiyya in order to dupe the enemy is permissible.”

This Muslim notion that war is deceit goes back to the Battle of the Trench (627), which pitted Muhammad and his followers against several non-Muslim tribes known as Al-Ahzab. One of the Ahzab, Na’im ibn Mas’ud, went to the Muslim camp and converted to Islam. When Muhammad discovered that the Ahzab were unaware of their co-tribalist’s conversion, he counseled Mas’ud to return and try to get the pagan forces to abandon the siege. It was then that Muhammad memorably declared, “For war is deceit.” Mas’ud returned to the Ahzab without their knowing that he had switched sides and intentionally began to give his former kin and allies bad advice. He also went to great lengths to instigate quarrels between the various tribes until, thoroughly distrusting each other, they disbanded, lifted the siege from the Muslims, and saved Islam from destruction in an embryonic period.[15] Most recently, 9/11 accomplices, such as Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, rationalized their conspiratorial role in their defendant response by evoking their prophet’s assertion that “war is deceit.”

A more compelling expression of the legitimacy of deceiving infidels is the following anecdote. A poet, Ka’b ibn Ashraf, offended Muhammad, prompting the latter to exclaim, “Who will kill this man who has hurt God and his prophet?” A young Muslim named Muhammad ibn Maslama volunteered on condition that in order to get close enough to Ka’b to assassinate him, he be allowed to lie to the poet. Muhammad agreed. Ibn Maslama traveled to Ka’b and began to denigrate Islam and Muhammad. He carried on in this way till his disaffection became so convincing that Ka’b took him into his confidence. Soon thereafter, Ibn Maslama appeared with another Muslim and, while Ka’b’s guard was down, killed him.[16]

Muhammad said other things that cast deception in a positive light, such as “God has commanded me to equivocate among the people just as he has commanded me to establish [religious] obligations”; and “I have been sent with obfuscation”; and “whoever lives his life in dissimulation dies a martyr.”[17]

In short, the earliest historical records of Islam clearly attest to the prevalence of taqiyya as a form of Islamic warfare. Furthermore, early Muslims are often depicted as lying their way out of binds—usually by denying or insulting Islam or Muhammad—often to the approval of the latter, his only criterion being that their intentions (niya) be pure.[18] During wars with Christians, whenever the latter were in authority, the practice of taqiyya became even more integral. Mukaram states, “Taqiyya was used as a way to fend off danger from the Muslims, especially in critical times and when their borders were exposed to wars with the Byzantines and, afterwards, to the raids [crusades] of the Franks and others.”[19]

Is this analysis in the pro-Muslim sources and politically correct articles that dismiss taqiyya as a far-right myth?

Allah as the Ultimate Deceiver?

The Qur’an itself is further testimony to taqiyya. Since God is believed to be the revealer of these verses, he is by default seen as the ultimate perpetrator of deceit—which is not surprising since he is described in the Qur’an as the best makar, that is, the best deceiver or schemer (e.g., 3:54, 8:30, 10:21).

While other scriptures contain contradictions, the Qur’an is the only holy book whose commentators have evolved a doctrine to account for the very visible shifts which occur from one injunction to another. No careful reader will remain unaware of the many contradictory verses in the Qur’an, most specifically the way in which peaceful and tolerant verses lie almost side by side with violent and intolerant ones. The ulema were initially baffled as to which verses to codify into the Shari’a worldview—the one that states there is no coercion in religion (2:256), or the ones that command believers to fight all non-Muslims till they either convert, or at least submit, to Islam (8:39, 9:5, 9:29). To get out of this quandary, the commentators developed the doctrine of abrogation, which essentially maintains that verses revealed later in Muhammad’s career take precedence over earlier ones whenever there is a discrepancy. In order to document which verses abrogated which, a religious science devoted to the chronology of the Qur’an’s verses evolved (known as an-Nasikh wa’l Mansukh, the abrogater and the abrogated).

Why the Change from Early Revelations to Later Revelations?

But why the contradiction in the first place? The standard view is that in the early years of Islam, since Muhammad and his community were far outnumbered by their infidel competitors while living next to them in Mecca, a message of peace and coexistence was in order. However, after the Muslims migrated to Medina in 622 and grew in military strength, verses inciting them to go on the offensive were slowly “revealed”—in principle, sent down from God—always commensurate with Islam’s growing capabilities. (emphasis added)

In juridical texts, these are categorized in stages: passivity vis-á-vis aggression; permission to fight back against aggressors; commands to fight aggressors; commands to fight all non-Muslims, whether the latter begin aggressions or not.[20] Growing Muslim might is the only variable that explains this progressive change in policy.

This is the essence of taqiyya, which is Muslims switch modes depending upon whether they are weak or strong. According to the website The Religion of Peace, at the end of the first 13 years from when Mohammed began preaching Islam, Mohammed had perhaps 100 followers. It would have been suicide for these 100 people to demand the conversion of the pagan in Mecca. Therefore the revelations, which were always things that seemed to benefit Mohammed individually, are peaceful. However, as Islam grew rapidly after this time, the revelations became increasingly hostile and prosecutorial versus other religions.

Taqiyya for Western Audiences

In the US or Europe, where they are presently too weak, i.e., their populations too small to take over the societies and make them Muslim, they specialize in playing the victim and presenting Islam as a religion of peace. This requires the taqiyya. However, where Muslims are strong, they switch modes into an aggressive behavior pattern where they enforce their will. The ultimate stage is something akin to ISIS or Boko Haram when they take territory and Saudi Arabia when they control the territory, and the state is Islamic. This is why it is so important for Muslims to lie to western audiences, that ISIS or Boko Haram, or other terrorist groups use the playbook when one is strong as laid out in the Koran and Hadith, are “perverting” Islam.

The quote continues.

However interpreted, the standard view 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).

Islam As Being Perpetually At War With the Infidel

The previous quotes regarding Mohammed’s aggressive lying during war, are put into a broader context by the following quotation.

That Islam legitimizes deceit during war is, of course, not all that astonishing; after all, as the Elizabethan writer John Lyly put it, “All’s fair in love and war.”[24] Other non-Muslim philosophers and strategists—such as Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, and Thomas Hobbes—justified deceit in warfare. Deception of the enemy during war is only common sense. The crucial difference in Islam, however, is that war against the infidel is a perpetual affair

(emphasis added) —until, in the words of the Qur’an, “all chaos ceases, and all religion belongs to God.”[25] In his entry on jihad from the Encyclopaedia of Islam, Emile Tyan states: “The duty of the jihad exists as long as the universal domination of Islam has not been attained. Peace with non-Muslim nations is, therefore, a provisional state of affairs only; the chance of circumstances alone can justify it temporarily.”[26]

How Muslim Ethics Differ from Western Ethics

Yet most Westerners continue to think that Muslim mores, laws, and ethical constraints are near identical to those of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Naively or arrogantly, today’s multiculturalist leaders project their own worldview onto Islamists, thinking a handshake and smiles across a cup of coffee, as well as numerous concessions, are enough to dismantle the power of God’s word and centuries of unchanging tradition. The fact remains: Right and wrong in Islam have little to do with universal standards but only with what Islam itself teaches—much of which is antithetical to Western norms. Yet if war with the infidel is a perpetual affair, if war is deceit, and if deeds are justified by intentions—any number of Muslims will naturally conclude that they have a divinely sanctioned right to deceive, so long as they believe their deception serves to aid Islam “until all chaos ceases, and all religion belongs to God.”

It must, therefore, be accepted that, contrary to long-held academic assumptions, the doctrine of taqiyya goes far beyond Muslims engaging in religious dissimulation in the interest of self-preservation and encompasses deception of the infidel enemy in general. This phenomenon should provide a context for Shi’i Iran’s zeal—taqiyya being especially second nature to Shi’ism—to acquire nuclear power while insisting that its motives are entirely peaceful.

Taqiyya and Iran and Nuclear Weapons

This phenomenon should provide a context for Shi’i Iran’s zeal—taqiyya being especially second nature to Shi’ism—to acquire nuclear power while insisting that its motives are entirely peaceful.

In closing, 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.

Why Is The Middle East Times Article High in the Search Results

One might ask if Google is so dedicated to censoring taqiyya’s reality, why is this article allowed to show high in Google’s search results? One explanation is that it is very long and has a significant complexity, as it is nearly or is academic in its detail. This is the type of article that many people will not read all the way through. In this way, while the article is highly educational and highly accurate, it is less threatening. It is not going to be read and comprehended by those that search on the topic of taqiyya.

This is censorship on Google and is a violation of trust between Google and its users. And where does this censorship stop? How about articles about IBM? Should articles critical of IBM be authentically determined through reader interest, or should IBM’s own published information about IBM be published as it is more “authoritative?” Is this what Google intends to do? To present all status quo and biased sources as “authoritative?” If that is true, it might make sense to begin thinking about using other search engines.

Muslims absolutely oppose any freedom of speech critical of Islam, which is another problem with Muslim influence over society. Now, Muslims are bringing those restrictions to western societies.

Google Result #5: The Washington Post

The Washington Post article is similar to the Buzzfeed article in that it entirely whitewashed the term and uses Muslim sources that are themselves practicing taqiyya. Observe this quote.

But experts in Islamic law say that these Internet scholars have completely corrupted the meaning of the words.

The word “taqiyya” derives from the Arabic words for “piety” and “fear of God” and indicates when a person is in a state of caution, said Khaled Abou El Fadl, a professor of law at the University of California at Los Angeles and a leading authority on Islam.

After everything that this article has covered up to this point, how can this be taken seriously?

Google Result #6: Yaqeem Institute

This article is just straight-up falsehoods from a pro-Muslim source. The article was written for those that know little about Islam and can be tricked. This is a typical quote from the article.

The contemporary Islamophobia industry has deployed the exact same stereotypes in its characterization of the Islamic faith community and 1.6 billion Muslims. To this end, words like “Shariah” and “Jihad” have been exploited by Islamophobes who affirm the perverted meanings assigned to these terms by terrorists.

Once again, all criticism of Islam is “Islamophobia,” and non-Muslims exploit all terms that have real meanings widely understood in Islam.

The Accuracy of the Google Results on Taquiyya

Let us review the accuracy of the Google results.

  1. Result #1: Wikipedia: Inaccurate
  2. Result #2: Britannica: Accurate but muddled.
  3. Result #3: Buzzfeed: Inaccurate and PC apologetics.
  4. Result #4: Middle East Forum: Accurate and devastating for Islam, but long and likely not read to completion by most that find the article.
  5. Result #5: The Washington Post: Inaccurate and PC apologetics.
  6. Result #6: Yaqeen Institute: Straight up falsehoods by a Muslim source practicing taqiyya.

So that is two out of 6 accurate results.

Let us compare this to the results from the search engine Duck Duck Go.

The first result is again Wikipedia as it normally is. However, notice the second result. It is from the very well respected website The Religion of Peace. This same result is on the second page of the Google results.

Duck Duck Go Result #2: Britannica

The Religion of Peace article is an entirely accurate article that explains there are also other forms of lying directed in the Hadith. That is, taqiyya is only one form of lying that is approved.

The Hadith makes it clear that Muslims are allowed to lie to unbelievers in order to defeat them or protect themselves. There are several forms:

Taqiyya – Saying something that isn’t true as it relates to Muslim identity (i.e whether one is a Muslim or what that means). This is a Shiite term: the Sunni counterpart is Muda’rat.

Kitman – Lying by omission. An example would be when Muslim apologists quote only a fragment of verse 5:32 (that if anyone kills “it shall be as if he had killed all mankind”) while neglecting to mention that the rest of the verse (and the next) mandate murder in undefined cases of “corruption” and “mischief.”

Tawriya – Intentionally creating a false impression by saying something that is technically true, when knowing that the listener will interpret it in a different way. This practice has a broader application than taqiyya.

Muruna – ‘Blending in’ by setting aside some practices of Islam or Sharia in order to advance others.

I had never heard of these other types of deception laid out in the Hadith before reading this article. Is there some reason that Muslims have pressured Google to push these types of deception lower in the results? Are these forms of Muslim prescribed deception not in the Hadith? Does Google have any evidence they would like to present that this information is false and that therefore should be pushed down in search results? Or rather was Google instructed on which results to push down?

How Google Misleads Users about Taqiyya

Google receives our Golden Pinocchio Award for the presentation to media outlets that they only “improved the quality” of the results on the subject of taqiyya. 

Conclusion

Google started as one thing, providing authentic results based upon user interactions. It is now swiftly moving into censorship, deciding what its readers can read and not read, based upon Muslims’ complaints, who seek to lie to non-believers about Islam. Now that Google has gone down this path, there is no limit to what they might censor in the future. This is yet another example of how Muslims reduce the freedom of speech of non-Muslims.

Isn’t it curious how a religion that oppresses people worldwide, where it is in control governments, those countries have the worst human rights abuses, where laws are often not enforced against Muslims, if their victim is a non-Muslim, needs protection from Google? Google should consider how much it would benefit from western freedoms based on Qatar or Saudi Arabia.