Saturday, April 26, 2008

Lies, Damned Lies and Hilali

Sheik 'Cat Meat' Hilali indulges in some taqiyya:

OUTSPOKEN Muslim cleric Taj al-Din al-Hilali says the Bible "mandates" the wearing of the veil by Christian women.

Writing in a new book, Sheik Hilali, who lost his job as mufti of Australia after comparing scantily clad women to uncovered meat, argues that the Bible and the Koran make similar demands of a woman's modesty.
No it doesn't and Anglican Bishop of South Sydney, Robert Forsyth quoted in the story calls it right:

(Forsyth) challenged Sheik Hilali's comments about the veil being "mandated" in the Bible, saying they were misleading.

"The New Testament does call upon people to dress modestly," he said. "But there is no understanding that women are commanded to wear the veil. But it is mandated that you should dress appropriately for your social context."
Could this be the start of a new PR offensive by Islamists?

Hilali seems to be working from the same playbook the the Muslim leaders who wrote "An Open Letter and Call from Muslim Religious Leaders", published late last year which appeared to highlight the similarities between Islam and Christianity.

An Open Call is a text book example of dissimulation and it is incisively dissected in this essay:

While addressed to a specific group of Christian leaders, the fact that it is an open letter widely disseminated by the world media means that world public opinion is another intended audience. Furthermore, certain terminology in the letter, as well as the choice of Qur`anic quotations cited, suggest that the letter is also intended for the global Muslim audience. It is not unusual in Islamic discourse for different messages to be delivered to the different audiences. This is permitted by the Islamic doctrine of taqiyya (dissimulation) which allows Muslims to practise deception in certain circumstances. It appears that the Christian vocabulary of the letter is intended to guide Christian readers to the erroneous conclusion that Islam and Christianity are basically identical religions, focusing on love to God and to the neighbour. The hidden messages for Muslims are contained in the many polemical quotations from the Qur`an.

Another example of the apparent use of taqiyya is the fact that some of the words in the Arabic version of the letter differ in meaning from those in the English version. For example, the word used for "neighbour" in the Arabic version of the letter is jar, a term which carries only a geographical meaning. It is not equivalent to the Biblical Hebrew word for neighbour, which is re`a (denoting kinship, even as close as a brother or sister). Yet there is another word for "neighbour" in Arabic which is closer to the meaning of the Hebrew re`a and which could have been used. This is the word qarib, which is used in Arabic Bibles and which more closely translates the Biblical original. It is also worth noting that Jesus Christ is not given the name used by Arabic Christians (Yasu` al-Masih), but the Islamic version (`Isa al-Masih).
Do read all of it.

The essay is from The Barnabas Fund, which provides aid and other support to persecuted churches around the world, and is an excellent primer on how taqiyya works and how to cut through the subtext to get at the real meaning of propaganda like An Open Call and Cat Meat's latest deception.

-- Nora

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