Deception of Non-Muslims

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Islam

Muslim spokesmen employ a peculiar style of deceptive propaganda that so far has caught western media off-guard. It takes advantage of a common assumption among those who have only been exposed to other religions – the assumption that the statements of religious leaders can be taken at face value because religious leaders want people to understand their religion. It takes advantage of western ignorance of Islam while at the same time seeking to maintain that ignorance. It takes advantage of people's tendency to see Islam as a religion in the traditional sense, rather than as a combination of a militant political ideology and a religion. Thus a Muslim religious leader should not be seen in the same way as most religious leaders. He should be viewed as a combination of politician and religious leader. When addressing a western, non-Muslim audience, he should not be viewed as a typical missionary, but as an astute politician addressing a hostile audience who won't like all of his policies - he will tell you what you want to hear. Viewing them as a politician can be a difficult task as they often combine this with a hypersensitivity to criticism or direct questioning that a politician could not get away with. 'How dare you accuse me of lying' is a powerful challenge coming from a cleric with his 'religious leader' hat on, but would be ridiculed if it came from a politician.

Muslims use a number of strategies to either conceal the more barbaric aspects of their religion or to deceive people about Islamic doctrine. The initial deception is semantic. Literally, they say one thing and mean another, the opposite of calling a spade a spade. This typically involves using a dual meaning that is generally only understood by Muslims, or using Arabic terms. The initial deception is followed up with a number of rhetorical techniques that create a barrier to effective communication. These are essentially a form of diversion. While some of these tricks are familiar to a western audience, some are largely unfamiliar and play on Islamic concepts with which the west is unfamiliar.

Muslims will discuss with each other deliberate attempts to strategically generate propaganda for the political aspects of Islam. This looks far more like the actions of a political party intent on winning at all costs rather than a religion trying to promote the truth. [1]

Contents

Textual justifications for deception

There are several textual sources of that justify deception by Muslims. Some are given below:

Abu Hurairah narrates that the Prophet said: “One who keeps the faults of a Muslim secret in this world, Allah will keep his faults in the Hereafter and Allah remains in the help of the (Muslim) man until he is in the help of his brother.” (Musnad Ahmad: 274/2)

Muslims have built a strong tradition and culture around this hadith that places reputation above truth and calls on Muslims to, first and foremost, protect the reputation of other Muslims. Muslims who become aware of illegal or immoral behaviour by fellow Muslims are severely restricted, by Islam, in how they can respond. The inevitable result of this is an oppressive, corrupt society that is completely unwilling to have an open dialogue about it's own oppression and corruption.

Another interesting verse, this time directly from the Quran, forbids Muslims from asking questions about troubling aspects of Islam:

O you who have believed, do not ask about things which, if they are shown to you, will distress you. But if you ask about them while the Qur'an is being revealed, they will be shown to you. Allah has pardoned that which is past; and Allah is Forgiving and Forbearing. A people asked such [questions] before you; then they became thereby disbelievers. (Surah 5:101-102).

A similar verse:

The clerk of Al-Mughira bin Shu'ba narrated, "Muawiya wrote to Al-Mughira bin Shu'ba: Write to me something which you have heard from the Prophet (p.b.u.h) ." So Al-Mughira wrote: I heard the Prophet saying, "Allah has hated for you three things: ... 3. And asking too many questions (in disputed religious matters) (Bukhari vol. 2, Hadith#. 555)

Although this is a call to self-delusion, it is a necessary psychological strategy for the deception of others - both Muslim and non-Muslim - regarding Islam. Feeling constantly pressured to knowingly deceive others might cause Muslims to lose faith. But if Muslims never inform themselves of the troublesome aspects of Islam in the first place, they will have at best only a vague awareness of them, and will more likely accept outright lies about the matter. The version of Islam they pass onto fellow Muslims and non-Muslims will be appropriately 'cleansed' according to whatever the society wants to hear, based on the values of the time. While this may appear to be a recipe for the destruction of Islam from within, it must be remembered that Islam requires its spread to be followed closely by the imposition of a militant Islamic state that is utterly hostile to any 'incorrect' versions of the religion being promoted. This includes the death penalty for blasphemy and apostasy, where apostasy is taken to include adopting the 'wrong' version of Islam. Thus, Islam spreads through a combination of willful self-delusion, concealment and deception, followed by the ruthless imposition of the harsh realities of true Islam.

One last example from the Quran:

And they (the disbelievers) schemed, and Allah schemed (against them): and Allah is the best of schemers. Qur'an (3:54)

Ironically, many Muslim websites translate this as "plan" rather than "scheme". Technically, the Arabic term can be translated as plan, but only in the context of planning to do someone harm through deceipt.

Lying about the Quran

Deception_and_the_Just_War_Doctrine#Misrepresenting_the_Quran

Muslims will lie about the Quran, primarily to whitewash the promotion of violence.

For example, Chapter 9 of the Quran is entirely devoted to encouraging Muslims to slaughter the infidel. [2] Muslims will claim that the fist verse of the chapter states that the entire chapter is restricted in context to pagans who violate their treaties with Muslims. Not only does the first verse not actually say this, there are verses in the chapter that clearly go beyond this scope, as well as other broad contextual statements similar to verse one that have a broader scope. [3] [4] Muslims will argue that a reference to a subgroup of pagans (those with a treaty) must imply that all references to pagans in the chapter must refer to those with a treaty (even when it does not make sense), because the it does specifically mention pagans without a treaty. It was never explained why this was necessary in order to refer to pagans in general. [5]

Muhammad committed genocide by wiping out the Jewish Banu Qurayza tribe - the last remaining of three large tribes of Jews in Medina. Muslims will falsely claim that the Quran states that members of the tribe were freed, in order to contradict other Muslim sources who state that all 'adult' (those who had pubic hair) men were killed and the rest taken prisoner. They will 'paraphrase' the Quran to insert the claim that some were freed. The Quran does not state that some were freed, but does confirm they were either executed or taken prisoner. [6]

Muslims will falsely claim that the Quran forbids rape. [7]

Muslims will falsely claim that the Quran is not anti-semitic (despite clearly anti-semitic content) on the grounds that Jews are technically considered to be Muslims. [8]

Muslims will falsely claim that the Quran develops a doctrine of just war, [9] that the Quran limits war to situations of self defence, without ever mentioning self defence, [10] that quoting chapter 9 of the Quran in its entirety is actually taking it out of context, [11] that a verse saying to convert people to Islam by the sword actually means war can only be fought against oppression, [12] that a verse promoting violent retribution is actually a statement of proportionality in war, despite not making even a subtle reference to proportionality [13] Note that the Quran does explicitly limit war to self defence and also offers a clear an unambiguous statement of proportionality in war, but limits these restrictions to the 'holy months'. [14]

Muslims will attempt to justify lying about the Quran to non-Muslims by insisting it will make Muslims more peaceful. [15]

Muslims have a broad variety of more subtle ways of distancing themselves from their religion [16] or misleading people by changing the meaning of words. [17]

Some common strategies

Exploiting positive assumptions

One of the most irony-laden discussions with Muslims revolved around the concept of taqiyya. This rule permits Muslims to deceive people, break the law or commit blasphemy under certain circumstances. When asked whether this gives Muslims free reign to lie to non-Muslims, several Muslims pointed out that it only applies in certain circumstances, such as war. This was an indirect response that relied heavily on the assumption that we are not at war. One of those Muslims later explained that he believed that the West had been at war with the Muslim world since the 1920’s and that the west had declared and carried out this war. This is a good example of a very subtle deception taking advantage of positive assumptions, in the context of discussing deception itself. This strategy works well when combined with hypersensitivity to discourage people from seeking a more direct response when only an indirect response was given. [18]

Islamic law follows belief

Islam requires the imposition of Shariah law on both Muslims and non-Muslims. Having the law imposed on you is considered necessary and an integral part of Islam. Islam also requires Muslims to follow Islamic law in foreign countries. The process for turning a foreign country into an Islamic one has always been through a process of empire building, often through outright violence, but always with the threat of violence. [19] Muslims see no contradiction between this and the 'peaceful empire' fairytale. [20][21] Muslims will go so far as to insist they are not allowed to lobby for Islamic law and that it merely 'follows naturally' after everyone has converted to Islam, even though this never happened historically. [22][23]

Revising history: science and the 'peaceful' empire fairytale

Muslims_Promote_Genocide

Muslims have created an elaborate fantasy about Islam restricting war to self-defence. This relies on misleading people about trends in historical military strategy, misleading people about Muhammad's actions, and misleading people about the content of the Quran.

Deception_and_the_Just_War_Doctrine

Revising history appears to be a favourite pastime of Muslims. This usually involves going to absurd lengths to overstate the contributions made by Muslims (especially to science) and undervalue the contribution of non-Muslims, or to pass blame for every historical evil by Muhammad and his successors to the non-Muslim victims. This can in part be attributed to the obligation of Muslims to look more favourably on fellow Muslims than non-Muslims (see for example Justice and Honesty). Apparently Muslims made vast contributions to science. For example, the bloke who jumped off a tower with feathers glued to his arms, making a nasty stain on the pavement below, made a valuable contribution to our understanding of flight. [24][25] One of the most outrageous claims is that the Caliphate (Islamic empire) was peaceful and spread only through self defense, even when it crossed the Mediterranean to invade modern day Spain and France. Muslims actually expect people to take this absurd version of history seriously. [26] A favourite justification for this claim is that Christians welcomed Muslims into Spain with open arms, in order to get lower taxes. What really happened is that the Muslim hordes allied themselves with one Spanish kingdom so they could cross a massive natural protective barrier (the Mediterranean) and slaughter another Spanish kingdom. Then they turned their swords on their allies and slaughtered them too. Then they slaughtered their way across the whole peninsula. Then they started sending raids into modern day France. Eventually the French and Italians booted them out of Europe. Muslims frequently claim that various towns and Kingdom's welcomed the Empire with open arms. They will describe an offer to submit to the caliphate as entirely peaceful, even when there was a naked threat of violence if the town did not submit. [27]

Muslims will deny that Muhammad committed genocide when he exterminated an entire tribe of Jews by killing 800 innocent people (almost all of the post pubescent men) in a single day, and taking the women and children as slaves. They will falsely claim that the Jews were bound by the treaty of Medina and deserved to die for violating it. However, the tribes concerned were not even a part of the treaty, and in any case the treaty stipulated that members would maintain freedom of religion, which Muhammad had long since abandoned when he started threatening Jews with violence if they did not convert to Islam. A few members of the tribe were allowed to live if they converted to Islam. Rather than acknowledging this as an example of forced conversion, Muslims will try to spin it as Muhammad generously pardoning them for their 'crime' if they disowned their treachery. The Jews surrendered unconditionally when Muhammad laid siege to their fortress and were taken prisoner. Muslims will argue that there was no war and they were thus not prisoners of war and not to be granted any protection as such, on the grounds that they did not notify Muhammad that they were reneging on their treaty. [28] Muslims will falsely claim that only 'warriors' were executed, despite the victims including old men and young boys. [29]

Muslims will make particularly ludicrous and misleading claims about history, then later justify this by claiming that they made more accurate statements elsewhere and blaming their critics for not quoting the statements that 'matter'. [30]

Muslims will claim that Dhimmitude is specifically against oppression of non-Muslims. [31] The reality is that Muhammad's system of government created a caste system where there was previous Pagans, Jews and Christians living side by side as political equals. Under Dhimmitude, Muslims are on top, Christians and Jews are next, but suffer a variety of deprivations, including genocide when convenient, while pagans are at the bottom and were wiped out very quickly.

Statistics

Muslims often attempt to misrepresent the threat posed by Islamic terrorism with statistics that equate attacks such as 9/11, the London bombings, Madrid and Bali with vandalism attacks by other extremist political groups. They do this by measuring the 'rate' of terrorism by the number of individual events, rather than a more appropriate measure of risk, such as death toll. [32] [33] [34]

Muslims will also often misrepresent crime statistics, for example by attributing differences in reported rates of crime with actual rates of crime, when there is an obvious difference in reporting patterns. [35] This is most pronounced with crimes such as rape, which are obviously less likely to be reported in middle eastern countries, where the rape victim often ends up being punished. Muslims will often claim that certain crimes were almost non-existent in the historical Caliphate (common examples are homosexuality, murder, rape, apostasy etc). They will use their inability to find evidence of successful convictions as evidence that the convictions and punishments were rare, particularly when insisting that the punishment of death by stoning would only be implemented rarely (the classic logical fallacy of equating absence of evidence with evidence of absence). They will then turn this reasoning on it's head and demand that people who disagree with them produce crime statistics from 1000 years ago. On another tangent, apparently a Muslim country will not 'run out of women' until all men have four wives. If not all men can afford four wives, it will not be a problem. [36] (see also Rape.)

Muslims will claim that a survey shows a majority of Australians supporting them in their efforts to make it illegal to mock religion or depict historical religious figures [37][38] even after acknowledging that the survey shows them supporting that right. [39][40]

Muslims will offer endless explanations for global surveys revealing the opinions of Muslims - anything other than the survey reflecting what Muslims actually think. [41]

Deflections

Simple diversion

The first trick usually employed on forums is a simple diversion. If you ask 'do Muslims think it is OK to do this?', they will respond by listing examples of where something similar (no matter how remote the similarity) has been done to Muslims. This shifts the debate away from Islamic doctrine and how it seems immoral to most westerners, to a blame game over who is responsible for past atrocities. Thus Islamic doctrine is not exposed and the debate switches to from moral standards to politics or history. [42] [43]

The most obvious example of this is terrorism. Most Muslims will say that terrorism is wrong, but they then go on to list all the grievances of the middle east. They may also deny that Muslims bear any responsibility for reigning in Islamic terrorists. Many claim that the reigning in of terrorists should not be a first step in the peace process, but rather a last step. [44] That is, we must first satisfy all the grievances of the terrorists and give Muslim extremists whatever they want (mostly more political power and geopolitical restructuring of the middle east), and only after that can they be expected to stop slaughtering people. However that is where the explanation stops. Muslims will not explain why they think this. Instead they will bring up some media report of an accidental civilian death attributable to a western army. I suspect that Muslims think this way because they see all non-Muslim lands as being a place of war. One hint of this is that they will refuse to distinguish the deliberate mass murder of civilians by terrorist organisations for which no person or nation can be held accountable, and the accidental death of civilians in an armed conflict with a guerrilla army that hides among civilians. Thus, destroying the twin towers is an act of war in a place of war and is no different to the death of civilians in a 'real' war zone. However, no matter how hard I try, I cannot get a Muslim to either admit to this or to offer some other explanation for why terrorist organisations should be given free reign until their various (largely unspecified) demands have been met.

Et tu

'Et tu' is a reference to a logical fallacy. It refers to the debating strategy of accusing your opponent of something that you yourself have been accused of (or something worse). It is a logical error in the sense that it is used to justify your own actions. In the case of Islam, this tactic is used in an astonishingly predictable manner every time historical injustices committed by Muslims are brought up. The response is to ignore the injustice and how it may relate to Islam (or not) and instead give examples where non-Muslims have done similar things. There does not have to be any causative relationship. For example Muslims have attempted to justify mass murder by Muhammad himself by citing an example of non-Muslims doing something worse in the same town 600 years later (see Collective Punishment and Genocide). This of course helps to completely avoid the issue of whether such behaviour should be incorporated into timeless religious law, or whether it is even endorsed by Islam.

Muslims will falsely claim that Jesus stipulated the inferior status of women in order to insist that Muhammad's Quranic command to beat women, and the account of Muhammad himself beating his favourite child bride for leaving the house without his permission, place no more of a barrier on Muslims stamping out domestic violence than Jesus' teachings place on Christians. [45] They will insist that Muhammad beating his wife is nothing like modern domestic violence because he was not a drunk bogan, and that beating his wife was merely a way of asking her what she was thinking. [46][47]

Moral equivalence

Arguing moral equivalence is similar to 'et tu'. It is most commonly used in discussing the incident in which Muhammad executed approximately 700 Prisoners of War (POWs). The deception comes in the misleading or missing details required to make the comparison stick. Muslims will argue for example that only combatants were killed, or that only those found guilty of treason were executed (and thus the incident is morally equivalent to the death penalty for treason in some western countries). [48][49] Muhammad apparently punished them for either assisting his enemies in an earlier attack, not coming to his aid to the extent required by an agreement with them, conspiring with the enemy, or because the angel Gabriel told him to. The excuses offered omit or misrepresent key facts, such as:

  • Many of the tribe members actually assisted Muhammad in defending against the earlier attack.
  • Muslims will accuse the tribe members of attacking Muhammad when his army was under siege from a different group, however these attacks never actually happened.
  • Muhammad attacked the tribe in question.
  • The tribe surrendered unconditionally.
  • After the they surrendered and were taken away, all able bodied male prisoners of war (and one female) were executed.
  • The rest of the women ended up us sex slaves, though some were purchased by another Jewish tribe who felt guilty over their involvement in Muhammad's slaughter.
  • Even the children ended up as slaves.
  • Muhammad took all the land and possessions also.

Muslims will also attempt to argue that this incident is similar to various atrocities committed during recent wars, completely ignoring the point that we do not worship the soldiers involved as God's messenger and do not condone the execution of POWs, sexual slavery, the enslavement of children, or collective punishment in general. [50]

Some other examples:

  • Wife beating is morally equivalent to smacking a child to prevent the child from running onto the road, putting his life at risk. [51]
  • Muhammad spent approximately 6 years robbing caravans on their way to Mecca. Muslims will argue that this was just compensation for earlier persecution by Meccans, or that it was a legitimate act in an ongoing war that had been declared but not actually begun. [52]
  • Forbidding all non-Muslims from Mecca is no different to being unable to purchase land privately in Vatican city, or to the creation of Israel. [53]

Muslims will attempt to make the Allies in WWII morally equivalent to the Nazis, Hirohito and Mussolini. They will argue for example that Hitler was a mere puppet to a grand conspiracy run by the "Christian Establishment". [54] They will also argue that the outcome of WWI and WWII had no implications for freedom and democracy, implying that westerners only fought for greed and self interest and never actually fought to defend freedom and democracy. The implication is that they acquired freedom and democracy instead through some kind of historical accident - thus the large wars fought in the west only differ from Muslims slaughtering each other in that they were on a larger scale. In order to deflect criticism for the various wars fought by Muslims to impose religion on people and acquire sex slaves for the purpose of rape evangelism, as well as the wars that the west had to fight to stop slavery in the Muslim world, Muslims will attempt to blame Christianity for Nazism and deny any broader benefit to the world from defeating the Nazis.

Victimhood

One of the most common responses from Muslims to accusations is to cry victimhood. Muhammad lead the way in this. Shortly after moving into Medina and making peace agreements with the other three Jewish tribes there, Muhammad managed to get rid of all of them by preaching anti-semitism, executing their leaders, expelling the first two, then attacking the last and executing 700 prisoners of war and enslaving the women and children. Muslims (and Islamic doctrine) claim they were victims of Jewish treachery at every step along the way. [55] Muhammad "predicted" even more widespread ethnic cleansing and slaughter of Jews and non-Muslims. [56] Muhammad spent his last decade on earth robbing caravans then conquering the entire Arabian peninsula, again because they were victims. [57] Although Muhammad tortured a Jewish man to get his gold, Muslims will use a fabricated story of torture and mistreatment of early Muslims to justify Muhammad's career of caravan robbing. [58] Muslims will even attempt to argue that the rapid expansion of the militant Islamic empire over most of the known world was entirely in self defense, even while acknowledging aggressive military tactics and invasion of lands with which they had barely came into contact with previously. [59] This attitude is reflected in the handling of conflicts and disagreements by the modern Muslim community. It is reinforced by Islamic doctrine encouraging Muslims to look favourably upon and only see the best in other Muslims, and to conceal their faults. The principle is also reflected in Islamic concepts of justice. [60][61]

Already answered

The next trick is usually to claim that the question has already been answered. [62][63][64][65][66][67][68][69][70][71][72][73][74] This is usually combined with the implication that you are stupid for having to ask for clarification. This trick is basically a throwback to the deceptive use of dual meanings and unfamiliar terminology, except that it avoids the need to explain it again and risk giving away too much information. This trick is usually first used when you start asking more specific questions that are getting closer to exposing the particular deception.

Hypersensitivity

The next trick is usually employed if you try to justify a request for clarification after Muslims insist that questions have already been answered or that you have no reason to be interested anyway. The Muslim will become hypersensitive at the suggestion that you do not trust them to give you a straight answer. Alternatively, they will accuse you of asking 'loaded' questions, as if there is something wrong with discovering the truth about Islam. Curiously, the more specific and direct the question is, the greater the tendency to claim it is loaded, even if it carries no assumptions at all, or only assumes what has just been verified. That is, a question is loaded if it is a simple, direct question about Islam. [75][76][77][78][79][80][81][82]

'Impure' motives are behind the question. [83]

Criticising Islam is racist

Muslims will argue that criticising Islam is racist. When it is pointed out that Islam is a religion, not a race, they will make the absurd argument that traditional concepts of race (black, white, asian etc) do not exist, and for this reason the meaning of racism must be changed to include religion. [84][85] They will also argue that if Jews and Sikhs can get away with self-identifying on racial grounds, Muslims should be able to also, even if they are recent white converts.

Dummy spit

If all else fails, spit the dummy. Make more accusations of ulterior motives, stirring up trouble, asking loaded questions etc. Then, simply refuse to answer. [86] After one such dummy spit I started a new topic specifically about concubines and after more criticism of my questioning style, I got a limited affirmative response, but no more questions about concubines and their treatment have been answered. [87][88] Yet I have been told in great detail how badly the west treats women.

Accusations of Insincerity

Muslims will use an accusation of insincerity as a justification for refusal to answer simple questions about Islam. [89] [90] [91]

Answering a question with a question

For example, demanding to know how elections are run before saying whether Islam supports democracy [92], demanding to know what the law is before saying whether Islam supports justice, demanding to know what the truth is before giving an honest answer.

Me no speaka da english

Muslims will occasionally find it extremely difficult to comprehend simple questions. [93] [94] [95] They will even ask questions that they later decide make no sense if asked of them. [96]

Silence

Silence as a tactic is reserved for the more disturbing aspects of Islam. While it was employed to a limited extent on the issue of sex slaves, it was employed far more diligently for the issue of the treatment of Hindus, atheists, pagans etc. Muslims will go to great lengths to put a positive spin on Dhimmitude – the institutionalised humiliation of Christians and Jews. However if you ask them about the treatment of those who are not ‘people of the book’ they will likely pretend you don’t exist. The issue of sex slaves was generally avoided, partly by accident. However, numerous questions were asked over a long period of time about the treat of non-Dhimmi non-Muslims. Even when I started a new thread asking specifically about the treatment of these people, it was ignored. [97] I started raising the issue in a few other related threads and posting links. It was still ignored. Only after I posted evidence that Islam promotes wholesale slaughter of these people, and others began complaining that they can’t get a straight answer either, was a response posted by resident Muslims. Of course, these responses did not answer the question about Islamic doctrine regarding the treatment of these people. For the most part, the actual question was ignored, as best it could be. When it was approached, the reverse “Islam does not exist” argument was the most common tactic (after the obvious deflections to the ‘evil west’). Where Muslims will usually respond that the various unfortunate situations across the middle east have nothing to do with Islam, in this case the argument was that the situation in the middle east is the only valid indicator of what Islamic doctrine is. Thus the mere presence of these other religions in the middle east is now ‘proof’ of the positive approach to them in Islamic doctrine.

Outcomes vs ideology

Muslims will argue that an outcome strongly linked to Islam (eg Afghans stoning people to death without the appropriate paperwork) has nothing to do with Islam because it did not occur under official Shariah law. They will also argue the opposite [98] - that for example the failure of Muslims to wipe out Hindus in India (despite conceding that they tried) is evidence that Islam does not support this. [99] This is a strategy of 'shifting the goal posts'. If you ask a Muslim about Islamic doctrine, they will tell you about an outcome that makes Islam appear more benign to you (usually a long way from the Arabian peninsula where Islam only reached in later centuries). If you ask them about the actions of Muslims that are apparently identical to the actions decreed by Muhammad, they will complain about how it differs from doctrine - for modern examples the most convenient is the 'Islam does not exist' argument. Another example of shifting the goal to 'outcomes' is this claim that Islamic lands have more religious diversity. [100] This is from the same Muslim that conceded that Islam was successful in wiping out every single non-Muslim in the Arabian peninsula (see Collective Punishment and Genocide). The relative diversity further from the heart of Islam can be attributed to two fairly obvious reasons: the relative youth of the religion, and the aggressive empire building that was characteristic of it's spread - Islam would first conquer a land in a military sense, then set about making the people convert to Islam using whatever means worked best. This of course worked to avoid the actual question, which was specifically about doctrine, not outcomes. In the same thread, this argument claims that remaining a Muslim is evidence that Islam is not brutal [101] rather than the more obvious reason that apostasy attracts the death penalty.

Changing the question

If you ask a Muslim a question about Islam, he may go to some lengths to 're-interpret' the question so it is no longer about Islam in order to avoid discussing Islam. This example is from an eight page thread about the penalty for blasphemy where several Muslims attempt to change the topic to anything except the punishment for blasphemy: [102]. This strategy is also often used in response to questions about whether Muslims want Shariah law implemented in the west and how they ought to go about achieving this. [103]

Prove the existence of a question

Muslims will often demand proof of something before answering a simple question. This can be taken to absurd lengths, for example effectively demanding proof that a question exists. The demands are often for evidence of historical events, where the evidence is highly unlikely to exist. This is often in the context of Muslims claiming for example that the lack of surviving documentation of people being stoned to death for homosexuality is evidence that this did not occur, and even that homosexuality did not exist and that Shariah law is a 'cure' for it. It is similar to the logical fallacy that absence of evidence is evidence of absence, except that it is often in the form of a demand for evidence as a way of avoiding directly addressing a topic or question. [104] [105]

Lobbying

A typical response to what societal changes Muslims should lobby for is that it is pointless to lobby for an activity to be punished if it is still encouraged by society (never mind that making an activity illegal, and lobbying for this discourages it), and to equate the question with an accusation of being a fanatic. Another common angle is that Islam is an 'all or nothing' system, which means Muslims cannot lobby for any specific change as it is invalid in isolation (you will not get a straight answer on how to implement everything all at once either). [106]

Semantic deceptions

Many deceptions rely on manipulating the meaning of words. Some examples:

Dual meaning

A common tactic is to attach a dual meaning to common English words such as war, peace, slave, innocent, rape, domestic violence etc. This tactic is so successful because it is so different from the typical 'western propaganda' approach of inventing new jargon. For example, where a deceptive western leader may talk about 'collateral damage' to make civilian deaths in war sound more benign, a deceptive Muslim leader may say 'no one was murdered', on the grounds that the killing was legal. In this case, the deception is obvious because most English speaking people understand the subtle difference between murder and kill. However, by carefully controlling how Islamic doctrine is translated into English, Muslim scholars have created a situation where many common words have an entirely different meaning when used in the context of Muslims or Islamic law. This is combined with an insistence that to 'truly understand' the Quran one must study it in Arabic [107], thus putting the context or meaning of the words used beyond the reach of most non-Muslims. Thus, Muslims will understand what their leaders are saying, even if most westerners do not. This can be quite blatant manipulation, such as when some UK clerics stated in public that it is wrong to kill innocent people, then said to their followers in private that only Muslims can be considered innocent. [108][109][110][111][112]

Being so simple, this tactic is most often employed in press releases. As an example, the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens appeared to support the fatwa calling for the death of Salman Rushdie during question time after giving a lecture at a western university. The next day he released a statement to the press reassuring the public that he does not support vigilantism. [113] Of course, he was not available to give any further details. Most assumed he did not want Rushdie dead. However, closer inspection appears to show that Cat Stevens did not actually oppose the death penalty for Salman Rushdie. He did think it would be wrong to shoot Salman in the back of the head in some dark alley. Rather, Salman should have been hauled before the relevant cleric, who had already found him guilty, so that he could be stoned to death in an orderly, 'civilised' manner.

Another common example is the claim that Islam is peace, or is peaceful. The ultimate objective of Islam is indeed a peaceful existence, however this peace is achieved by Islam conquering the world. [114] Until that time, all non-Muslim areas are considered to be at war. Those areas that are ruled by Islam are by definition at peace, even if Shiites and Sunnis are blowing up each others' Mosques. Thus, 'Islam is peace' is a technically correct statement about the 'final solution' of Islam and about those lands that are ruled by Islam, but is totally deceptive to those who do not already know what it means.

Muslim leaders will claim in public that Australia shares a lot of values in common with Islam, or that Australia is a Muslim nation, or that Australians already practice Muslim values. In private, they will call for the destruction of western decadence. [115][116] They will express outrage at new citizens being expected to acknowledge the Judeo-Christian tradition as the basis of Australia's values system. They will claim that Muslims strive to obey local laws, but will also call on other Muslims to reject anything other than Sharia law as heresy. They will claim friendship with non-Muslims, but privately preach that friendship with non-Muslims is wrong and should lead to ostracism. They will claim that Islam is peace, but privately preach that there can be no peace until the entire world has been subjugated to Islamic law. [117] They will make friends with Christians, then preach in private that Christianity is vile. There are even passages in the Quran that promote the use of terror. [118] By redefining equality, Muslims will claim that Islam creates equality between the sexes, even though it gives men authority over women and allows them to be beaten until they are 'green'. [119] [120]

Rather than making a plain English translation available to the general public along with explanations, the Quran is made impenetrable by mixing up the verses so that they are out of order and the context is lacking.

An article was presented on our forum claiming, among other things, that the Islamic ban on mutilating bodies makes suicide bombing illegal under Islamic law. Any rational interpretation of the law confines it to the mutilation of corpses, as Muhammad himself did a lot of mutilating of bodies in the process of killing people. Although unwilling to directly support the argument, the Muslims present took rather elaborate measures to indirectly support it or create the impression that they support it. [121]

Arabic terms

Rather than inventing new jargon, Muslims insert Arabic terms into English. These terms have a complex meaning that is relatively well understood to most Muslims, but is totally unknown to the target audience. A Muslim spokesperson can thus make a statement that appears to be a universal principle, but which Muslims understand only applies to certain situations.

Taqiyya, ironically enough, refers to deception. A Muslim may say for example that taqiyya forbids lying, which is technically true, depending of course on the context. However it does not appear to forbid deception. Furthermore lying is only allowed in certain situations, such as war. But remember the dual meaning – any non-Muslim land is a place of war. Using the word Taqiyya in public carries all of these complex and contradictory connotations, which are known to Muslims. Thus Muslims are not lied to even when non-Muslims get the wrong idea.

These two tactics are usually sufficient to dupe most disinterested audiences. They work well in press releases where further explanation is not available, as the media has no choice but to pass them on as-is, leaving the public unaware that the true meaning is totally different from the face value. However several more interesting techniques are used in online forums where dialogue is inevitable. Even though this medium encourages direct questions and the resolution of ambiguities, it can still be remarkably difficult to get the real story from a Muslim. Muslims achieve this by creating as many barriers to effective communication as possible. Again, this relies on the underlying assumption that a Muslim would want you to know what Islam is really about. However, in reality a Muslim is more than happy to wait until some time in the future when your country has been conquered by Muslims before you find out how nasty it can be. All of these strategies have been observed on the OzPolitic forum.

Semantics

If both of these tricks fail, the next option is another diversion. This time instead of diverting to politics or history, the Muslim diverts to semantic issues. This takes advantage of the control that Muslim scholars have over translation of the Quran. It works in a similar manner to criticising someone's spelling in the middle of a heated debate – except of course that it is part of a broader strategy. First, they simply point out that you used an incorrect term. The correct term is not suggested and the actual question is ignored. [122] If you ask for the correct term they may suggest you ask someone else. [123][124] They cannot possibly 'just answer it anyway' and explain what the issue is. One example is a Muslim starting a discussion about collective punishment to argue that it did not happen under Muhammad, then attempting to turn the discussion into a disagreement about the meaning of the term collective punishment when it became obvious that Muhammad did indeed engage in it, by vaguely alluding to possible alternative meanings. [125][126][127][128]

Muslims steering a topic to a discussion of the meaning of: spineless [129], retarded [130], child (in the context of Muhammad marrying a 6 year old girl) [131], moral standard [132].

War

Muslims will use war as an excuse or justification for abandoning every moral principle they espouse. [133] For example, Muslims may only lie in the context of war. In a completely unrelated matter, the west has been at war with the Muslim world for over a century. Muhammad's early career robbing caravans traveling to and from Mecca is justified by some Muslims either on the grounds that the Meccans had declared war on the Muslims, or the Muslims were waging war on the Meccans. No evidence for either of these claims is available. The evidence makes it clear that it was a clear case of robbery and murder. Later, when the real wars began, Muslims use the opposite argument to justify slaughtering POWs - on the grounds that it was not war (and the prisoners captured were thus not POWs), even though it was a clear case of genuine warfare. In one event, Muhammad slaughtered 800 such prisoners of war in one day.

Clerics don't exist

One favourite term for this diversion tactic is cleric, which is used in the media to refer to Muslim religious leaders. If you ask why a cleric said something, or why a person is still a cleric after doing or saying something objectionable, they will simply respond that there is no such thing as a cleric. [134] [135] [136] [137] [138] [139] [140] [141] [142] [143] [144] Technically this can be true, but only if you assume that cleric means clergy, rather than the currently accepted additional meaning of Muslim religious leader (as is used by the media). The absence of an 'official' clergy has another advantage for Muslim propagandists, in that it allows total diffusion of responsibility. There is no leader or institution to be held accountable, therefor Islam is not to blame. More specifically, a Muslim leader who does or promotes evil acts can be simply dismissed on the grounds that they are not a 'genuine' Islamic leader, while at the same time denying any responsibility among the broader Muslim community for actually preventing it or disowning the leader. Despite direct requests, I have still not been able to get a straight answer on how a non-Muslim should go about verifying what is a 'genuine' Islamic law (other than not asking direct questions in the first place. [145]). Muslims will even claim that there is no such thing as a Muslim leader in the absence of a perfect Islamic state. [146][147]

Prediction vs order

Muhammad "predicted" that his followers would do a lot of evil things. Even in a situation where Muhammad tells a man in person that he will do something (eg ethnic cleansing of all Jews from the Arabian peninsula [148]) and the man does it, or attempts to, Muslims will accept no moral responsibility on Muhammad's part. They will insist that the obvious chain of causation simply does not exist. In this way, Muslims can abandon any moral responsibility for the more ominous predictions made by Muhammad, for example that Muslims will slaughter every last Jew [149], or that the "last times" will not come until (variously) Muslims slaughter Muslims in pursuit of gold in a large scale massacre in which 99% of people die, Muslims slaughter non-Muslims and Muslims slaughter every Jew. [150]

Sex slavery

On another issue, I had been asking a group of Muslims for some months about two issues – slavery [151] and sex (eg Polygamy, women in Islam, Sufism, sodomy and Satan). I had been lead to believe that sex outside of marriage is punishable by death, and that Muslims are only allowed four wives. This had covered just about every conceivable 'crime', including prostitution, extramarital affairs [152], homosexuality [153], bestiality [154], pedophilia, masturbation [155] etc. Naturally it eventually came up in one of the slavery topics, as a simple question about sex slaves, which had been mentioned in a media article. The usual tricks were employed – diversion to examples of sex slavery in non-Muslim countries, insisting all my questions had already been answered, accusations of ulterior motives and 'loaded questions'. When I still kept asking, I was told that sex slave is the wrong term, so there are no sex slaves. Eventually I figured out what the correct term is – concubines. By this stage it was fairly obvious that Islam does permit concubines, but I had no idea under what circumstances.

Rape

Muslims will change the definition of rape to match Islamic law and to create the impression that Islam is strict when it comes to rape. Islam permits rape wherever sex is permitted. Where sex is forbidden, rape and consensual sex receive the same punishment. [156] According to Islam, men have authority over their wives' (and slaves') bodies and do not need their consent to have sex with them. However this is not considered rape and Muslims will deny that Islam permits rape. [157] Islam permits the capture of sex slaves in battle. Muslims will argue that Islam forbids 'battlefield rape' or any rape at all in this context, on the grounds that the women must first be removed from the battlefield to become sex slaves. Muslims will attempt to portray the serial rape and enslavement of captured women as 'liberating'. [158] Muslim men are specifically permitted to have sex with 'whatever their right hand possesses', and this rule alone is regarded as sufficient consent.

Muslims go to some length to characterise rape as a western problem, effectively blaming rape and domestic violence on rights and freedoms that the west permits but Islam forbids, and will use absurd demands for evidence to back up claims that rape is rare under Islam.

Muslims will also misrepresent a command by Muhammad forbidding Muslims from forcing their sex slaves into prostitution as a blanket ban on the rape of sex slaves by their owners. [159]

Domestic Violence

As with rape, Muslims simply redefine domestic violence to match Islamic law and focus on portraying it as a western problem, attributable to western freedoms, that does not occur under Islam. Consider this classic quote from a Muslim on our forum: "Domestic violence is a disease which must be stamped out of all societies. But it has nothing to do with giving your wife a 'smack' when she's gotten out of control" [160] Muhammad pardoned a man who had beaten his wife until her skin was green with bruises.

Muslims will claim that Muhammad never beat his wives, despite documented cases. [161]

Pedophilia

Again, Muslims simply redefine pedophilia to match Islamic law, then attempt to portray it as a western problem, attributable to western freedoms, that does not occur under Islam. Islamic law effectively institutionalises pedophilia within marriage. [162]

Apostasy vs Treason

Under Islam the punishment for apostasy is death by stoning. Muslims often attempt to disguise this unpalatable fact by confusing it with treason and equating it to the death penalty for treason in some western countries. This takes several forms. The Muslim may insist that the punishment only applies to treason - ie that the apostasy is irrelevant and the punishment only applies when there is also an act that is commonly regarded as treason. The Muslim may attempt to justify the punishment by pointing out that some western countries have the death penalty for treason, while ignoring the difference between apostasy and treason. The Muslim may simply attempt to confuse the two 'crimes'. Yet these Muslims believe that the penalty should apply for apostasy alone, including crimes that take you outside of Islam (eg acting gay), and may concede that they believe apostasy itself to be a form of treason - another example of self delusion reinforcing the deception of others. Apostasy [163] [164]

Freedom

Muslims will often attempt to portray the oppression of non-Muslims under Shariah law as being merely a different 'interpretation' of freedom. Freedom [165] [166] [167] [168]

Muslims will misrepresent the opinions and values of the non-Muslim and the Muslim community in order to cover up significant differences on issues such as freedom of speech. They will claim that the Australian public supports them in their efforts to make mockery or even criticism of religion illegal [169] [170] [171] [172] even after acknowledging that Australians support people's right to say things they find distasteful. [173] [174] Muslims will claim that mainstream Australians think it is foolish to say we have the right to draw cartoons. [175] Muslims will present an example of a Muslim leader failing to mention freedom of speech as an example of a Muslim leader expressing support for freedom of speech. [176] Muslims will claim to support freedom of speech, but qualify this heavily, then refuse to explain their qualifications. For example, they will insist they support the right to depict and mock Muhammad (even more so than mainstream Australians) but add the qualification that no Muslims feel vilified by such a depiction. [177] [178] [179] [180] In attempting to justify lack of direct support for freedom of speech from the Muslim community, Muslims will equate support for freedom of speech with 'jumping up and down demanding people insult them'. [181] Muslims will justify opposition to freedom of speech by saying that victims of physical assault by neo-nazis are not suffering discrimination, prejudice or intimidation, but that Muslims are or will be if people are free to mock religion or depict religious figures. [182] Muslims will insist that restrictions on journalists publishing details of ASIO's intelligence operations (as well as several other laws that are even more irrelevant to freedom of speech) are "are some of the most egregious and effective attacks on our freedom of speech we have ever seen," while downplaying the significance of Muslims successfully making people fear for their life if they are involved in making a video, cartoon or book that criticises or mocks Islam. [183] Muslims will insist that George Brandis and his "merry band of fringe ideologues" (ie, the government) were the only people who wanted to water down Australia's section 18c legislation on the grounds that it restricted freedom of speech, that the heated debate over the implications for freedom of speech are not evidence that mainstream Australians value freedom of speech, and also that the civil libertarians who entered the debate in support of watering down the legislation did not have genuine concerns for freedom of speech. [184] Muslims will claim that merely living within the law is sufficient to protect freedom of speech and deny that others have even suggested otherwise [185], at the same time as insulting others for not doing enough to protect freedom of speech. [186]

Temporary rights are human rights

When discussing human rights with Muslims, and Muslims claim to support rights, Muslims will assume the discussion is about temporary rights granted only while Muslims are not in a position to take them away, unless you specifically state that you do not mean temporary rights. For example, Muslims will argue that Dhimmitude is against oppression and that Muhammad granted rights to pagans, Jews, etc. They will provide 'evidence' for this in the form of specific examples of Muhammad negotiating rights with a small group of people from a position of weakness, then later discarding them when in a position of power. They will insist that it is honest to claim, based on these limited examples, that Muhammad granted rights to Jews and pagans, and that Dhimmitude is against oppression, unless it is specifically stated that "rights" does not mean "temporary rights," or rights granted only in a position of weakness. [187]

Democracy

Muslims will often attempt to claim that Islam is democratic, a different 'interpretation' of democracy, or attempt to argue that western countries are not in fact democratic either. Democracy vs Theocracy [188] [189]

Secularism

Muslims will claim to personally support secularism, insist that Islam is compatible with secularism and claim that the Muslim community supports secularism. But they will also claim that Muhammad himself was a secular leader and that his Islamic state was in fact a secular one. [190]

Citizenship

Muslims will attempt to portray Dhimmitude as 'full' citizenship, despite the denial of justice, fundamental human rights, democracy, freedom etc and living under a different set of rules to Muslims. [191] [192] [193]

Compulsion

Muslims will often claim that Islam supports the concept of 'no compulsion in religion'. [194] The stretches the definition of compulsion to absurd lengths, given the inevitable 'problems' of trying to live as a non-Muslim under Shariah law (see for example Freedom and Human Rights and Justice). Muhammad himself would often put people in a position of convert or die, as a last resort when other methods failed.

Vigilantism

Muslims often interpret a question about the death penalty (see Cat Stevens example above) as a question about vigilantism. That is, they will avoid giving an answer about whether a crime attracts the death penalty in Islam by insisting that you are instead asking whether Islam permits them to conduct extra-judicial executions. More subtly, questions about introducing Shariah law are replaced with hypersensitivity to accusations of vigilantism. This can even be taken to the extent of equating any political lobbying with vigilantism. How Muslims ought to achieve the change they want is one of the hardest topics to get a straight answer from and this is one of the most common ways of avoiding it.

Extremism

In an effort to portray non-Muslims as extremists (and in order to argue that 'mainstream' Muslims are 'holding hands' with the non-Muslim community on issues such as freedom), Muslims will attempt to redefine extremism as any view that is not shared by 50% or more of the population, essentially building a rather convoluted 'et tu' fallacy. [195]

Peace treaties

Islam forbids Muslims to be at peace with infidels (non-Muslims) for more than 10 years (see war). Muslims attempt to justify this by redefining the concept of a peace treaty as only a temporary agreement. [196] Islam even redefines the concepts of war and peace, by dividing the world into two regions - the house of peace and the house of war (where all the tactics of war are permitted). By this definition, the entire world is currently at war. Modern Muslims will argue that the west has been at war with the Muslim world for over a century (ie since the final collapse of the Caliphate). [197]

Muslims

Muslims will even use the definition of what is a Muslim to deceive people, for example a Sunni Muslim may insist that Muslims are not killing Muslims in North Africa, and that the Muslims are blameless victims, because he blames the conflict on Shiite Muslims. [198] [199] [200] [201] [202]

Disowning Islam

Misrepresenting the Quran: Muslims_Promote_Genocide#Denialism

Justifying and misrepresenting Muhammad's genocide of Jews: Muslims_Promote_Genocide

Muslims disown Islam in many subtle (and not so subtle) ways when it assists in creating a false impression about Islam, see for example 'Muslims' above. Some other examples:

Islam doesn't exist

This is a more interesting form of diversion. If you ask why something happens in a specific Muslim country, you will be told that that country is run by a western imposed dictatorship, monarchy, democracy or whatever. Even though the particular barbaric practice strongly resembles Islamic law, it is the west's fault for preventing Muslims from setting up a 'prefect' Islamic state. For example, it is the west's fault that Saudi women must cover up from head to foot because they are responsible for the Saudi royal family, which prevent the 'correct' Sharia law that allows women to expose their face and hands, provided other standards of dress are met. It has nothing to do with 1400 years of Islamic law that instilled a belief that women are responsible for their own rape if they act like a 'piece of flesh'. [203] [204] [205] [206] [207] [208] [209] [210] [211] [212] [213] [214] [215] [216] [217] [218]

In an amazing feat of mental gymnastics, Muslims will also do the opposite, sometimes even in the same discussion. If you ask them about an aspect of Islamic law they wish to hide, they will claim that it is irrelevant because there are no true Islamic states. That is, if no country in existence today is ruled totally by Sharia law, you have no reason to be interested in what Sharia law is. [219][220][221]

Islam won't exist

A slightly different approach is taken when Muslims insist that their only goal is the short term goal of converting a few people, while pretending that the long term goals of Islam do not exist. They will conveniently deny that they seek to overthrow the Australian government and destroy personal freedom and other Australian values, and justify this by claiming that they aren't in the process of plotting the actual takeover. Yet it would be an inevitable outcome if they were sufficiently successful with their short term goals. They expect to openly promote an ideology of dictatorship and servitude, but not get criticised for it because they don't yet have the numbers to follow through with it. [222] It is as if the Nazi party started recruiting in your neighbourhood, but insisting they don't want to kill Jews because they're only goal at the moment is to recruit more members.

Denying personal responsibility for the consequences of Islam

An even stranger tactic is attempting to play down the significance of support for the unpalatable aspects of Islam (particularly stoning people to death) by denying direct responsibility for the consequences, for example by arguing that support for the death penalty is irrelevant unless you have a job as an executioner. [223][224][225] Islam does not actually have a role of state executioner. Stoning people to death is done publicly [226], with as many members of the public as possible encouraged to join in. The size of the stones is limited to prevent a quick death.

Equating impotence with benign intent

Muslims will often answer a question about what they want to achieve or what they want their society to look like with an explanation of what they are able to achieve or a complaint about being unable to achieve what they want. This is a strategy to avoid admitting to wanting something that their audience is likely to find unpalatable. This is often used in the context of reinforcing positive misconceptions about Islam, for example if a person claims that a Muslim does not actually want Shariah law, the Muslim will avoid correcting the misconception and do everything to reinforce it, short of outright lies that they can be held accountable for. The Muslim attempts to equate their inability to achieve Islamic law with lack of desire for Islamic law. [227] [228] [229] This can be taken to the extreme, in arguing that it is somehow only valid to discuss what is achievable in the short term, [230] even from a Muslim who considers it inevitable that Islam will come to dominate the world and who also considers it his religious duty to help bring this about. [231] This is often accompanied by an attempt to rephrase a simple question, for example by equating a question about what sort of Australia a Muslim would like to see with a question about whether that Muslim is about to take over the country in a military sense. [232] The Muslim may switch between admitting to wanting Islamic law and refusing to discuss it, depending on context, [233] and may also claim Islamic law to be inevitable [234] [235], then change tack and play down it's likelihood. A slightly different approach is to claim to not intend to impose shariah law on people as a way of implying they do not want to impose it on people, or would not do so if the opportunity arose. [236][237]

Denying personal responsibility for Islamic politics

Muslims will often refuse to answer direct questions about Islam and deny any personal responsibility for the consequences of Shariah law or the process of re-establishing a Caliphate (a 'proper' Islamic state) and expanding the Caliphate as a militant empire. They offer the excuse that the law is the responsibility of the state, not the individual. This is particularly common when it comes to stoning people to death as a punishment. Death Penalty [238] [239] [240] [241] [242] [243] [244] Muslims will use this reasoning to argue that Shariah law is 'irrelevant', but in the same sentence argue that Islamic economic policy or historical scientific achievements are relevant. [245]

Encouraging useful idiots

A common tactic is to encourage non-Muslims who make false claims about Islam that suit the Islamic agenda, creating the impression that the Muslim agrees with the claims, and not correcting obvious errors. [246]

Denying following the Quran

A Muslim will even find a way to claim that they do not follow the Quran, if there is someone around who is willing to believe it. [247]

Denying significance of Muhammad's example

Muslims will describe Muhammad's slaughter of 800 POWs as an "excellent example to follow", at the same time as distancing themselves from his actions by describing them as "merely the earthly actions of a statesman protecting his people" [248]. Muslims will claim that Muhammad specifically instructed his followers to do what he says, but not what he does. [249]

Reinterpreting Muhammad's commands

Muslims will claim that Muhammad's order to execute gay people was not in fact an order to execute gay people. [250]

Lying about other religions

Muslims will lie about other religions. This applies particularly to Christianity and Judaism. A central tenet of Islam is that these religions are essentially corrupted versions of Islam. Muhammad himself was not afraid to tell Christians and Jews what they believe and what their religion is, though he was largely ignorant of them. This earned him mockery at first, then hostility when he attempted to force Jews to accept his version of their religion. See Political_History_of_Islam#Hostility_towards_Jews for more info.

Today, Muslims will lie about Christianity in an attempt to make it appear as misogynistic as Islam, for example by misquoting a Bible verse stating that women ought to have authority over their own head as actually saying that they must cover it or have their hair cut off. [251]

Contradictory spin

Obviously with so much spin it is inevitable that different Muslims will contradict each other with different stories or excuses, or individual Muslims will contradict themselves. Some examples:

Slaughtering pagans

Were the pagans on the Arabian peninsula slaughtered for reasons of geopolitical strategy, because they were hostile to Islam, or did they in fact all suddenly 'see the light' and voluntarily convert to Islam after Muhammad decreed they should be wiped out? If they did convert voluntarily, why the attempts to justify the slaughter? (see Collective Punishment and Genocide) A Muslim will also argue that the fact that paganism was not eradicated in the middle east is evidence that Islam did not decree its eradication, in the same post as claiming that Muhammad did in fact decree it and that the outcome was 'successful' due to every pagan voluntarily converting to Islam. [252] All other religions were also wiped out from the area.

Antisemitism

Islam inculcates a particular hatred of Jews (see [253] Racism and antisemitism). Yet Muslims will also argue that Islam saved Judaism itself. [254] Muslims will even argue over the definition of antisemitism to deflect from the mistreatment of Jews under Islam.

Other examples

Editing News Articles

To start with, an example of a more direct and traditional form of deception from a Muslim on our forum: [255]

Claiming to represent Australian values

One of the more absurd claims: [256] Islam and Australian values

Marriage prior to puberty

Muhammad married one of his wives prior to her reaching puberty, and this is permitted under Islam provided that the husband does not have sex with her until she reaches puberty (but they may live together... Pedophilia). However Muslims will often claim the opposite [257] [258] or refuse to answer and offer every other deflection mentioned above. [259]

Four witnesses for the death penalty

Muslims will often claim that people can only be stoned to death for sexual crimes if there are four male witnesses, [260] [261] [262] [263] [264] however there are several other ways to satisfy evidentiary requirements. [265] [266]

Islam stricter than the Geneva convention

A quote should do for this one: "Islam recognises this, and lays down strict rules of conduct during conflicts between states, it is most certainly not a violence-oriented doctrine as you've claimed. No more than the Geneva convention is a violent doctrine, because it lays down a code of conduct for nations at war. In fact the Qur'anic rules of conduct in conflict are probably the strictest in human history, to the point that even trees are not permitted to be damaged during war." Remember that Muhammad himself slaughtered prisoners of war, displaced entire tribes, permitted his followers to capture and rape women as part of war and took plenty of captured wives for himself, and completely eradicated every religion except Islam from the Arabian peninsula. (See War) Not killing trees is about as generous as not killing the women, and certainly not out of concern for either.

How hard may I beat my wife?

There is genuine disagreement among Islamic scholars as to hard hard a man may beat his wife, and it runs the full gamut. When addressing people who are concerned about women's rights (ie non-Muslims) they invariably choose the most appropriate view (eg beating with a feather). Muhammad on the other hand pardoned a man who beat his wife until her skin was literally green with bruises (See Women's_rights).

Distinguishing rape and consensual sex

In Islam, rape is permitted wherever consensual sex is permitted (marriage, sex slaves). Where sex is not permitted rape and consensual sex receive almost the same punishment. Muslims have attempted to portray Islam as taking rape seriously by focusing on some minor differences. For example, in the case of rape a court may order the perpetrator to pay a dowry to the victim. If the sex was consensual, no dowry is required. But the perpetrator gets whipped or stoned to death either way, depending on whether he is married. The marital status of the perpetrator has a bigger influence on the punishment for rape than anything else, to the extent that it dictates the punishment entirely. Whether or not there was actually a rape or merely consensual sex has no bearing on the punishment, except for the fine. Obviously rape vs consensual sex makes a big difference to whether the woman/victim gets stoned to death, but this barely rates a mention. In addition, if a weapon is used in the rape, then the punishment is that for banditry, which is death. Of course, bandits get this punishment for using a weapon in a crime, regardless of whether there is a rape involved (see [267]Rape).

The concubine saga

The discussion of sex slaves is what originally drove me to write this article. After writing the first draft, I went back through that particular discussion and noted all the different deflection tactics used. I was actually quite surprised at how 'thick' the discussion was with various deceptions. Here are some of them. I include the URL for each link, as the number on the end of the URL indicates the post number in the thread.

Initially, the topic of sex slaves was asked by another member in the 'women in Islam' thread:

http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1216537027/112#112

The various deflection tactics were employed over the next 53 posts. A summary is given below:

semantics, Islam doesn't exist, deflection with an insult, accusation of loaded question

http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1216537027/112#112

deflection to other religions, direct answer to related question that doesn't paint Islam in a bad light

http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1216537027/112#112

deflection to Judaism

http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1216537027/125#125

attempt to justify deflection to other religions

http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1216537027/128#128

refusal to answer and already answered - ironically in same post, semantics

http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1216537027/134#134

Islam doesn't exist, respond to question 'is it allowed' with 'it is not a priority'

http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1216537027/136#136

Islam is 'realistic', but won't say how

http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1216537027/138#138

deflects to attacking democracy, Quran can only be read in Arabic

http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1216537027/140#140

deflection to generic attack on 'the west'

http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1216537027/142#142

ad hominem (insult), refusal to answer, already answered,

http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1216537027/144#144

deflection to homophobia in Europe, other religions, semantics, deflection to history rather than Islamic law, deflection to Catholics, Islam doesn't exist, response on whether it is required rather than allowed, subjectivity of immorality

http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1216537027/145#145

ad hominem, already answered, lie (false claim that sex slavery does not exist in Islam), deflection to the west,

http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1216537027/146#146

deflection to other religions, ad hominem

http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1216537027/149#149

Islam doesn't exist, deflection to other religions

http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1216537027/152#152

deflection to 'the west', Islam doesn't exist, refusal to answer

http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1216537027/155#155

semantics

http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1216537027/159#159

deflection to other religions

http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1216537027/163#163

deflection to other religions

http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1216537027/167#167

It was only after I started a new thread that I got a direct answer to the question of whether Islam permits sex slaves. However, no further details were given.

http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1224559466

Changing Strategies

Muslims who publicly promote Islam appear to be becoming more savvy. The issues from Islam and Australian values were raised during discussions with a few Muslims on the forum. The list was compiled in response to increasing complexity in the debate and a tendency by promoters of Islam to repeat the same debate and pretend that the above issues had never been raised and that there was no potential conflict between Islam and western values. However, after compiling the list with links to quotes from Muslims on the forum there was an abrupt change in strategy. In discussion with other Muslims, the people involved have been promoting a stronger focus on strategy and propaganda in public discussions with non-Muslims, but have not clarified what that strategy is [268].

The new strategy seems to involve avoiding the contentious issues altogether. Muslims will respond to the more extreme anti-Islam rants or anything that can make Islam look good, or at least neutral in comparison. They will make equally 'ill considered' anti American or anti-western rants and point to the anti-Islam rants as justification. [269] In contrast, requests for more details on the more 'problematic' issues raised, or any additional issues not mentioned in the list, are either ignored [270] [271] [272] [273] [274] [275] [276] [277] [278] or met with some kind of deflection. [279] [280] These deflections typically involve personal attacks on the intelligence of the person making the request, [281] [282] [283] [284] [285] [286] [287] [288] [289] [290] [291] [292] [293] [294] criticism of the motive of the person making the request (eg, you are only asking so you can add it to the wiki [295] or so you can mislead people about the answer), [296] [297] [298] [299] a change in topic (usually to current geopolitics) or insisting the question has already been answered. [300] Current geopolitics, usually along the lines of "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter," [301] [302] [303] [304] and historical grievances seem to be favourite topic changers. These arguments can be easily made without direct reference to Islam or any of the conflicts outlined above. In fact it can help to steer the argument away from Islam. Questions about Islam that are based on current events are met with the common 'Islam doesn't exist' deflection [305] [306] [307] [308] [309] and a denial of Islam's involvement (eg people being stoned to death in the middle east is unrelated to Islamic law that requires stoning people to death because Shariah law is not implemented properly). Issues involving Islam's rules regarding sex usually get the 'priests rape little boys' response. [310] [311] The net result of these strategies is that promotion or defense of Islam to a savvy audience involves steering the argument away from Islam itself towards mostly political issues. [312] [313] [314] This strategy would probably be attractive to people who oppose their government's foreign policy and are unaware of the political nature of Islam and what it would replace that foreign policy with.

What to do?

All of these tricks ultimately take advantage of ignorance. The antidote to this is to make people aware of them. A lie becomes ineffective when enough people see it for what it is.

Islam forbids asking questions

Part of the reason for the attempts by Muslims to deflect all 'difficult' questions about Islam, is that Islam itself forbids people from asking questions they may not like the answer to. That is, they are only allowed to try to inform themselves of those aspects of Islam which they personally approve of. [315] With this in mind, the deception of non-Muslims can be viewed as an extension of this mandatory self deception through omission.

In other words, in order to deceive others, one must first delude oneself.