Do Muslims Have the Right to Armed Self-Defense?

Is there a “Christian” equivalent of the much-discussed – and much-misrepresented – Muslim concept of “Taqiyya”?

As described by the compulsive mosque-baiters who compose one of the War Party’s most violent constituencies, “taqiyaa” is supposedly a mandate for Muslims to lie and practice deceit in the pursuit of global conquest. Thus any time Muslims condemn terrorism, or express a desire for peace, self-appointed “experts” on Islam, claiming privileged insight regarding the unspoken motives of others, dismiss such gestures as “taqiyya” to disguise an implacable desire to kill or subjugate all non-Muslims.

The actual Islamic teaching on the subject, according to Dr. Imad Enchassi, the Imam presiding over the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, came from an episode in Muhammad’s life in which he told “slaves in Arabia to conceal their faith so they wouldn’t be killed. It was a very brief ruling.”

This was akin to the dissimulation practiced by Abram (later Abraham) regarding the identity of his wife (Genesis 12:11-13), the deliberate deception by the Egyptian midwives to protect Hebrew infants targeted for government-mandated slaughter (Exodus 1:15-20), and Rahab’s use of the old “They went that-a-way” routine to conceal the Hebrew spies in Jericho (Joshua 2:1-7). All of that conduct falls short of the higher standard taught in the Sermon on the Mount, in which Jesus instructed those who follow Him that they should simply say “yes” or “no,” and neither misrepresent nor obfuscate the truth (Matt. 5:37).

Just as importantly, none of the examples above involve bearing false witness against someone, either for the purpose of gaining an illicit advantage, or accusing him of an offense. Because so many Americans who profess to be followers of Jesus insist on seeing Muslims — all Muslims — as irredeemable enemies, they pretend that is is permissible to lie about them. This would involve a much broader practice of “taqiyya” than that taught in the Muslim religion, and among those who embrace that practice, apparently, is Larry Pratt, head of Gun Owners of America (GOA).

In a radio interview several weeks ago, Pratt addressed the hideous murder at Vaughn Foods in Oklahoma, which was allegedly carried out by a violent ex-convict who briefly attended Dr. Enchassi’s congregation.

According to Pratt’s rendering of the incident, the assailant had heard “a Friday sermon — either that Friday or the Friday before” in which Dr. Enchassi supposedly “preached on how Muhammad says we have to behead the infidels. So the guy was acting on what he heard preached.”

In addition to being an accusation of a very serious crime, Pratt’s statement was a demonstrable lie.

All of Dr. Enchassi’s sermons are publicly available. None of them is an exhortation to violence. Nearly all of them enjoin respectful treatment of one’s neighbors, and forebearance in the face of provocation – themes that Mr. Pratt and other Christian critics of Islam should find familiar. Among the sermons he taught in the weeks prior to the murder at Vaughn Foods were messages entitled “How to be Abrahamic – Be Nice With Your Words”; “The Restorer, Compeller, and Consoler”; and a multi-part series “The Good, Bad, and Ugly,” which included “The Good: Acts of Kindness,” and “The Bad – Mistreating Your Neighbor.”

Pratt’s lies about Dr. Enchassi and his congregation were part of an interview in which he spoke of presenting an award to Jan Morgan, the owner of a gun range in Arkansas, who decided to make her business a “Muslim-free zone.” As the owner of that commercial property, Mrs. Morgan can exclude potential clients from it as she sees fit, for any reasons she considers suitable. Pratt’s award wouldn’t be issued in defense of property rights, but as a commendation for Morgan’s public rebuke of the “enemy.”

Does Larry Pratt believe that individual Muslims have the right to armed self-defense against aggression? If he does, he should say so candidly. If not, he should repudiate the claim that GOA is the only “no-compromise national gun rights organization.”


11:11 am on November 11, 2014