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Taqiyya (al-Taqiyya, also spelled Takeyya) is a concept in Shia Islam[1] which encourages "disguising one's beliefs, intentions, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions or strategies."[2] It is authorized under the Qur'an and Sunnah.

Taqiyya allows a Shia Muslim even "to deny or denounce his faith if, in so doing, he protects or furthers the interests of Islam, so long as he remains faithful to Islam in his heart."[2]

Taqiyya further permits "lying under oath in testimony before a court, deceiving by making distorted statements to the media such as the claim that Islam is a 'religion of peace.'"[2]

Sunni Muslims typically denounce Taqqiya as hypocrisy.

Some people believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim who is using Taqiyya as a means to justify his public denials of his Muslim faith. A survey in March 2008 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that ten percent of American voters believed that Barack Obama was Muslim. 16% of conservative Republicans, 16% of white evangelical Protestants and 19% of rural Americans believed Obama, who at the time was an Illinois senator and Presidential candidate, was Muslim. [3] In a later survey, in July 2008, the number had risen to 12% of American voters who thought Obama was a Muslim. Interestingly, 37% of those who thought he was Muslim intended to vote for him. [4]


  1. "Taqiyah" Oxford Dictionary of Islam. John L. Esposito, Ed. Oxford University Press. 2003. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Accessed 9 June, 2006.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2
  3. USA Today, Poll: 1 in 10 think Obama is Muslim, Posted 4/1/2008, by Daniel Burke, Religion News Service, retrieved 10/16/2008.[1]
  4. Pew Research Center, 12% - Still Think Obama is Muslim, retrieved 10/16/08[2]
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