Politics

Ben Carson’s Claim That ‘Taqiyya’ Encourages Muslims ‘to Lie to Achieve Your Goals’

In this Sept. 11, 2015 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks in St. Louis. Carson has moved into the top tier of the 2016 presidential race as quietly as Donald Trump crashed the party with bombast, and he'll join the billionaire real-estate mogul as a focus of attention at the GOP's second debate. (AP Photo/Sid Hastings, File)
In this Sept. 11, 2015 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Sid Hastings, File)

“Taqiyya is a component of Shia that allows, and even encourages you to lie to achieve your goals.”

— Dr. Ben Carson, interview with The Hill newspaper, Sept. 20, 2015

(The Washington Post) – Carson, a neurosurgeon seeking the GOP presidential nomination, caused a stir when he declared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he could not support a Muslim becoming president.

In a follow-up interview with The Hill, he asserted that he “did not believe Sharia [law] is consistent with the constitution of this country.” He said he could make an exception if the Muslim running for office “publicly rejected all the tenants of Sharia [Islamic law] and lived a life consistent with that.”

But then Carson added he was concerned about something called “taqiyya.” As he put it, “Taqiyya is a component of Shia that allows, and even encourages you to lie to achieve your goals.” (This is how the quote appeared in the Hill newspaper, but “Shia” may be a typo for “Sharia.”)

In other words, he appeared to be saying that this tenet of Islam offered some kind of loophole that would allow the Muslim to lie about his or her religious beliefs in order to pursue other objectives. Is this the case?

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