‘War is Deceit’ – When Trust Makes Us Vulnerable

The ‘Prophet’ Muhammad famously said: “War is deceit”. Two incidents, barely a week apart, powerfully illustrated the fact that this is still seen as a cornerstone of jihadist strategic thinking.

In both cases a position of trust was used as a platform from which to unleash carnage in the name of Allah. A supposedly ‘model prisoner’ stabbed those responsible for his ‘rehabilitation’ to death on London Bridge (29 November 2019). A trainee pilot in Pensacola went on a rampage against those who were training him (6 December 2019). How could something like this happen?

Perhaps this story (found in Sahih Bukhari 52:271) from the life of Muhammad will shed some light: “The Prophet said, “Who is ready to kill Ka’b bin Ashraf (i.e. a Jew).” Muhammad bin Maslama replied, “Do you like me to kill him?” The Prophet replied in the affirmative. Muhammad bin Maslama said, “Then allow me to say what I like.” The Prophet replied, “I do (i.e. allow you).

Note carefully what happened here: One of Muhammad’s followers asks for permission to lie, and it is immediately granted to him. What happened next is described in Sahih Bukhari 53:369. Bin Maslama goes to the person marked for death by Muhammad and pretends that he is deeply disillusioned by the ‘prophet’. In this way, he gained the person’s trust and was admitted into his inner circle. After the ‘friendship’ was firmly established, Maslama asked Ka’b whether he could smell the perfume on his head, an act that could only take place between trusted friends. Trusting his ‘friend’, Ka’b allows this and is immediately grabbed and killed!

“War is deceit” indeed.


Much more, including several more examples (drawn from impeccable Islamic sources) of how deceit can be used as a weapon of war, can be found in my book ‘Nothing to do with Islam? – Investigating the West’s Most Dangerous Blind Spot’


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