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Posted to YouTube June 3, 2015; first viewed as a “Video Greeting” on author K. M. Lessing’s web site.

Reference: Qur’an 3:54

According to the Qur’an, Allah is the “best of deceivers” (3:54; 8:30). The phrase is often translated into English as “best of planners,” “best of schemers,” or “best of plotters,” but the root word (makr) means “deception.” Hence, the following Qur’an verses should be rendered as follows:

Qur’an 3:54—And they (the unbelievers) planned to deceive, and Allah planned to deceive (the unbelievers), and Allah is the best of deceivers.

Qur’an 7:99—Are they then safe from Allah’s deception? No one feels safe from Allah’s deception except those that shall perish.

Qur’an 8:30—And (remember) when the unbelievers plotted deception against you (O Muhammad), to imprison you, or kill you, or expel you. They plotted deception, but Allah also plotted deception; and Allah is the best of deceivers.

Wood, David.  “Is Allah the Best of Deceivers?”  Answering Muslims, March 2, 2014.

With reference to Qur’an 3:54:

The historical background for the verse is that the Jews ‘planned’ evil in order to get Jesus arrested and crucified. And Allah in the verse says as they planned evil, so too Allah planned to thwart their wicked plan. Christian missionaries have an issue with the words used for both the Jews and Allah. They prefer to translate this way:

“and [they] deceived and Allah deceived and Allah is the best of deceivers”

The above translation does not exist. It is only made up by crazy deluded missionaries in order to lead people astray. Arabic word(s) makr, Makara can be used negatively and for good.  So when the Jews planned to get Jesus arrested and crucified, that was evil, whereas when Allah thwarted their evil plan by saving Jesus, this was good.

Discover the Truth.  “Response to Critics Claim ‘Allah is A Deceiver’ – Quran 3:54.”  January 24, 2015.

True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ;(13) still, what happened in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today. Although the Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures. All should see to it, then, that in catechetical work or in the preaching of the word of God they do not teach anything that does not conform to the truth of the Gospel and the spirit of Christ.

Pope Paul VI.  “Nostra Aetate: Declaration on The Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions Proclaimed by His Holiness Pope Paul VI on October 28, 1965.”  Vatican.

Verily methinks the woman was deceived, the Jews were libled — the whole lot, and the post-Holocaust Vatican compelled to clarify the truth of its position in relation to the Jewish People.

Ironically related reference on the Soviet framing of WWII’s Pope Pius XII as “Hitler’s Pope”: Pacepa, Ion Mihai and Rychlak, Ronald J. Disinformation. Washington, D.C.: WND Books, 2013.  (BackChannels readers will find more of similar in “The Russian Section” of the resident library).

Further related and more conveniently accessed: Akin, Jimmy.  “How Pius XII Protected Jews.”  Catholic Answers, n.d.: “Hochhuth’s fictional image of a silent (though active) pope has been transformed by the anti-Catholic rumor mill into the image of a silent and inactive pope—and by some even into an actively pro-Nazi monster. If there were any truth to the charge that Pius XII was silent, the silence would not have been out of moral cowardice in the face of the Nazis, but because the Pope was waging a subversive, clandestine war against them in an attempt to save Jews.”

As people lie — engage in deception — either to hide something or to get something, we know, this according to Ms. Lessing, what the ignoble imam was after; and according to Jimmy Akin as well as the breathtaking revelations of Pacepa and Rychlak (2013), we know what the noble Pope Pius XII was hiding for good cause.

The Discover the Truth blog goes on to note the moral ambiguity involved in the term “makr” this way: “The word, makr in Arabic denotes a subtle and secret move or plan. If this is for a good purpose, it is good; and if this is for a bad purpose, it is bad.”

The argument places the determination of good deed or evil beyond the declaration of Surat 3:54: “And (the unbelievers) plotted and planned, and Allah too planned, and the best of planners is Allah” (Yusuf Ali’s translation).

Again: “The word, makr in Arabic denotes a subtle and secret move or plan. If this is for a good purpose, it is good; and if this is for a bad purpose, it is bad.”

It would appear that “being the best of planners” — being the most proficient among the makers of subtle and secret moves or plans — would be a thing separate from being either good or evil, i.e., the statement is about facility in the making of “subtle and secret moves” and neutral about ethical and moral virtue, plain dealing, and straight talk as behaviors civil, desirable, good, and lawful in and of themselves.

Given so much encouragement and license for the making of “subtle and secret moves”, who then — or what — determines the qualities of good cause?

I’ll leave that question rhetorical.

One might suppose that had Lessing’s imam been honest with her, Lessing may yet be wearing her hijab with pride.

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