For the Hong Kong singer, see Kitman (singer).
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Kitman (Arabic kitmān كتمان "secrecy, concealment") is the act of paying lip service to authority while holding personal opposition. It is a sort of political camouflage, for the purpose of survival, in circumstances where open opposition would result in persecution.
The term is most frequently encountered in reference to Communist authoritarianism.
Some early Muslim jurists such as Muadh bin Jabal were opposed to the concept altogether as they felt it implied "lying" (kidhb) and "hypocrisy" (nifaq). In modern times, it is understood that both Kitman and Taqiyya are both forms of altering or concealing information.
References to Kitman and Taqiyya can be found in both the Quran and hadith.
Qur'an (16:106) "Those who disbelieve in GOD, after having acquired faith, and become fully content with disbelief, have incurred wrath from GOD. The only ones to be excused are those who are forced to profess disbelief, while their hearts are full of faith."
Qur'an (3:28) Qur'an (9:3) Qur'an (40:28) Qur'an (2:225) Qur'an (66:2) Qur'an (3:54) Bukhari (52:269) Bukhari (49:857) Bukhari (84:64-65) Muslim (32:6303) Bukhari (50:369)
The term originates in Persia, and was studied in Gobineau's book Religions and Philosophies of Central Asia. Czesław Miłosz in his book The Captive Mind makes parallels between Kitman and the act of public hypocrisy (that is, publicly professing orthodoxy, while privately believing heterodoxy with the hope of one day being in a position of authority to spread one's hidden ideas) in the name of individual conscience under the Communist régimes of post-war Europe.