Unfortunately today, Taqiyya (dissimulation) is something misunderstood by both the opposers of the Shia, and the Shia themselves. It has been abused, misused and practised with no regards to the laws surrounding its usage.

In the past, the Hukm 'Aam (general ruling) of Taqiyya would be more towards Wajib (obligatory), or Mustahab (encouraged). However, as our Fuqaha (jurists) have said, the general ruling of Taqiyya in our current times is that it is Haram (prohibited).

Of course, the general ruling of something does not apply to every circumstance or situation. However, in the case of a Shia scholar, leader, or religious figure, Taqiyya (dissimulation) would be Haram (prohibited) for him, as the ordinary/ignorant people would actually begin to believe what is being said. In such a case, where falsehood would prevail over the truth, the scholar must prepare himself to be martyred, rather than spreading a false belief.

"If practising Taqiyya (dissimulation) is more harmful for the religion than leaving it, such as practising it would lead to the destruction of the upright religion, and (would lead to) the dominance of falsehood, and the propagation of Jibt and Taghoot (i.e. Abu Bakr and Umar), and (if) leaving Taqiyya (dissimulation) would lead ONLY to his killing - or to the killing of some people along with him - then there is no doubt that it is OBLIGATORY NOT TO practise Taqiyya (dissimulation), and (obligatory to) prepare himself to be killed, because the harms of Taqiyya (dissimulation) are greater than the harms of being killed."

[Al-Tanqeeh Fi Sharh Al-Urwat Al-Wuthqaa, by Grand Ayatollah Al-Muhaqqiq Abul-Qasim Al-Khoei; v. 4, p. 257]

By the words of one of the greatest jurists of Shia Islam, Grand Ayatollah Al-Muhaqqiq Abul-Qasim Al-Khoei (may Allah bless his soul), we know that if practising Taqiyya (dissimulation) would lead to the destruction of Shiism, or would cause others to see Shia Islam no differently from other corrupted versions of Islam, and would lead to the teachings of Abu Bakr and Umar being spread, then it is undoubtedly Haram (prohibited) to practise Taqiyya (dissimulation), and conceal our Shia faith - i.e. would undoubtedly be counted as sinful.