Courtesy of MEMRI
On May 19, 2008, Al-Qaeda's Al-Sahab Media Company posted on Islamist websites, including Al-Ikhlas, a message by Osama bin Laden titled "[An Address] to the Islamic Umma."(1) The message is a desperate call to Muslim youth to assist the Palestinians in Gaza and to confront the "treacherous" Arab regimes and leaders that stand in the way of the goals of the mujahideen.
The following are the main points discussed in the message.
Following a general message to all Muslims, bin Laden addresses the Egyptian people, saying: "Our heroic brothers in Egypt must strive to lift the siege [on Gaza], because only they live next to [Gaza's] borders. They [must also] depose this cruel... and arrogant hard-hearted [ruler, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak]... who is like Pharaoh and Haman."
In the message, bin Laden urges young Muslims "to study the reasons for the [Arab countries'] failure to liberate Palestine until now and to learn their lessons." According to him, this failure is rooted in the treacherous nature of the Arab regimes. "The Ottoman Empire," he says, "protected the umma from the Western Crusader wolf. But Great Britain collaborated with Arab leaders – first and foremost Sharif Hussein and his children, and King 'Abd Al-'Aziz Al-Sa'ud – to fight and destroy the Ottoman Empire.
"Great Britain then appointed [Arab] agents to carry out its policy and protect its interests at our expense. It is stupidity to think that the agents of the Crusader-Zionist alliance will cease attacking our religion and [plundering] our wealth. They are like wolves which will never stop [preying on] sheep."
Saladin Battled Those Arab Emirs Who Fought With the Crusaders Against the Muslims
To highlight what he considers to be the Arab regimes' moral corruption and disloyalty to Islam, bin Laden cites Saladin as an example, saying that unlike Arab leaders, Saladin "understood that the way to stop the damage inflicted by the infidels is to fight [them] for the sake of Allah...
"Saladin associated with the divinely guided ulema, pursued religious knowledge even in the arenas of jihad... and supported their spurring people to wage jihad against the Crusaders... He battled those [Arab] emirs and their helpers who fought side by side with the Crusaders against Muslims, even if those [emirs] proclaimed [the first shahada:] 'There is no god but Allah...'"
"[Hizbullah Leader] Nasrallah Refused to Accept [Assistance from Sunni] Mujahideen"
"In Egypt, [in contrast], the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood makes sending 10,000 mujahideen to fight the Jews conditional... upon the consent of the American agent [i.e. Mubarak]..." In Lebanon, "[Hizbullah Secretary-General] Hassan Nasrallah claims that he does not need [more] money [to assist him in fighting Israel]... and that he is not in need of [more] people [i.e. soldiers]... If he does indeed possess what he needs, why does he not persist in the fight to liberate Palestine and rescue our people from the hands of the Jews?
"On the contrary: He welcomed the Crusader forces which came to protect the Jews. By doing do, he confirmed the claim by Sabih Tufayli, former Hizbullah secretary-general, that Kofi Annan came to Lebanon [to facilitate] an agreement between Hizbullah and the Zionists, and this is why [Nasrallah] refused to accept [the assistance of Sunni] mujahideen."
"The Only Way to Reach Palestine Is to Fight the [Arab] Regimes and Parties That [Share a] Border with the Jews"
Bin Laden makes the following prognosis for the current predicament of the Islamic nation: "Today the umma... must do everything in its power to confront the Crusaders' agents [in order] to eliminate the danger they pose. [In fact,] upon realizing that the [Arab] regimes follow America, many righteous sons of the umma... joined Islamic groups that call [to restore] the rule of Islam, to revive the Caliphate, and [to liberate] Palestine...
"The only way to reach Palestine is by fighting the [Arab] regimes and parties [i.e., Hizbullah and the Muslim Brotherhood in countries] that [share a] border with the Jews and stand between us and them..."
(1) Al-Ikhlas Islamist forum, May 19, 2008.
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