Reuters says that Osama is calling for a worldwide Islamic council. Actually I think that would be a good idea — but only for the opposite of Osama’s purpose: to rule out violent jihad as a viable option for Muslims.
Hitherto unreported parts of a message said to come from Osama bin Laden urge Islamic clerics and leaders to form a council to rally and arm Muslims for holy war against the West, an Islamic Web site reported on Saturday.
Al Jazeera television had in January aired parts of an audio tape that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency said was “likely” from bin Laden, leader of al Qaeda network. The Dirasat Web site carried the full text.
The message said the proposed council should help Muslim fighters obtain light arms, rocket propelled grenades and anti-tank mines.
“Scholars, influential leaders and merchants should meet in a safe place, far from the shadow of the tyrannical (Arab) regimes, and form a council to fill the void created by the toppling of these regimes or by their mental incapacity,” the message said.
“Its priorities will be to unite Muslims, defend Islam, prepare for jihad and facilitate movement of weapons,” it said, adding that the body could start on a small scale and then grow when circumstances were right.
Like the audio tape, the text urged Muslims to fight U.S. forces occupying Iraq.
“I call on the sons of Islam to isolate their leaders who relied on the unjust and to set up a strong and faithful leadership to defend Islam in these dire times,” it said.
“The occupation of Iraq is only a link in the evil Zionist-crusader chain, then comes the occupation of the rest of the Gulf states ahead of enforcing hegemony and control of the whole world,” said the message, addressed to the Muslim nation.
Bin Laden is being hunted by the United States for masterminding the September 11, 2001 attacks on U.S. cities.
Al Qaeda says the U.S.-led war on terror is a “crusade against Islam.”