A complete translation of the February 11, 2005 audiotape issued by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, entitled “The Freeing of Humanity and Homelands under the Banner of the Qur’an,” is available at the pro-jihad site Jihad Unspun (thanks to RB). Here are some choice excerpts.
Zawahiri trots out the usual palaver about the Zionist tail on the American dog:
In the scale of any neutral analysis it will become clear that the Zionist entity is nothing but the front of the American campaign to control the Islamic East, and it is nothing but part of a massive campaign against the Islamic world, in which the West under America’s leadership has allied with global Zionism….
Note that he identifies “terrorism” as “the deceitful name of Jihad.” I agree, Doc. We are not up against “terrorists.” We are facing a global jihad. Terrorism is a tactic used by an opponent, not an opponent in itself.
America is trying with all that it has to fight the Muslim Ummah in their beliefs, which represents the biggest threat to America’s arrogant existence, especially since voices have increased inside America saying that there is no hope in defeating what they call “terrorism”, the deceitful name for Jihad, except by changing the beliefs of the Muslims, and their minds, and the military confrontation with America will only lead to more losses for America; it may shake the foundation of the American empire.
Zawahiri follows this with a long diatribe about what freedom is and what it isn’t, in terms of what should or should not be “permitted.” The upshot is that he’s not happy about not being free to destroy Israel and expand Islamic sovereignty. Heck, what’s freedom for, anyway?
The freedom we want is not the lowly, filthy American freedom…It is not the freedom of gambling, alcohol and family breakups, it is not the freedom of using women as merchandise to gain customers, sign deals and attract tourists and sell products.
I am not for these things either, but I do not believe that Sharia is the answer: leaving a man unfree to be evil does not make him good. Also, this sort of thing makes conservative Christians think they can make common cause with Muslims on social issues. And maybe they can — but they’re deceiving themselves if they think they will be considered equals thereafter by the Muslims with whom they work, if the Muslims are serious about their religion.
It is not the freedom of double standards, and dividing people into robbers and robbed, it is not the freedom of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it is not the freedom of selling torture machines, and supporting regimes of force, suppression and might, the friends of America, it is not the freedom of Israel massacring Muslims, destroying Masjid Al-Aqsa and turning Palestine into a Jewish state, it is not the freedom of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, it is not the freedom of carpet bombings, seven ton bombs, cluster bombs and leaf fallers, nor depleted uranium, and the destruction of villages in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is not the freedom of the government of Haliburton and its sister blood suckers. It is not the freedom of monopolization of weapons of mass destruction, developing it and then forbidding it from others. It is not the freedom of monopolizing the vote in the Security Council to the five big nations, four of whom are crusaders.
Crusaders, eh? More fantasizing. But anyway, this is a list of pretexts. It gains recruits for Zawahiri, but here again is deceit: so many analysts think that if these conditions were changed, there would be no more trouble with the Islamic world. In this they misunderstand the jihad ideology.
The Sharee”ah brought down by Allah is the Sharee”ah which must be followed. In this matter, no person is able to stand in a position of waviness or oscillation; it is a matter that can only be received very seriously because it doesn’t accept jokes. Either you are a believer in Allah and then you have to abide by His laws, or either you are a disbeliever in Him, and then there is no use in discussing with you the details of His law.
No jokes?? You’re kidding, right, Doc?? But of course he isn’t: this is in full accord with Khomeini’s declaration that I quote in Islam Unveiled: “There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious.”
Anyway, Zawahiri allows no distinction between being a Muslim and fighting to institute Sharia:
The beliefs of Islam do not differentiate between the existence of Allah and recognizing His right in ruling and legislating. This kind of differentiation cannot be made by a serious believer nor a serious atheist. Therefore, among the most important tricks of the secularists in covering up their impotence was to mix freedom and the removal of the right of legislating from Allah and giving it to man; this is a mix which does not conform in the sound mind, rather real freedom is submitting to the sharee”ah which is above greed, enmities and base desires.
Oh really? What’s all the fuss in the Sharia about “fighting the enemies of Allah” if there is no enmity? Why plunder the infidels’ loot, if there is no greed? What’s with all the repressive sexual regulations (stoning for adultery, etc.), if there are no base desires? Am I missing something here, Doc?
And if it is that secular Europe [sic] have mixed freedom with removing religion from ruling, because it faced a church which gave itself infallibility and the right to speak on Allah’s behalf, and invented a trinity which no mind can accept…and fought the scientists and scientific research, then what is our sin as no church has stood in our lands,
Well, Doc, I’m really not sure that your disliking the Church constitutes an excuse. Would you like the same argument to be used in the West against the building of mosques?
…and we have no infallible person except for the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, the ruler by us is not infallible, nor cajoled, nor is he legislator nor eternally ruler, whom no person can debate on his views. He is rather a human being whom an allegiance is pledged to, to obey in that which is good, and he is removed if he exceeds his limits.
Sure, Doc. The ruler can be removed. But Sharia can’t. What if the populace determines that it is Sharia itself that “exceeds…limits”? What can they do then?
What is our fault, seeing as there is none amongst us who claims to speak on behalf of Allah and His prophet, peace be upon him, nor anyone who has inherited authority, entrustment or agency, which raises him above wrongdoing, forgives him from criticism, or which gives him the right to legislate and rule and engage in the lives of people and their wealth. What is our fault as there is none amongst us who claims the right of intercession between Allah and His creation? What is our fault, as there is no men of religion amongst us, only scholars, whose words have no infallibility, and they do not claim agency on behalf of a hidden force, rather the truthfulness of their words and its proof-worthiness, is based on the strength of their proof of the Qur’an and Sunnah.
What is he so on the Pope about? How many legions does the Pope have? This is just silly religious grandstanding, and would be laughable were it not for the fact that it is in fact a justification for the invasion and Islamization of the West, and for violence committed to that end.
Note how dead-set he is against any government that is not established on religious authority — and not just any religious authority, of course, but that of Sharia:
As for the secular governments, they had cooperated with the crusaders in the first world war against the Khilafat…and they brought in the period of half a century, five major catastrophes on the Muslim Ummah, beginning with the 1948 war and ending with the 2003 invasion of Iraq, they accepted the existence of Israel, and they acknowledged it, they stepped down on most of Palestine for it, and they even signed treaties with it to fight the Mujahideen in Sharm Al-Shaykh, in 1996. They helped laid siege to the land of Iraq and then helped attack it, they helped invade Afghanistan, and they accepted the agent governments which the crusader aggressors put up in Iraq and Afghanistan. They fought Islam and they fought the Jihad against Israel and America, and they spread filth, rottenness, robbery and secularism with fraud, force and military courts.
Zawahiri then elaborates on his second principle, “the freedom of the homlands of Islam”, in which he rejects the distinction between “moderates” and “terrorists”:
The second principle upon which reform must be built on is a branch of the first principle: The freedom of the homelands of Islam, and freeing it from every occupying robbing thief, as no reform can be pictured to take place while we are under the burden of American and Jewish occupation, no free elections nor independent governments can take place, nor can our honor and dignity be guaranteed while the crusader and Jewish forces are trampling our land, killing whoever they want, and shelling whoever they want, and torturing whoever they want; they divide people into moderates, who have the right of freedom and practicing politics, and terrorists, who must expect nothing but destruction, death and torture.
Those dastardly Americans! Giving people the freedom to practise politics!
Zawahiri’s third principle is the “freedom of humanity.” Three guesses as to what that means.
The Ummah must accept the authority of the Sharee”ah judgement, and that no person has the right to touch the rights of others except with its ruling.
These three principles of reform, and they are: The ruling of the Quran, and the freedom of homelands and humanity, cannot be achieved except with Jihad, and struggle and martyrdom, it will not be achieved except if we remove our enemies from our homeland, except if we secure our rights with the power of Jihad.…
In this great battle, each one of us has his important and dangerous role, and on his shoulders is a great responsibility, which he will be asked about on the day of judgement.
Yes, won’t we all…
In this great battle, it becomes the duty of all of us, individuals, movements and groups to unite and gather for the sake of Jihad against the crusaders, the Jews and their agents who rule our homelands, and to not accept any middle solution with them, or any course which justifies their position. We must all break away from them, discard them, oppose them, and incite in opposing them, and gather the Ummah to wage Jihad against them.
So Oh Muslims! Fight Jihad in the path of Allah! And let our slogan be: The freeing of humanity and homelands under the banner of the Qur’an.