CAIRO, JUNE 17 (AP) Al-Qaida’s No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahri, released a new video, aired on Al-Jazeera television today, denouncing the U.S. Concept of reform and saying armed jihad is the only way to bring change in the Arab world.
The message _ al-Zawahri’s first video since February _ appeared to be an attempt by Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida to coopt the rising wave of reform movements in the Middle East….
“The removal of the Crusader and Jewish invaders from the Islamic countries won’t occur only by peaceful demonstrations,” he said in a brief clip aired on the pan-Arab network. “Reform and expelling the invaders from the countries of Islam won’t happen except through fighting for God’s sake.” Instead, he outlined what he called a true program for reform _ based on the rule of Islamic law and the end of U.S. And Western domination.
“We cannot imagine any reform while our countries are occupied by the Crusader forces,” he said. “We cannot imagine any reform while our governments are being ruled from the American embassies in our countries.” He said the Islamic world must be allowed to run its own affairs with “the freedom of a legitimate and independent judiciary” and the power to “propagate virtue and prevent vice” _ an injunction to implement Islamic law.