Memo to Ibrahim Hooper and other “moderate” Muslim leaders: Fathi Yakan, despite his clerical training, is clearly yet another misunderstander of Islam. Please dispatch a team of your best men to Lebanon immediately, to inform him of the true, peaceful teachings of the religion.
From MEMRITV, with thanks to Nicolei:
Following are excerpts from an interview with Lebanese Sunni Cleric Fathi Yakan, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on March 16, 2007:
Fathi Yakan: There is no doubt that Sheik Osama bin Laden has a high level of faithfulness, trustworthiness, and transparency. He is faithful to his religion and to Jihad for the elevation of the word of Allah. Unfortunately, there have been many rumors that he is an American creation, and that all that is happening is the result of scenarios concocted by him and America, especially following the Russians withdrawal from Afghanistan. There were claims that these people were biased towards the Americans, and that America toyed with them, and so on. I believe this is all nonsense, and that this is totally untrue. This man has a pure, honest and believing personality. He defends all that belongs to Islam and who renounces anything that is not Islamic, and therefore, he is a man after my own heart….
Interviewer: But there was an operation, for which Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility – the bombing of the Twin Towers in America, and what was described as terrorist attacks against the Americans. In this case, for example, are you with him or against him? Were you happy when you saw the towers collapse?
Fathi Yakan: If we examine the ideology of Al-Qaeda and Bin Laden in depth, we see that he has become completely convinced that the only way to curb the disease that is afflicting the Islamic world… The only way to stop this octopus is to crush the serpent’s head.
Interviewer: Do you share this opinion?
Fathi Yakan: It’s fine with me. I might have crushed the serpent’s head in a different way. I might have crushed it by means of the Islamic resistance in South Lebanon, by attacking Israel. But Bin Laden said: “No, I will strike it in its own home. I will strike it in the World Trade Center, and shake its economic status.” This is his methodology, and he should bear responsibility for it, but I am not sad or depressed that this happened, and I do not condemn it. In all honestly, I have never condemned this. Just like it had negative ramifications, it had positive ones as well.