“You must return the rights of the people you have erred against . . . or pay the price,” by Hala Jaber for The Sunday Times:
The leader of Fatah al-Islam has threatened Britons with “destruction through resistance and attacks” for their government’s policies in the Middle East.
In a recent interview with The Sunday Times, Shakir al-Abssi, whose militant group is locked in a battle with the Lebanese army, said: “I advise the British people to cease their destructive policies in the Islamic world and to take an example of the fate of the United States, which is on its way to destruction.
“We tell the British people to exercise pressure on their government not to continue to be the arm and tail of the United States. They must understand that it is in their interest to ensure that unless we as a people are safe, they cannot be safe as a people themselves.”
Abssi was refusing to meet us in person, apparently because we were women and it would contradict his Islamic teachings.
During the interview Abssi blamed Britain for most of the ills of the Middle East.
“The British are the primary cause of the Middle East problems and they should be correcting their errors in the region and returning the rights of the people they erred against instead of blindly following the policies of the Americans,” he said.
“Is it just that we should accept their slaughtering of us and our people, and do nothing for fear of being labelled terrorists?” He spoke calmly, with none of the ranting of some jihadists, but it was clear he believed attacks against the United States and Britain would be justified.
“The crime is for them [Britons] to follow the Americans in their policies. If they want to be safe, especially since they are the principal culprits in the region, then they should now start supporting and backing the oppressed people,” he said.
He argued that both the US and Britain had preached democracy in the Middle East, but failed to recognise the democratically elected Palestinian government on the grounds that it was Islamist.
“How can we swallow this or even accept it? So yes, we do not denounce attacks against the United States. Under what logic should we, given what it is doing in Palestine and the region?” he said.
Demonstrating the fallacy of the Bush administration’s Wilsonian designs on Iraq, Abssi admits the democratic process can and will be used to undermine the West– if it continues under the illusion that introducing democracy alone can instill a nation with the values that have enabled it to be a force for good in the West.
But Abssi is not lashing out only at Britain: “Islamist militant in Lebanon vows to fight U.S.: report,” from Reuters:
“We say to you, the guardians of the American project, the Sunni people will be leaders in fighting the Jews, the Americans and their loyalists,” Abssi said, referring to Lebanese leaders.