Maybe he thinks he and his fellow jihadists will destroy us from within. In any case, note the strong Islamic content of his appeal — while the learned Western analysts continue to dismiss this, the most prominent feature of what he is saying, as mere window dressing that manifests a deep misunderstanding of the religion.
“Pakistani Taliban Emir By’atullah Mahsoud: We Will Destroy America and Britain, But Won’t Use Nuclear Bombs,” from MEMRI (thanks to Mackie):
Following are excerpts from an interview with By’atullah Mahsoud, the Emir of the Pakistani Taliban, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on January 25, 2008. Throughout the interview, the assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto was not mentioned, and it seems the interview was recorded earlier.
To view this clip, visit http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1668.htm.
“Musharraf is Merely the Slave of Bush, the West, and the Infidels”
Interviewer: “Did you pledge allegiance to Mullah Omar?”
By’atullah Mahsoud: “We pledged allegiance to the Emir of the Believers in the past, and Allah willing, our allegiance to him will continue infinitely. He is our religious Emir, and our allegiance to him stems from the love and respect we have for him.”
The Emir of the Believers is a title of the Caliph — so apparently Mahsoud accepts Omar’s shaky claim to the caliphate.
Interviewer: “What do you hope to achieve by this coalition? What are your goals? What are your plans for the future?”
By’atullah Mahsoud:”The goal of our coalition is to conduct defensive jihad. The Pakistani army is induced by Bush to send its forces here, and it bombs our homes and fights us. Therefore, we established this coalition in order to provide security to Muslim individuals and Muslim society. The Pakistani army employs tactics of deceit. It wages war in South Waziristan, while it maintains a truce in North Waziristan. Then it wages war in North Waziristan, and maintains a truce in Bajaur. Then it wages war in Bajaur, and maintains a truce in Swat. This is a policy of deceit. We established this coalition in order to confront the deceit of the army and its soldiers” attacks.
“Musharraf is merely the slave of Bush, the West, and the infidels. Musharraf is subjugated to his masters. The Muslims in the tribal regions have suffered greatly at his hands, while our Arab and non-Arab brothers who have come here in order to defend Islam and the people, and in order to protect Pakistan – Musharraf has declared war against them, at the direct command of Bush. Some of them have been martyred, and others have been handed over to the Americans. All this did not satisfy Musharraf, who attacked the mosques, killing women, children, and youth inside. His motivation in doing this was to please Bush. We say that Musharraf persecuted the Muslims, demonstrated injustice towards them, and destroyed mosques.”
“Above all, we are Muslims, Allah be praised. Islam does not allow us to kill women and children. Using a nuclear bomb leads to the killing of children, women, the weak, and the elderly. We cannot kill all these people, and so we do not think about using a nuclear bomb.
“All Muslims are brothers. The Taliban have the Emir of the Believers. He is not only the Emir of the Afghani people, but the Emir of the Believers throughout the world. We pledged allegiance to him, and we have the strongest ties with him. We consider Muslims – even in America – to be our brothers. With regard to Al-Qaeda, they are Muslims, and the Islamic zeal that runs in their veins is very rare. Al-Qaeda has fought heresy head-on, and confronted it with their weapons. They are our brothers, and Allah willing, we will remain brothers, and we will serve them, even if they ask us to sacrifice our heads for their sakes.”
“I Have the Utmost Love and Respect For [bin Laden and Al-Zawahiri], Because of their Enmity towards the Jews and the Christians”
Interviewer: “Have you ever had any connection with Al-Zarqawi, Al-Zahawiri, or bin Laden?”
By’atullah Mahsoud: “Before Al-Zarqawi left for Iraq, he was in our region with us. We had strong relations with him. After America began committing injustice in Iraq, he went over there, and he had an extraordinary role. With regard to Osama and Al-Zawahiri, I never met them, but I have the utmost love and respect for them, because of their enmity towards the Jews and the Christians. The Muslims must be harsh towards the infidels and compassionate among themselves. These two men reflect this Koranic verse. Their enmity towards the Jews and the Christians is strong, and therefore, I respect them.[…]
That’s Qur’an 48:29: “Muhammad is the apostle of Allah. Those who follow him are merciful to one another, but harsh to the unbelievers.”
“We Muslims are united, and we will wage jihad in Afghanistan and in Pakistan. We will fight jihad in Palestine, Bosnia, and Iraq as well. This is our religious duty, and in Islam, there is no text that says that a certain place is Pakistan, and another place is Afghanistan. There are no borders in Islam. We fight the Jews and the Christians in Afghanistan out of ideological motives.”
Interviewer: “Did you send your fighters to Afghanistan to participate in battle alongside the Taliban?”
By’atullah Mahsoud: “We fought alongside the Taliban, and we will continue to do so full force. The enemies have come from distant places. They have come from many Western countries, for the sake of money, and they kill for the sake of money. We, on the other hand, are Muslims. Our goal is to please our God and to raise the banner of monotheism. Yes, we send and will continue to send young men to the battlefronts in Afghanistan.”
By’atullah Mahsoud: “We are by no means sorry when we kill them. They carry out the orders of the West and America, and destroy our homes. That is why we kill them, although I pray that Allah will guide them, because Pakistan is an Islamic country. But when the army soldiers come here to fight us, we will kill them, because the presence of the army and its soldiers here is in response to the orders of the infidels and Bush.
“We want to eradicate Britain and America, and to shatter the arrogance and tyranny of the infidels. We pray that Allah will enable us to destroy the White House, New York, and London. We place our trust in Allah. Soon, we will witness the miracles of jihad. I myself have experienced many miracles. Every time I was determined to do something, I prayed to Allah, and he made it possible. Our jihad is defensive jihad. Our determination is great, and it is directly entirely against Britain and America. The soldiers of heresy who have come here to oppress the Muslims – we will respond to their injustice and tyranny. One of the miracles of jihad will be that sooner or later, we will destroy their countries.”