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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

“Palestine is Our Concern and the Concern of Every Muslim” – An Audio Speech by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri Presented by as-Sahab

By SITE Institute

The voice of Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the number two individual in al-Qaeda, is featured in a twenty-one minute speech titled: “Palestine is Our Concern and the Concern of Every Muslim”, which was issued by al-Qaeda’s multimedia production arm, as-Sahab, today, Sunday, March 11, 2007. The speech is presented in a video format with a static image of Zawahiri in a right panel, and al-Aqsa Mosque in the left; English subtitles are also provided. Zawahiri references recent current events, such as the Taliban suicide bombing targeting U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan on February 27, giving him a “fine welcome”, indicating the audio recording to have been made recently.

Focus is placed upon the Hamas government and its alleged neglect of Palestinian Muslims in particular and Islam in general as they have acquiesced to international diplomacy, giving “respect” to past peace accords with Israel. Zawahiri believes that Hamas has “sunk in the swamp of surrender”, and has committed an act similar to deceased Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s reorganization of Israel to only maintain power in a “farcical” government authority. As Hamas has apparently abandoned its militant position, accepting bargaining over “martyrdom operation”, Zawahiri calls upon Muslims to reject politics and engage in jihad against the enemy. He states: “they must continue their Jihad in Allah’s path until the liberation of every land of Islam invaded by the infidels, from Spain to Iraq, and until the Word of Allah is supreme and the Caliphate returns to protect the sanctuary of Islam and spread its Shari’ah.”

Zawahiri argues within this appeal for physical jihad that American strength is waning and is suffering from defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan, and as such, “backtracking” in the jihadi project, such as he perceived Hamas to espouse, in impermissible. Confirming an American struggle in the fields of battle, Zawahiri also references the Baghdad security conference which may speed their withdrawal from Iraq. However, he reminds that to negotiate with the Iraqi government and Arab leaders is fruitless, for they are not the “real powers” in the Islamic world. Continuing to build a case against Western moral bankruptcy in its relationship with Muslims, Zawahiri cites hypocrisy in trials involving the International Criminal Court, particularly as it relates to genocide in Bosnia and war crimes in Darfur. He questions: “Who gave these murders the right to appoint judges to interfere in the affairs of Muslims? What right does the Security Council have to interfere in the affairs of Muslims, and set up the courts which acquit this one and condemn that one, when the hands of its criminal members drip with the blood of Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Algeria, Chechnya and East Turkistan? How can America refer the case of Darfur to an international court which it itself doesn't recognize and refuses to be subject to? What sort of tyranny is this world ruled by?”

The video and transcript are provided to our Intel Service members.

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