Saturday, June 26, 2010

ENGLISH: Interview with Radical American Muslim Preacher Anwar al-'Awlaqi with Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula's Al-Malahim Media

The Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF), a shadowy transnational jihadi-takfiri media outlet, released yesterday an English translation of Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula's (AQAP) interview with the radical American Muslim preacher Anwar al-'Awlaqi (Awlaki, Aulaqi). The interview was conducted and produced by AQAP's media outlet, the Al-Malahim (Malahem; Epics) Media Foundation.

Clips of the interview were released to various media outlets in April and the original Arabic-language video was released by Al-Malahim in late May. The subjects discussed center on "today's war" on Muslims by a "Crusader-Zionist" coalition led by the United States. Al-'Awlaqi is a former
imam (prayer leader) at the Dar al-Hijrah Mosque in Falls Church, Virginia near my hometown. The mosque has been frequently covered and is just as frequently caricatured in news stories and analysis by some "terrorism experts."

Al-'Awlaqi praises Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the gunman who murdered thirteen people and wounded 30 others at Fort Hood in Texas on November 5, 2009: "...Nidal Hasan was a student of mine, and I am honored by this. I am honored of the fact that the likes of Nidal Hasan are from my students. What he did was a heroic act, a wonderful operation. I ask God Almighty to keep him steadfast, to protect him, and to free him. I support what he did, and I call upon anyone who claims to be a Muslim serving in the U.S. army to follow in the footsteps of Nidal Hasan. Good deeds erase bad ones. In addition, I call upon all Muslims to follow in his footsteps and wage Jihad by speech or by action. Nidal Hasan set a wonderful example, and I ask God Almighty to make it a beginning act which many other Muslims will follow."

The preacher says that the United States government seeks to construct its own Islam, an Islam that does not threaten its global hegemony: "America today does not want an Islam which defends the causes of the Ummah. It does not want an Islam which calls to Jihad, which calls to the governance of Islamic Law, or which calls to Wala and Baraa (Alliance and Disavowal). It does not want these aspects of Islam to be mentioned or propagated. Rather, it wants an American Islam; a liberal, democratic, peaceful, and civil Islam, as they stated and propagated in some reports, such as the one published by RAND. Today we have a fiqh of pride and a demand for justice, and we also have a fiqh of humiliation and a culture of subjugation.....This battle of hearts and minds in the Islamic world is one of the fiercest. America today is trying to propagate a fake Islam, just as their predecessors did before. They altered Christianity and Judaism, and today they seek to alter Islam, but the religion of God, the Almighty, will remain protected."

Al-'Awlaqi legitimates the targeting of all Americans, since he argues that they are all essentially participants in the U.S. government's "war against Islam and the Muslims:" With regard to the issue of “civilians”, this term has become prevalent these days, but we prefer to use the terminology used by our scholars of Fiqh. They use the terms combatants or non-combatants. A combatant is someone who bears arms – even if it be a woman. Non-combatants are people who have no participation in the war. The American people as a whole are participants in the war because they elected this administration, and they finance this war. In the recent elections as well as previous ones, the American people had other options and could have elected people who did not want war. Nevertheless, these candidates got nothing but a handful of votes. Also before anything else, we must examine this issue from the perspective of Islamic law, as this is what will settle the issue regarding its permissibility. We can also look to the hadith in the books of Sirah Al-Thaqif fortified themselves in Taif. The Prophet (r) used a catapult against them. This catapult did not distinguish between men, women, or children. This was the reality of the battle. It is America today who have weapons which can distinguish between targets. Their weapons are precise, if they wished to distinguish between targets, they would have done so. But despite this fact, they target weddings, funerals, and families, killing many women and children."

The amir (top leader) of AQAP, Abu Basir Nasir al-Wuhayshi (sometimes transliterated as "al-Wahayshi, al-Wahishi"), pledged his group's support for him and threatened severe retaliation against the U.S. if he was assassinated, as the presidential administration of Barack Obama has authorized, in a May audio message released by Al-Malahim. An English translation of this message was released earlier this month.

The translated video is embedded below and an English transcript is available via my Scribd account HERE. The highest-quality and medium-quality versions use the wrong information screen with the name of the video, using instead the one for the GIMF translation of al-Wuhayshi's audio message, "In Defense of Shaykh Anwar al-'Awlaqi."


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