Thursday, December 30, 2004

More Ranting from Osama

Osama Bin Laden: 'Today There is a Conflict between World Heresy Under the Leadership of America on the One Hand and the Islamic Nation with the Mujahideen in its Vanguard on the Other'

In an audio-cassette tape released on December 16, 2004, Osama bin Laden directs his criticism against Arab rulers in general and against the Saudi royal family in particular, saying that they are no longer to be considered Muslims and calling on them to step down. Portions of the approximately hour and fifteen minutes-long tape were aired on Al-Jazeera. The following are excerpts from the speech:(1)

The Responsibility for the Conflict Falls on the Saudi Regime, which Has Neglected its Duties

"To the Muslims of Saudi Arabia in particular, and to the Muslims in other countries in general:

"This is a message concerning the disagreement and conflict between the rulers of Riyadh and the people of this country, and how to resolve it. There has been much talk in Saudi Arabia about the need to have security and safety and about the inviolability of the blood of Muslims and those who have been granted safe passage, and about the importance of [maintaining] harmonious relations and social cohesion, and the dangers of divisiveness and conflict. It has been claimed that the mujahideen are responsible for that which has befallen Saudi Arabia. However, the self-evident truth is that the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the regime, which has neglected the conditions necessary for guaranteeing security, life, harmonious relations, and social cohesion.

"It did this by disobeying Allah and committing grave sins which expose the land to Allah's warning and punishment. Allah told us the stories of the disobedient and their punishment so that we might take heed. Allah said: 'Allah made an example of a city, which used to be safe and peaceful. Its provisions used to be supplied in abundance from every quarter. But they denied Allah's favors, so Allah brought upon them hunger and fear because of what they did [Koran 16:112].' And Allah said: 'Those who acted as tyrants in the land and increased corruption in it, your Lord unleashed a scourge upon them. Your Lord is always watching [Koran 89:11-14].'

"Similarly, all who help this regime and fawn upon it, as well as those who abstain from denouncing evil - they too are responsible... The acts of disobedience [against Allah] committed by the regime are very grave. They are worse than merely grave offenses and mortal sins; they are so serious that those who commit such things are no longer Muslims. It is worse than acting iniquitously with the people and depriving them of their rights, humiliating them, insulting their intelligence and sentiments, and embezzling the funds of the ummah [the Islamic nation]. Each day, millions of people suffer from poverty and deprivation, while millions of riyals flow into the accounts of the heads of the [Saudi royal] family who wield power. In addition to all this, services are being scaled back, they are stealing lands, they forcibly impose themselves as 'partners' in businesses without giving any compensation, and so forth. The regime has gone beyond all this and has reached actions that clearly remove one from Islam.

"[The regime] has allied itself with infidel America and helped it [in its war] against Muslims, and has made itself a counterpart to Allah by legislating to people both what is permitted and what is forbidden, instead of [leaving this to] Allah...

"That which I just mentioned is one of the important causes of disagreement between the Muslims and the rulers of Riyadh. The solution to this matter is simple and well known in Allah's religion, provided that the ruler honestly wants reform, and [indeed] if he wants it at all. As for us, Allah knows that we want reform and strive for it as much as we can. We left our country only because of our love for reform, for we didn't lack any worldly goods, praise and thanks to Allah...

"The prosperity of this [Islamic] nation will come through that which brought it prosperity in its beginnings. The Arabian Peninsula [before Islam] was [swept by] crashing waves of aggression and killing, and was flooded with barbaric paganism. But when Allah sent our Prophet Muhammad and revealed the Koran, and the people joined him in accepting Islam, then their condition improved and they prospered, and Allah made them mighty after their having been downtrodden...

"The solution to the conflict between the ruler and his subjects is the policy [proposed] by the first caliph [Abu Bakr] to the second caliph ['Umar], may Allah's favor be on them both - namely: 'Be upright, and your subjects will behave properly.' These are the words of the Rightly Guided Caliphs... If a ruler properly observes Allah's law, the subjects will behave properly, and they will be under obligation, by Allah's command, to listen and obey him. If, however, the ruler becomes an apostate and abandons Allah's law, it is incumbent upon the subjects, by Allah's command, to rebel. Obedience to him is not absolute, but rather is conditional upon his probity...

"Thus, if we want to arrive at a proper solution - theoretically and practically - to this conflict [between the ruler and his subjects], we must know its roots and dimensions. For this conflict is partly a local conflict, but in other respects it is a conflict between world heresy - and with it today's apostates - under the leadership of America on the one hand, and on the other, the Islamic nation with the brigades of mujahideen in its vanguard. This oppressive [regime] in the region, which at present represses every movement for reform and imposes upon the peoples policies that contradict both their religion and their worldly interest, is the very same family which helped the Crusaders against the Muslims a century ago. It is doing this on behalf of America and its allies, and this constitutes a continuation of the previous Crusaders' wars against the Islamic world."

The Crusaders and Their Agents have Changed Our School Curricula so as to Dry up the Fountainheads of the Islamic Awakening

"When we look at the domestic policies of our country, we can clearly discern the extent of the Crusader-Zionist control over it. As for American interference in domestic affairs, there is no end to what one can say about it. It is impossible to appoint the king or his viceroy without America's consent. This is based on agreements between previous kings and the American government. The farcical situation of the present government in Saudi Arabia is [maintained] with America's consent, in order to prevent the deterioration of the current situation and the deepening of discord among the princes, especially in these most recent difficult years. History has never witnessed anything like the prevailing condition of the government in Saudi Arabia. It may occur that upon the ruler's death, someone may rule the people in his name, as in the case of Shajarat Al-Durr.(2) However, that the whole land be governed in the name of a king who for a decade already has no idea what is going on - this is unheard of.

"According to Islamic law, he has lost his authority, not only due to his having committed actions which remove one from Islam, but also because of his feebleness of mind and his having lost the mental capacity needed for even the smallest of tasks, let alone for administering the country and the people. His brothers should not charge him with that which he is unable to do. They insist on his staying [on the throne] only because they refuse to see his brother 'Abdallah become king, for then their powers would be reduced, and he would wield exclusive power without them. For his part, he cannot get around them, since they have control of affairs, especially in the ministries of the defense and the interior, as well as in intelligence. What is more important is that they are in control of the royal chancery, which enables them to issue a royal edict in the name of the nominal ruler to remove him [i.e. 'Abdallah] and to appoint someone else. This sharp controversy within the royal family, in addition to their oppressing the people, enables America to go far in blackmailing the competing princes into meeting its demands, and particularly Prince 'Abdallah, since 'Abdallah knows well that if he does not comply with America's orders then he is destined, in the best of circumstances, to be deposed by his brothers, just as they had previously deposed their brother, King Saud. He also knows that his competitors have previous experience, and they are ready to do worse than depose him, if necessary.

"Whoever wants a recent real-life example for the role of America in deciding to depose someone should look at the case of Prince Hassan Ibn Talal of Jordan. After he had been viceroy for a number of decades, his brother Hussein returned from America a few days before his death determined to depose his brother, and [indeed] he deposed him. He [Hassan] acquiesced, and became a mere political footnote. It is this [fate] that Prince 'Abdallah fears [would befall him] should he disobey his protector - America. Thus, it is no secret that those who make decisions about important things are in America.

"The proof of the depth of the Crusaders' control over our country is that their agents carry out the changes imposed on them by those who appointed them - even in our school curricula - with the intention of disfiguring the identity of the Islamic nation and westernizing its children. This is an old plan, which began decades ago, with regard to the curricula of Al-Azhar in Egypt.

"America has also asked the other agent- [Arab] states to change their curricula so as to dry up what it [America] calls: 'The fountainheads of the [Islamic] awakening.'

"America demanded from Yemen that it close its scholarly [Islamic] institutes more than two decades ago; likewise, America required the rulers of Riyadh to change the religious curricula, and this was actually done in deference to its [America's] wishes. All this happened more than 15 years before the attacks on New York and Washington... This Crusader intervention in the changing of the curricula is absolutely the most dangerous intervention in our affairs, because it is, in short, a change in the religion, while the religion is a whole, which is indivisible...

"It is evident that the outcome of changing the religious curricula is damaging both to religion and to material interests. As for [the damage to] religion, you already know that it is blatant apostasy, and as for material interests, the [altered curricula] will eventually produce educated slaves in our country, who will be loyal to America, sell the interests of the country and smile in the face of the Americans, while they conquer the land and defile the [Muslims'] honor, under the pretext of liberty, equality, and the laws of the United Nations. This is one example of the American intervention in domestic policy."

The Conflict is between Two Ways: the Divine, Perfect Way and the Vulgar, Secular Way

"As for intervention in foreign policy, the ruling families defer to America and play their role in its treacheries. [The late Jordanian] King Hussein continued in the treacherous course set by his grandfather, 'Abdallah, son of Sharif Hussein, and his father too, against Palestine. And his [i.e. Hussein's] son, 'Abdallah II, follows this same course. Muhammad VI of Morocco follows the same line of treachery that was followed by his father and his grandfather before him - they continue to implement the Crusader conspiracies. The scope of this support does not permit a complete depiction of it, and so I will only mention some of the most important cases: The government of Riyadh joined a world alliance with the Crusader heresy under the leadership of Bush against Islam and its people, as has happened in Afghanistan, and likewise the conspiracies in Iraq, which have begun and not yet ended. They opened their bases to American forces in order to invade Iraq, which helped them [the Americans] and made it easier for them to conquer Iraq... And now, they have shown us a new chapter in the series of conspiracies with America, which they call 'the initiative of sending Arab and Muslim forces for peacekeeping in Iraq'... With this initiative, they seek to legitimize the American occupation...

"What makes this matter an even worse tragedy for the people is the fact that many of them had believed, when Prince 'Abdallah Ibn 'Abd Al-'Aziz assumed the management of the country, that he would save it from the mire of religious disobedience, corruption in the administration, finance, media, etc, as well as from subservience to America. However, while people were expecting him to do good, he showed them his evil nature... Indeed, Saddam is a thief and an apostate, but the solution should never have been to transfer Iraq from the indigenous thief to the foreign thief. Helping the infidel to rob Muslims' land and to gain control over them is an act that removes one from Islam... Prince Talal Ibn 'Abd Al-'Aziz publicly revealed that his father was receiving money from the English...

"Here, intelligent people must stop to reflect upon the behavior of these rulers, for the dimension of the fault is immense and Muslims cannot accept such people as their rulers.

"Those intelligent people who seek reform, and want to achieve it through these [rulers, should ask themselves]: How can they [i.e. these rulers] carry out reform while swimming in a stormy sea of reprehensible qualities? It is impossible, for they are bound to drown, and no intelligent person should agree to have someone with such qualities as a partner in any action...

"Twenty years ago, I gave good advice [for reform] to the government, through senior ulema - but things have not changed. Then, fifteen years ago, I gave my advice directly to the deputy interior minister, and told him about the grave sins from which the state should desist and the danger of continuing in them, but to no avail... What I told him about their sins - they know that these things are prohibited in Allah's religion, but they do not want anyone to denounce them for a simple reason: because it is not prohibited by the religion of kingly rule...

"Whoever is given the gift of true sight by Allah, and reflects upon the acts of the regime, will clearly see this truth in both domestic and foreign affairs, namely, that people obey the king's orders over Allah's orders, so that what the king declares permissible, becomes permissible, and what he declares forbidden, becomes forbidden. In their view, he has the sovereign right to permit something one year, and to prohibit it another. For example: it is well known that usury is strictly forbidden, for Allah said: 'Allah has permitted trading and made usury unlawful [Koran, 2:275].' However, the regime issued decrees and legislations, which make it [i.e. usury] lawful, and support it, and set penalties for whoever wants to oppose it or avoids paying what they deceitfully call 'profit.' It is well known, however, that to take usury is a grave sin and it is one of the acts that removes one from Islam.

"The second example is allying one's self with the infidels. For example: the Jordanian regime is a pagan infidel regime. Nevertheless, the rulers of Riyadh were allied with King Hussein and if a [Saudi] preacher or writer described him [i.e. Hussein] as an agent of the Jews, he would be subject to penalty on the part of the Riyadh regime, through laws that were legislated specifically for this purpose. However, when King Hussein entered an alliance with Saddam, when he [the latter] invaded Kuwait, King Fahd washed his hands of his former ally, and the Riyadh newspapers filled up with documents and pictures proving that Hussein Ibn Talal was an agent of the Jews - which was true, for he was indeed that. On the other hand, the Jordanian newspapers filled with documents and pictures proving that the rulers of Riyadh were agents of the English, and subsequently, of America, which is true, for they are indeed that.

"Therefore, despite our grave misfortune caused by the rulers of the region, who are agents [of foreign powers], we suffer greater misfortune because of some of the leaders of the Muslim world, who insist on describing these tyrants as legitimate rulers. Some people, therefore, believe that they are the lifeboat, whereas in fact they are the drowning boat... The honest people in these [Islamic] associations should purge the Islamic activities of them [the tyrants]... Such is also the case with 'Abd Al-Nasser, Sadat, Qaddafi, and Saddam. 'Abd Al-Nasser was in conflict with them [i.e. the Saudi regime], so they declared him an infidel from the pulpit of the holy mosque of Mecca, and indeed he was one. However, when he made peace with them, he became a Muslim again. The same with Qaddafi: when he reviled them for three decades, he was an infidel, but when this heretic made peace with them, he became a Muslim, and they let him enter the sacred Ka'ba. And Sadat: when he signed the capitulation initiative with the Jews, the rulers of Riyadh, along with the rest of the Arab countries, accused him of treason and of being a foreign agent, which indeed he was, and their papers cursed and reviled him vehemently. Then, when Prince 'Abdallah acted in the same treacherous manner as a foreign agent in the Beirut initiative, the hypocrites praised him and supported him. The false ulema and mercenary writers turn wherever the ruler turns, and they fall in with him wherever he falls in for the sake of money, and [yet] they still claim religious knowledge and wisdom and guidance and uprightness.

"From all this it becomes clear that the ruler believes in another religion, but he trades with the religion of Islam and deceives people with it... The conflict is a conflict between two ways, and a deep struggle between two beliefs: a conflict between the divine, perfect way, submitting full authority to Allah in all matters ... and the grossly secular way...

"After this has become clear, then the solution to improve the conditions is, as has been made clear by [Islamic] law, to depose the ruler; and if he resists and refuses to go, it is obligatory to start an armed uprising against him and to depose him. This is the dictate of [Islamic] law, which preserves both the religion and the earthly interests of the people... How can any intelligent person, while seeing the apostate ruler and his troops armed to the teeth, claim that he [i.e. the ruler] desires reform and peaceful solution?... And we are not talking here about a ruler guilty of some depravity and debauchery, but rather, about apostasy and serving as an agent to infidels. Just as there is no difference between Bremer, the former American ruler in Baghdad, and 'Allawi, the present ruler, with regard to carrying out American policies in Iraq, so there is no difference between Bremer and the rest of the rulers of the region in carrying out America's policies... The doctrine of rebelling against an apostate ruler is not a doctrine that I invented, but rather, it is a doctrine held by the consensus of all the great religious scholars. Such is the dictate of religious law in a situation such as ours. Therefore, it is obligatory for all Muslims to take action for reform, taking into consideration the dimension of the conflict and the fact that these regimes are nothing but a part of the system of global heresy.

"Reform should be [carried out] according to the law of Allah, otherwise it is a deviation from the law of Allah and a waste of time and effort...

"Those [clerics] who are opposed to the people of the land conducting armed dialogue with the governments in order to regain their rights - those [clerics] practice gross deception... Their approach is extremely dangerous for two reasons: first ... because they let their capricious ideas compete with Allah's law, which is a grave sin, as is well known... Second, because they participate in stopping people from following Allah's course and they mislead them about their religion, by preventing them from taking their rights in the ways prescribed by Allah. This pushes the hypocrites and the ignorant to consider adopting the course of the Northern Alliance [in Afghanistan] and of others like them, such as 'Allawi and his followers. This is absolutely forbidden."

'O Allah, Turn Against the American-Zionist Coalition, Their Allies and Their Agents - Destroy and Break Them'

"Before ending, let me respond to some of the accusations of the regime... They have accused the mujahideen of following the Kharijite sect,(3) but they know that we have absolutely nothing to do with that school [of thought]. Both our messages and our actual behavior attest to this... We do not declare [Muslim] people collectively to be infidels and do not consider the killing of Muslims to be permissible. If some Muslims are killed during the operations of the mujahideen, we pray for Allah's mercy upon them. This is to be considered accidental manslaughter, and we ask Allah to forgive us for it, and we bear responsibility for it...

"But I say to the ruler of Riyadh: if you wish, I'll tell you about the murder of Muslims ... and I shall tell you about the one who declared Muslims collectively to be unbelievers and considered it permissible to kill Muslims - it is your father, 'Abd Al-'Aziz, who went to war and helped the English against the Ottoman state and their [i.e. the Ottomans'] deputy, Ibn Al-Rashid, in Ha'il... You yourselves rebelled with arms against your brother King Saud ... and your clerics did not call you and your father Khawarijites. [Here bin Laden reviles the Saudis for the slaughter of other Muslims by King 'Abd Al-'Aziz Aal Sa'ud in Ta'if, when he fought against the supporters of Sharif Hussein of Mecca in 1924 and defeated them]...

"Is any Muslim ignorant of the fact that assisting infidels against Muslims is prohibited, or that legalizing the taking of interest is prohibited? This is obviously well known in religion, just as one knows that drinking wine and promiscuity are prohibited...

"You permit that which Allah prohibits and you prohibit that which Allah allows, and you issue certificates of absolution to whomever you want, and you accuse the young people [who oppose you] of holding erroneous ideas and being a corrupt gang. But who [in fact] are those who hold erroneous ideas? Are they the ones who follow the order of the Prophet [stating] that it is obligatory to banish the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula, or those who scoff at the traditions of the Prophet?... Are we those who hold erroneous ideas, or is it those who betrayed the Islamic nation and abandoned Muhammad's [Arabian] peninsula to the Jews and the Christians, enabling them to take control of it and giving them military bases in it? That is in addition to betraying Iraq, [bearing in mind that] it is forbidden to betray even an infidel...

"Who are those who have erroneous ideas and who are a corrupt gang? Are they those who defend the Muslims and their honor and property in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Kashmir, and Chechnya, or are they those who joined the global alliance of heresy against the Muslims, in addition to robbing the public funds of the [Muslim] nation?... [Here Bin Laden criticizes the Saudi government for wasting money on an arms deal instead of spending the funds on the unemployed, and for seizing private property and wasting public funds on the building of extravagant palaces. He also criticizes King Fahd (then Crown Prince) for violating the sanctity of the Ka'ba in Mecca when he violently quashed a Wahhabi fundamentalist revolt in November 1979.]

"Who are those who have erroneous ideas and who are a corrupt gang? Are they the mujahideen, or are they those who cooperated with America in murdering more than one million children within a few years, during their wicked embargo on Iraq, in what was the biggest massacre of children known to humanity?...

"It is extremely incredible and preposterous that the [Saudi] regime accuses the [Islamist] youth of the sins of which the regime itself is guilty, as when they claim that Zionism stands behind the mujahideen. However, both Muslims and infidels, all over the world, know that the Jihad youth are Zionism's worst enemy, yet the regime accuses us of their own [sins]... Weren't you [Crown Prince 'Abdallah] the author of the Beirut initiative, in which you granted recognition to the Zionists and their conquest of Palestine?(4) How have you lost your mind and your honor, you, the commander of the National Guard, to the extent that you lance such false and vile accusations against the mujahideen?...

"I ask all the Muslims to curse the Zionists and their agents, and I ask of you [Crown Prince 'Abdallah], if you are sincere, that you and those who obey you pronounce the following supplication in the mosques of Mecca and Medina and in all the other mosques [in Saudi Arabia]: 'O Allah, turn against the American-Zionist coalition, their allies, and their agents. O Allah, destroy them and break them; remove them from power and disperse them and scatter them; make their wives widows and turn them against one another. Seek out their weak spots just as they seek out the mujahideen's weak spots. Shame them before all humanity. Rid us of them however you wish'...

"We ask Allah to give His grace to the mujahideen who stormed the American consulate in Jeddah. How can they [i.e. the Americans] expect to enjoy security while they bring death and destruction upon our people in Palestine and in Iraq. They do not deserve to be secure anywhere in the world. As for their presence in Saudi Arabia - or rather in all of the Arabian Peninsula - it is prohibited by Islamic law... And I say to our brethren and our people ... continue in your path, and do not fear difficulties. Do not relent in purifying and cleansing the Arabian Peninsula of polytheists, heretics, and apostates...

"You, the mujahideen: there is now a rare and golden opportunity to make America bleed in Iraq, both economically and in terms of human losses and morale. Don't miss out on this opportunity, lest you regret it. One of the main causes for our enemies' gaining hegemony over our country is their stealing our oil; therefore, you should make every effort in your power to stop the greatest theft in history of the natural resources of both present and future generations, which is being carried out through collaboration between foreigners and [native] agents... Focus your operations on it [oil production], especially in Iraq and the Gulf area, since this [lack of oil] will cause them to die off [on their own].

"In conclusion, I address a brief message to the rulers of Riyadh, and another to those who wield influence. I say to them [i.e. the rulers of Riyadh]: leadership is a contract between the sovereign and his subjects, and both have rights and obligations that derive from the contract. There are also things which nullify it, one of which is when the sovereign betrays his religion and nation - and this is what you did...

"It is no secret to you now that the [Saudi] people have awakened from their apathy ... and the Muslims in Saudi Arabia now insist in reclaiming their stolen rights, no matter what it takes. Therefore, you have to choose between paths. The first is to return the trust to its owners in a peaceful manner and to let the people of the country choose a Muslim ruler so that he might rule them according to Allah's Book and His Prophet's tradition. The second is to refuse to return the people's rights ... and to recruit some of them with money from the public money of the [Islamic] nation to beat up and kill their own brothers and cousins who reject your authority. You should know, however ... that when peoples rise up to demand their rights they can not be stopped by security apparatuses. You should bear in mind the fate of the Shah of Iran, despite the reputation and the power and the experience of his security apparatus, and likewise the fate of Ceausescu in Romania...

"You know that we in the Al-Qa'ida organization are not fighting you over worldly affairs; what offends us rather is that you commit acts which remove you from Islam - among them, ruling by [laws] other than those which Allah has revealed, and making alliances with the infidels.

"I now address the influential people among the honest ulema, the leaders, the dignitaries and notables, and the businessmen. The message is: take action before it's too late... Do everything you can to defuse the crisis, as you know that the mujahideen in Saudi Arabia have not yet launched the war against the regime - for had they launched it in fact, the top priority would have been to get rid of the local leaders of heresy - namely the rulers of Riyadh. However, what is currently going on is merely an extension of the war against the Crusader-American coalition, which is fighting us everywhere, and whom we fight everywhere, including within Saudi Arabia. We strive to expel them from it [i.e. Saudi Arabia], Allah willing. You, the people of influence: fear Allah, for your own sake and for the sake of your nation. Let those of you who can do so emigrate from the country, thus freeing themselves from the imaginary shackles and the psychological pressure that the regime has put on them..."

(2) Shajarat Al-Durr was an Ayyubid sultana in Egypt, who ruled Egypt for a period of 80 days following the death of her husband in 1250.
(3) The Kharijites were an early Islamic sect known for extremism and violent sectarianism.
(4) The reference is to the 2002 Saudi peace initiative.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is an independent, non-profit organization that translates and analyzes the media of the Middle East. Copies of articles
and documents cited, as well as background information, are available on request.

MEMRI holds copyrights on all translations. Materials may only be used with proper attribution.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)
P.O. Box 27837, Washington, DC 20038-7837
Phone: (202) 955-9070
Fax: (202) 955-9077

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