A message authored by Hussein bin Mahmoud, a Muslim scholar who supports the mujahideen and whose publications are posted to al-Qaeda-affiliated websites, and addresses to the leaders of the mujahideen, was distributed to a password-protected al-Qaeda-affiliated forum and dated May 15, 2006, responding to the fatwa of Sheikh Yusef al-Qaradawi deeming it permissible for Sunni Muslims to volunteer in the Iraqi army and police forces. This response follows a message on the forum by a member who asked that Mahmoud and Sheikh Hamed al-Ali rebuke Qaradawi?s fatwa, dismissing the argument that Sunnis should join the security forces to create an equilibrium with the Shi?ite contingent already part of these organizations.
Hussein bin Mahmoud provides quotes of Qaradawi and his fatwa from his website and appearance on al-Jazeera on May 14, 2006, noting that there is a stark contrast between his writing and that of 64 Sunni scholars from April 2005 that finds it permissible to join the army and police, but help the forces and abet the ?occupiers? against Iraqi civilians. The crux of Mahmoud?s argument is the deviation from jihad and the harm to Muslims by volunteering for Iraqi security forces that is posed by this fatwa. He states that the mujahideen may become weaker, the capabilities of the nation will be wasted, and will purportedly make it easier for the ?occupiers? to control security so that they may move their own forces to less occupied areas.
The Sunni Muslims in Iraq ostensibly have two choices, which according to Mahmoud, are volunteering for the Iraqi army and be humiliated by the Shi?ites and Americans, or participate in jihad under the leadership of the mujahideen leaders. He states of this choice: ?They [the Emirs of mujahideen] know your value and they are with you in front of you in the first line in the streets of Baghdad and Anbar. And you will have the bread of life under the shadows of your spears (as your prophet was). The unbelievers will fear you also their followers. And you will have pride between two best things, victory or martyrdom.?
A translation of the message is provided to our Intel Service members.