A 74 minute audio message was released today allegedly from al-Qaeda in Iraq leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, providing an ideological justification for the killing of civilian Muslims as collateral damage in the fight with American forces. There is no indication as to the exact date of the recording of this message, however during the course of his speech, Zarqawi mentions the death of Pope John Paul II, which would mean that it must have been recorded some time between April 2, 2005 and yesterday.
According to Zarqawi, ?Killing Muslims who are acting as a shield is not the most preferable option, but is necessary if you must kill them to get at the enemy. If you do not kill the Muslim shield, the enemy will kill the Muslims anyway.? He uses scholarly and religious arguments as grounds for placing the preservation of Islam as higher than the sanctity of Muslim life, as ?restoring the religion is more important than restoring the soul.? Zarqawi notes that since the topography of Iraq is very much unlike that of Chechnya and Afghanistan, and enemy troops are highly concentrated within cities, especially in Baghdad, ?it is imperative for the mujahideen to confront the enemy in direct combat.? The lack of guerilla warfare as a viable option, then, necessitates the insurgency to ?concentrate our suicide operations, to shake up the presence of the enemy in these cities and compel him to get out of the cities and go to places in which the enemy can be sniped.? Regardless of killing woman and children in the bombings, Zarqawi states that ?My killing Muslims… is defending ourselves. The purpose of this is to defend the whole nation from the enemy.?
Concerning the Shi?a, Zarqawi describes them as abetting the Americans in fighting Muslims, besides initiating attacks against Sunnis themselves. Zarqawi states: ?the cross-worshippers themselves said it is a crusaders? war and they came to Iraq killing and humiliating Muslims with the help of the Shi?a… [t]hese hateful Shiites are trying, by any means showing their care about the Iraqi blood, to discredit the mujahideen to make the world see them as bloodsuckers.? Also, Zarqawi mentions Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi not objecting to the French issue of ?Chirac preventing Muslim women from wearing hijabs,? and further, highlights the lack of media attention paid to Muslim scholars and martyrs such as Abu Anas al-Shami, rather, reserving such praise for ?[w]hen Pope John John Paul died…?
The original Arabic audio clip of the message and translation are provided to our Intel Subscription Members.