A letter, posted on Nasser al-Omar's www.almoslim.net and signed by 18 Saudi scholars implores Muslims to use outcry over the desecration of the Quran to further unify the Muslim Ummah, or the international Muslim community. Al-Omar, who has been a vocal supporter of suicide attacks against American forces in Iraq, was jailed by Saudi forces between 1995 and 1999 for his radical views. In the seven point letter, the scholars implore Muslims to remember Quran passages which threaten Allah's wrath against those who disrespect the Quran and to harness international outcry to strengthen the Muslim world's unity in the face of an American threat.
Stating that "it is unacceptable that the Quran be harmed, that its value be diminished, or that it be denied from the lives of people, to say nothing of it being desecrated or that it be degraded by an infidel hand" the letter outlines seven points of action. In the first point the scholars delineate that "there is a consensus among the Muslims not whoever intentionally desecrates or degrades the Quran is…excluded from the community…any non-Muslim who does so sets out against Allah…".
In the second point, the scholars outline the responsibilities of Muslims in relation to the Quran. They must"…jealously protect the book of their Creator…stand by it forcefully…rejecting these ongoing aggressions against the noble book. Muslim societies must give vent to their anger…by continuously acting to expose the aims of the aggressor via the various media platforms and by boycotting American goods…"
The scholars rail against American "oppression, injustice and aggression" and suggest "…If America desires to escape from the Islamic and Arab anger… America must immediately release the prisoners. Perhaps such an act will somewhat lighten their aggression against the people of the Quran…" The scholars assert "…to no avail will be an apology on behalf of the US Ministry of State…History has taught us a lesson: we have already seen your trial of criminals in the Abu-Ghraib prison… nothing will satisfy the Muslim people, except delivering them [the desecrators of the Quran] to a court that will judge them according to Allah's just laws - for the book of Allah is more precious to us than our lives and souls…" The letter additionally raises the question "if these soldiers humiliated one of the holy monotheistic books, what does this imply about [their treatment of] the people they detain?"
During the last two points, the authors quote extensively from Quranic sources to outline ways in which Muslims can utilize the incident to benefit the Muslim world. They suggest "…perhaps it would be wise, in light of this issue, if loyalty and innocence in the hearts of the Muslims were strengthened...They must also remember Allah?s words regarding the infidels…this act [the desecration of the Quran] explains the expansion of hate among Muslims towards America and its crimes. America?s actions today, worldwide, constitute clear aggression, in violation of all standards and values." The statement warns that "we shall cause those who disbelieve to taste an awful doom, and verily We shall requite them the worst of what they used to do(Fussilat, 26-27)" The letter finishes with a final call for unity, "It is important to benefit from this act, advancing the Ummah and exposing the conspiracies and intentions of its enemies…We pray that Allah will protect the Islamic people, and humiliate their enemies wherever they may be."
A full translation of the message is provided to our Intel Service members.