A one-hour audio message was released today, July 5, 2005, allegedly from al-Qaeda in Iraq leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, titled: Does the Religion Wane While I Am Still Alive.? In this new audio message Zarqawi mentions the desecration of the Qur?an by the Americans, denounces the Iraqi army, indicating his great disappointment with the scholars he trusted who had called upon him to stop the jihad in Iraq, discusses Rusmfeld?s efforts to talk to the mujahideen, and in a unique step, calls upon the Muslim women in Iraq and elsewhere to take an active role in jihad.
Throughout the speech, Zarqawi seeks to legitimize the jihad in Iraq as a just war, while at the same time, voicing his contempt for those members of the Muslim Nation, most importantly scholars, who do not support his actions or contribute to the jihad. To this, Zarqawi references the alleged desecration of the Qur?an by the Americans as an event he believes should galvanize the Muslim Nation to violently oppose America. Zarqawi also mentions the claim by U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that insurgency leaders have met with U.S. officials, indicating that this message was recorded between June 26, 2005 and today.
Zarqawi uses historical precedent and Islamic shari?a as tools to both attack the scholarly opposition, and to motivate the Muslim nation he laments are ignorant of the purported war on Islam. He states: ?If we don't stand up now, when are we going to stand up? If something like this will not motivate them, what will? Are we waiting until rocks fall on our heads from the sky, and victory from Allah? We have to protect our sacred book and sacred things. The cross-worshipers invaded our lands.?
Interestingly enough, for the first time, Zarqawi calls upon Muslim women to jihad and indicates the important role the woman plays in jihad: to encourage their ?husbands and sons to fight jihad against the crusaders and converters,? as well as raising children who strive for jihad and sacrifice their life: ?The jihadi woman is the woman who raises her children to join the jihad, to fight and die for jihad. This is the honorable thing to do.? In addition, Zarqawi describes women who had written to him requesting to carry out suicide operations against the enemy.
Acknowledging points he made in his past speech, Zarqawi again justifies the collateral damage to civilian Muslims in Iraq as a just byproduct of war, and ?honorable resistance.? Zarqawi defines this ?honorable resistance? as ?the resistance that sacrifices with the blood of its people. We are sacrificing everything; we shall suffer much out of that and pray to Allah that he will take from our blood.? Also, Zarqawi focuses on the Iraqi forces, labeling the Iraqi army as ?a converted army… [that] back the crusaders and the fight for the destruction of the Islamic nation,? and denounces the National Guard as an American-established protectorate of the ?crusaders,? to ?protect themselves from the mujahideen.?
Further, Zarqawi continuously mentions the ?land of Sham,? the historical term for Syria and Lebanon, and the holy cities of Saudi Arabia as possible targets of Western aggression. He seems to call Muslims in this land to action, asking: ?When are we going to continue our efforts in defending the land and Muslim people, when the cross-worshippers will enter the land of al-Sham, Mecca, and Medina and dishonor us. We should spend more effort in our fight.?
The speech concludes with an address to President George W. Bush, accusing him of waging war in Afghanistan as a ?sacred war? and entering Iraq with Israel?s interests as an element of motivation. To this latter point, Zarqawi asks President Bush ?…where is your God, who you said ordered you to start this war? How are you going to get out of this quagmire which you are in? You said before that God, who is worshipped by the mujahideen, is an idol God, a rotten God, and you didn't recognize that the god whom we worship is the same one who filled the hearts of your soldiers with terror.?
A summary, including translations of selected passages of the speech, and Arabic audio clip are provided to our Intel Service members.