The first in a series of audio lectures purportedly orated by the Emir of al-Qaeda in Iraq [Tanzeem Qaedat Al-Jihad Fi Bilad Al-Rafidayn], Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was recently disseminated amongst jihadist forums. This particular lecture, ninety-minutes in length and titled: ?Battle: The Fate of the Victorious Sect,? concerns the motivation to jihad, and its necessity amongst those members of the Muslim Ummah who are living within a country being encroached upon by the enemy. It seems that the lecture was recorded sometime after mid-August, since Zarqawi mentions the death of Saleh al-Oufi, an al-Qaeda leader in Saudi Arabia who was killed August 18, 2005.
Zarqawi grounds his arguments within Islamic shari?a and historical precedent as he states that there is a constant combat between two groups: ?a ?true? and a ?false? group, whereby Islam represents truth, and what is false is infidel and may include ?Arab renegades?. Jihad is launched upon the false group due to the impossibility of both peoples coexisting in one land. Though battle may be fought via ?pens and announcements,? Zarqawi believes the greatest manifestation of jihad to be through the sword. The mujahideen then are to be accorded paramount respect amongst the Muslims, for theirs is a ?path whose beginning is pain, trouble and grieving, but who end is comfort, tranquility and forgiveness.? It is in this creed that the mujahideen, the ?victorious sect,? must resign themselves to battle. Zarqawi is vehement in his denunciations of Islamic scholars who take an ?anti-jihad? position, especially those in Saudi Arabia who are alleged to be allied with the Saudi rulers ?whose hands are soiled with the blood of our brother mujahideen.?
Importantly, Zarqawi stresses that jihad as an ?individual duty? has much greater importance than jihad as a ?collective duty,? or that which brings other Muslims into the country to fight an enemy. A Muslim who shirks individual jihad is accorded disrespect, and is to be considered ?a greater sinner than an adulterer, a thief or a drinker [of alcohol], for he has disgraced the religion and abandoned his country.? Zarqawi concludes his lecture with laudatory words for the mujahideen, noting that they are not a ?spiritually exhausted? group, seeking to end life and cannot make a living; rather, they follow their jihad as they believe it a duty, and an act ?out of love to their God and closeness to their creator.?
A summary of the lecture, translation of selected portions, and Arabic audio clip are provided to our Intel Service members.