A 20:13 minute audio speech allegedly voiced by Muhammad Abu Omar al-Saif, a Saudi scholar who has been affiliated with al-Qaeda leadership in Chechnya, was issued yesterday, September 26, 2005 to password-protected al-Qaeda affiliated forums. Saif focuses his oration upon the mujahideen in Iraq, and speaks at length about the imminent danger of democracy in Iraq vis-ŕ-vis Islamic shari?a, and the belief that it is incumbent upon the mujahideen in Iraq to amalgamate into a unified body and appoint an Imam, parallel to the ?crusaders and the renegade sects - have united their ranks and agreed to establish an infidel democratic government in Iraq.?
Saif argues seven points as to why democracy is incompatible with Islam, including: sovereignty is reserved for Allah alone, replacing shari?a with democratic elections is considered ?an appeal to the devil and destruction of Allah?s rule,? democracy considers all people equal, ?knowledgeable and the ignorant and Muslim and ?infidel? alike, which is deemed anathema. Further, according to the speech, jihad is the solution, justified in its course because it means to defend Islam, ?which the enemies are aiming to remove from the hearts of the Muslims and from their lives.?
THe Arabic audio clip, summary of the speech, and translations of selected portions are provided to our Intel Service members.