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Islamic Deconstruction of Zawahiri Eid Speech

By Ali Eteraz
Posted on Thu Jan 04, 2007 at 06:42:51 PM EST
Tags: zawahiri (all tags)

Here are the most salient points -- deconstructed -- from Zawahiri's Eid speech. This is a post I had much fun, and much disgust, writing. I encourage you to pay close attention to the Quranic counter-analysis.

Muslim brothers everywhere: peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah and His blessings

The greeting is limited to "brothers" and to "Muslims." Sounds like my fictional hardliner cousin who also limits his salutations. This greeting is interesting because Zawahiri will conclude his lecture with a message to Muslim women.

I would like to congratulate you twice: the first congratulation is on the occasion of blessed Eid al-Adha, and I ask Allah to accept your sacrifices and righteous deeds. And I ask Him to accept the pilgrims' Hajj, Sa'y, Tawaaf, and other acts of devotion.the Hajj, of which America has deprived the Mujahideen and noble ones confronting its brutal Zionist Crusade.
And the second congratulation is on the defeat of the Americans and their Crusader allies in Afghanistan and Iraq, and I ask Allah that we see the same thing soon in Palestine, Allah willing.that defeat which the Americans, British and their allies only admited to after the blows rained down on their heads one after the other, after they had plugged their ears to the voice of reason and morality.

That defeat, Muslim brethren, was not achieved by parliamentary elections, nor by the fatwas of the scholars of beggary, nor by the deals struck by the religion-traders in Kabul and Baghdad. Rather, it was achieved with blood, martyrdom-seeking, the torture of the captives and the efforts of the Emigrants and Helpers.

"The torture of the captives" speaks for itself; violative of every single Islamic norm. Tell me, if you can torture captives -- and as you say later international law is bunk -- then why can't Americans torture you at Guantanao?  And if they can torture you, then why are you complaining about Guantanamo (as you do later) and trying to free them? I thought torture was legitimate, Ayman.

Somewhat interesting is the usage of the "Emigrants" and "Helpers" dichotomy which invokes Zawahiri as a sort of Prophetic figure. The Emigrants and Helpers were the two groups of Muslims that surrounded the Prophet Muhammad. Is Zawahiri rending himself the equivalent of Muhammad? It sure does suggest it, doesn't it? It gets more blatant later.

Continue reading Deconstructing Zawahiri... 

Had the Mujahideen in Iraq and Afghanistan taken the path of the religion-trading traitors or the path of elections on the basis of secular constitutions, Crusader forces under the command of America would today be building up in the Arabian Peninsula, the Levant, and Egypt to divide them and tear them to pieces. But what made their plot blow up in their faces is the rushing of the people of Iman and Jihad to sacrifice themselves in the path of Allah and their determination not to differentiate between the enemy invader and his local agents or say, "This is native blood, whereas that is foreign blood." Rather, they acted according to the statement of the Truth, Most High and Glorified, "And he amongst you that takes them as allies is one of them. Verily, Allah does not guide a wrongdoing people."(5:51) This is the most important lesson learned, so let us remember it always and hold fast to it.

What is curious here is the term "secular constitutions." Is al-Qaeda ok with "Islamic constitutions?" If so, would it withhold from violence in a state with such a constitution where it didn't have power? I think we know the answer.

I also congratulate the Muslims in Palestine on the blessed Eid al-Adha which approaches them as their blood is oozing from the stabs of the Jews in their chests and the stabs of the Palestine-selling secularist traitors in their backs, the Palestine-selling secularist traitors, slaves of international law and worshipers of the dollar, those who have turned their backs on the Shari'ah and declared in their charters that their goal is the establishment of a secular state in one of the most holy places in Islam, those who have abandoned most of Palestine, recognized Israel and signed the accords of surrender with it, and let loose their security services against the Mujahideen to arrest and torment them and lead Israel to them.

The juxtaposition of "congratulate Eid" with a list of horrors was quite interesting. It is ironic, sardonic even. "Happy Eid; I think you suck." Some say I am arrogant.

These traitors cannot possibly be brothers of the Muslims, for in fact, they are their enemies and the enemies of their religion, and the Muslims must reject and disown them. The Truth, Exalted is He, says, "O you who believe! Take not for allies your fathers and your brothers if they prefer infidelity to faith; and whoever of you take them as allies, they are the wrongdoers." (9:23)

Surah Tawba, quoted out of context. Not only that, but the Arabic word translated "infidelity" in Arabic, is, kufr (denial of the truth). I was not aware that one became a kafir by virtue of disagreeing with Zawahiri's "Muslims."

My Mujahid brothers in Palestine, the Palestine-selling secularist traitors cannot possibly be your brothers, so neither confer on them legitimacy, nor appease them in their secular religion, nor participate with them in their Shari'ah-rejecting assemblies, nor sign with them the documents which throw away Palestine.

In short, keep fighting. 

You must actualize the doctrine of loyalty and disloyalty, without which the religion cannot stand. The Truth, Exalted is He, says"You shall not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day loving those who oppose Allah and His Messenger, even if they be their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their clan. For such He has written faith in their hearts and strengthened them with a spirit from Himself. And He will admit them to Gardens beneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein for eternity. Allah will be well pleased with them, and they with Him. They are the party of Allah. Truly, it is the party of Allah that will achieve success." (58:22)

Once again, limitating the "party of Allah" to those who agree with Zawahiri. Here I thought it was Zawahiri speaking, not Allah or His apostle.

And He, the most Honorable of speakers, says, "There is for you an excellent example in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people, 'We are innocent of you and of what you worship beside Allah; we have rejected you, and there has begun between us and you enmity and hatred forever, unless you believe in Allah Alone.'" (60:4)

Assertion that belief in "Allah alone" requires choosing the methods that Zawahiri prefers. By the way, he leaves out the part in verse 4 where Abraham prays for forgiveness; good one, you selective quoting mullah.

How is it possible for Mahmoud Abbas to be a brother of ours or for Muhammad Dahlan to be a brother of ours, when they have grown fat on the bribes of the Jews and gifts of the Americans?

As I recall, the mujahideen now become al-Qaeda took quite a few gifts from the Americans. Mullah Muhammad Omar's people met with the U.S. until 1999. Nevermind the fact that Hizbollah was created by the Israelis. It must be that neither Omar or Nasrullah got fat that makes them OK.

My Muslim brethren in Palestine, always keep in mind that you are Mujahideen in Allah's path. The Truth, Exalted is He, says, "He is the one who sent His Messenger with Guidance and the religion of truth to make it victorious over all religions even though the polytheists hate [it]." (9:33)

I am curious: who exactly is he talking to? Is he talking to Hamas? Some other group? If he's talking to Hamas, that is a problem, because the constitution which Hamas upholds, in Article 13, affirms international law. I thought Zawahiri said that one shouldn't be a slave to international law. Does this mean that Hamas are kafir?

Finally, verse 9:33 refers to "polytheists" or in Muhammad Asad's translation "to those who ascribe divinity to one other than God." I thought he was talking about Mahmoud Abbas - a professed Muslim - and Dahlan - a professed Muslim. Isn't that just a bit inconsistent. Oh, sorry, back to Prophet Zawahiri.

You are fighting for Allah's word to be the highest. A man came to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and said, "A man fights out of fanatical bias, and out of bravery, and out of a desire to be seen. So which of that is in Allah's path?" He replied, "The one who fights for Allah's word to be the highest is in Allah's path."

Alright, well, the constitution of Palestine is an "Islamic Constitution." [Look it up]. So Allah's word is already highest. Why are you still extolling fighting?

You are not a movement of national liberation, nor a front of nationalistic unity, nor captives to the borders of Sykes-Picot. No, you in the environs of Jerusalem are the vanguard of the one Muslim Ummah, which doesn't differentiate between an Arab and a non-Arab, and you are defending one of the holiest of its places to expel the invaders from it and establish in it the state of Islam which includes all Muslims without national distinctions or nationalist bias. The Truth, Exalted is He, says, "Verily, this Ummah of yours is one Ummah, and I am your Lord, so worship Me [and Me Alone]." (21:92) This is your responsibility, and this is what you have been entrusted with. 

I just read verse 21:92 in Arabic. I do not think God is talking about the Muslim "ummah" here. I believe He is talking about "Mankind." [In fact, that is how the Allamah Nooruddin Quran understands it as well]. I deduce this from the fact that all the verses preceding 21:92 relate to all the various Prophets preceding Muhammad: 91, Mary, Jesus; 90, JOhn; 89: Zackariah; 87-88, Jonah; 85_86, Ismail, Enoch, Ezekiel; 83-84, Job; 78-82, Solomon (a Jew); 76-77, Noah. There is no mention of Muhammad in this whole series of verses. I can't accept therefore that the word "ummah" in verse 92 refers to the Muslim nation. It is a reference to all humanity.

I also congratulate the Muslims in Iraq, who have lifted the head of the Muslim Ummah high with their heroic Jihadi confrontation with the Crusader invaders and their allies, the traitorous religion-traders. And I send my congratulations to the Emir of the Islamic State of Iraq, the Mujahid Shaykh Abu Umar al-Baghdadi and all groups of the champion Mujahideen engaged in Jihad in defense of Iraq of the Caliphate. And I call them to unite and be as one in accordance with the command of Allah, the Most High and Glorious, and His Messenger, peace be upon him.

Iraq is now a Sunni Emirate? Is that why Sadr is running the show? I think this passage goes back to my thesis that Saddam was hung in front of Sadrites on the eve of this tape in order to de-legitimize Al-Qaeda's claims over Iraq.

I also congratulate the Muslims in Afghanistan under the leadership of the Commander of the Faithful, Mulla Muhammad Umar, and I call on them to turn to their Lord in praise and thanks for the resolution, steadfastness and consecutive victories He has bestowed on them in the face of Crusader America, the strongest power in the world, and its Crusader allies and religion-trading agents who sold Jihad for American dollars and so the Lord exposed them in a historic scandal which will be handed down from generation to generation.

Yo, dumb molvi. You cannot be a "commander of the faithful" without a state. You cannot own a latrine in a cave and call it an Islamic State and then be declared "commander of the faithful." I think what is really scandalous is the Taliban book of rules which has so far killed 300 teachers at various schools.

I also send my congratulations to the patient, resolute Muslims in Kashmir, in whose pain and suffering the bribe-taker Musharraf is doing business. And I remind them that they must liberate their Jihad from the commanders of military intelligence, worshipers of the American dollar, for a Jihad led by the military intelligence that rushes madly for the salaries of the American embassy is destined for nothing but failure and unnecessary wasting of lives and spilling of blood.

How can the Kashmiri jihadists liberate their jihad from the military intelligence when it was the military intelligence which created their jihad in the first place? Come on now, I know my ISI history.

Anyway, he prattles on for a while longer, congratulating Somalis, Chechens, the Guantanamo prisoners, and the Egyptian dissidents. Finally, he gets to the most interesting part of the diatribe. He quotes al-Mutannabi, one of the greatest of all Arabic poets:

Al-Mutanabbi says,

Lowly is he who envies the life of lowliness
That life which death is perhaps better than
Any leniency shown in the absence of power
Is an excuse resorted to by the ignoble ones
Humiliation is easy for he who accepts it
For the corpse is not pained by the wound

I find the reference to al-Mutannabi fascinating for a number of reasons. First of all, al-Mutannabi was so named because he claimed to be a Prophet. Second of all, al-Mutannabi was a ridiculously capable of satirist. If anything, his entire career is about trying to assert freedom of speech -- something Zawahiri certainly doesn't believe in. He was killed because he insulted the chief of a tribe. Zawahiri is citing to a semi-libertine, lecherous, poet? And he can retain Islamic authority? Sometimes Muslims really piss me off because they do not scream hypocrisy when it stares them right in the face. Finally, al-Mutannabi was a total egomaniac - if he were alive today, you might say he would love showing up on 15 to 20 minute long videos saying random things just so his mug could be visible. And they say al-Mutannabi was the great egomaniac.

Finally, even though he didn't open with a greeting to the sisters, he goes on and sends them a message:

And I congratulate every Muslimah observant of her Hijab and chastity in the face of the fierce Crusade against the Hijab, which exposes their immorality, decline and degeneration. And she should know that the Hijab, symbol of her modesty and purity, tears them apart inside, because it exposes the depravity of their civilization. And I remind her that by holding fast to her Hijab and Deen, she is a soldier in the battle of Islam against the Zionist Crusade and its helpers, the traitorous idol-kings.

Here I thought hijabis wore the hijab to be recognized as Muslim and as a form of worship to God. My bad. Even assuming this is not the case, I wasn't aware that women could be soldiers in Islam. They can't get full testimonial rights in Zawahiri's state but they can die for him. Justice, yeah right.

The entirety of the text of the speech can be found here or here. Happy yawning. 

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Tags: zawahiri (all tags)
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Orientalism Infects Everybody I Guess(none / 0) (#1)
by desmay on Thu Jan 04, 2007 at 07:19:47 PM EST

If one believes the Orientalist, racist mindset which says that the Iraqi government is nothing but a US puppet, I suppose many other assumptions become credible.

Since I reject this on first principles, however, it's hard not to see this as a big intellectual flying off the rails of reality.

Aren't we a strange pair, Ali?

But by the way....(none / 0) (#2)
by desmay on Thu Jan 04, 2007 at 07:27:35 PM EST
When you post an opening few paragraphs that people misinterpret, it may seem very clever but is it? When people don't understand what you really mean, they're apt to fly off the handle.

Was that all?!(none / 0) (#3)
by fruitchaatarian on Fri Jan 12, 2007 at 10:23:31 PM EST

(sigh) For all of his annoying anachronisms, it's world's apart from (centuries behind?) the Prophet's last speech...

I particularly appreciated your point on his (mis)use of the word "ummah."  I've had to undo years of indoctrination to get come into my own about who the hell- and heaven-bound are in the Qur'an, and even the Muslim--let alone the ummah.  Makes for much lighter reading :-) 

Any particular reason why you qualified your 'deconstruction' as "Islamic"?  Meaning, is there an underlying need to legitimize your spin on things?  Just curious.

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