On June 8, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri appeared on video to give words of condolences for Osama bin Laden's death. His appearance and the way he speaks indicate that he currently is leading al-Qaida.
The video (in Arabic) started with bin Laden saying to the United States that they will never have peace — that al-Qaida will continue fighting them — until the Palestinians have peace (in jihadists’ jargon this means erasing Israel from the map rather than living peacefully with the Israelis).
The use of a video of bin Laden speaking at the beginning of the tape was to give his followers the feeling that he is still "alive." This feeling creates more enthusiasm in the hearts of his followers.
The verse that was used in the tape further established the common Muslim believe that martyrs (like bin Laden in the view of the jihadists) are not dead but alive.
The whole verse was quoted and it says: “Quran 3:169: Think not of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord.”
Early in the video there was also a very passionate and powerful song about bin Laden describing him and presenting his images on a horse as an honorable and great knight.
Al-Zawahiri was very passionate in his message and he was pointing with his index finger, which is aclassical Islamic sign that is used in Muslim’s prayer to indicate that “There is not God but Allah.”
The main features of Al-Zawahiri's talk:
1. More than 20 percent of the speech was poetry that shows his very high command of the Arabic language (the language of the Koran). Some of the poems about bin Laden seem to be authored by al-Zawahiri himself. It is not surprising that Al-Zawahiri has this very high command in Arabic as he was the grandson of Sheik al-Azhar and is well read in Sayed Qutb books and interpretations (Tafsseer) of the Koran.
Interestingly, when bin Laden was speaking at the beginning of the video he made two mistakes in the Arabic language in a very short segment (less than 2 minutes). On the contrary, al-Zawahiri spoke more than 20 minutes with virtually no mistake in the Arabic grammar or the language.
2. Al-Zawahiri strongly encouraged the “Arab Spring” as he sees it the way to establish Shariah (Islamic) Law in the area, i.e. to be like the Taliban.
3. He was trying to humiliate the U.S. for what he described as its defeat in Tora Bora, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He also considered the removal of U.S. allies in the Arab world and withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan as evidence for the defeat of America.
4. He threatened America that revenge for bin Laden's killing is coming.
5. He communicated to Muslims all over the world including in Palestine, Kashmir, and Chechnya in an attempt to make the Muslim world enthusiastic about the return of the Caliphate.
6. He thanked Ismail Haneia (the leader of Hamas) for praising bin Laden after his death.
7. He encouraged the Pakistanis and people in the Gulf area to follow the footsteps of other Arab revolutions to remove their leaders to establish Shariah (Comment: al-Zawahiri does not see Saudi Arabia as applying true Shariah as it allows non-Muslims to exist on its holy land, allows western banks and T.V. satellites, and does not declare jihad on the West).
8. Al-Zawahiri also criticized the U.S. for not respecting the rules of the Geneva convention with the Muslim war prisoners (Comment: It is ironic to see those who behead innocents and killed thousands of their fellow Muslims by exploding their markets and funerals demanding respect for the rules of the Geneva convention!).
9. He also reminded Muslims of the historical wars of Salah Al-din against the people of the cross to encourage them to fight the West. (Note: the West as a whole and people who have fair skin and colored hair and eyes are seen as “people of the Cross” by many in the Muslim world irrespective of their beliefs).
10. Al-Zawahiri gave an oath of loyalty to Mullah Omar (the leader of the Taliban). This indicates that the Taliban sponsoring for al-Qaida is a likely outcome after the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
11. He encouraged the whole Muslim Umma (world) to follow the path of “jihad.”
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