Amidst the personal attacks on Zawahiri in part 10, Sayyid Imam mentions a few more interesting historical tidbits. First, he notes the opposition of two prominent Jihadis, Abu Mus`ab al-Suri and `Abd al-Rahman al-Kindi (died in 2003), to the attacks on the U.S. He also discloses that Zawahiri’s imprisoned brother, Muhammad, has been trying to cut a deal with the Egyptian authorities. Finally, Sayyid Imam claims that Bin Laden told him that the Sudanese had encouraged him to turn against Saudi Arabia in 1994. Whatever the truth of this last bit, it reminds us that states have frequently used al-Qaeda to their own ends.
By the way, Nathan Field has a review of Sayyid Imam’s book. His take: it’s lame. I’ll withhold my final judgment until the whole book has been published but I like what I’ve seen so far. It may be less theoretical than the first book and engage in more ad hominem, but Sayyid Imam is trying to build a case that Zawahiri can’t be trusted. Reminds me of good ol’ rijal literature. Those hoping for a true reformulation of jihad doctrine should look elsewhere. Sayyid Imam would completely lose his core audience, which takes the medieval tradition as seriously as he does. Remember, whatever else the Document and its sequel are good for, they have to be palatable enough for Egyptian Islamic Jihad members to support. Finally, Sayyid Imam’s vigorous rejection of the victimization that permiates Jihadi thought is breathtaking. I can’t recall another Islamist (or most Arab secularists for that matter) saying anything of the sort.
Zawahiri has worked for 30 years to establish an Islamic state. However, when the Taliban succeeded in establishing one, he and bin Laden squandered it by attacking the United States.
Zawahiri has a dark history of failure. He says to Muslims:
- You establish groups and I will destroy them.
- You establish a state and I will tear it down.
- You fight jihad and I will flee, leaving my family behind and collecting donations in your name.
- You give contributions to me and I will spend them on my personal security.
- You go to prison and I will hold a microphone and encourage you to do it.
- You abide patiently in prison while I pay for my release with thousands of dollars.
- You fight America in Egypt so you can make it easier for me to negotiate with them.
Zawahiri is like a bad doctor you repeatedly send your family members too. If he keeps failing and they keep dying and you keep sending them there is something wrong with your mind, even your faith.
God has prescribed jihad, but he prescribes it in the first place for defending Muslims from harm and in the second for making Islam dominant. If the latter brings harm and dissension to Muslims, it should be stopped. Yet Zawahiri keeps urging actions that harm his brothers and Muslims for the sake of his own personal fame.
A number of the brothers in Afghanistan tried to dissuade bin Laden from attacking the United States between 1998 and 2001. Among them was Abu Mus`ab al-Suri and Abu `Abd al-Rahman al-Kindi. Yet Bin Laden continued and neither respected the etiquette of being a guest nor his oath of allegiance to Mullah Omar.
What Bin Laden and Zawahiri did is like the story of the Bedouin who found a small, orphaned hyena. He took it to his tent and let it nurse on one of the sheep. When the hyena grew up, it killed the sheep that had nursed it.
Zawahiri quotes some famous shaykhs in an attempt to justify his actions. One is `Abd Allah `Azzam, whom Zawahiri opposed during the Afghan jihad. Zawahiri spoke out against him at a large meeting, saying he had changed his stripes. Al Qaeda would never have been established without splitting with `Azzam.
As for `Umar `Abd al-Rahman [“The Blind Sheikh”), Zawahiri was his greatest opponent in the early 80s when the various Islamic groups tried to unite under `Abd al-Rahman’s leadership.
Zawahiri and others have accused me of using disrespectful words to describe those who violate sharia laws. I only use sharia terminology found in scripture and in the writings of the Salaf.
* One of the mischievous things that Zawahiri is doing is repeating the question “what do you believe regarding Arab rulers?”
He should ask his brother Muhammad al-Zawahiri and Bin Laden.
Muhammad told Egyptian security he believes the ruler is a Muslim. Then he told a gathering of youth that these rulers are hypocrites who should be killed if they don’t leave. This is not in accordance with the sharia because the consensus of the Islamic scholars says that the hypocrite is a Muslim and cannot be killed. In June 2007, his brother indicated his willingness to reconcile with the authorities, but he did so in secret.
Bin Laden wanted to fight Saddam in Kuwait in 1990 under the banner of the Saudi government. Then he rebelled against them and excommunicated them in 1994 when they revoked his citizenship and took his passport. The Khawarij excommunicated people for major sins but Bin Laden does it for citizenship and a passport.
I was in Sudan when this happened and asked bin Laden if he was afraid of the Sudanese response. He said, “They encouraged me to do it.” When Sudan expelled Bin Laden in 1996, he wrote a letter of apology to the Saudi government so they would take them back. A major Sudanese representative carried his message to them, but they rejected it and he went to Afghanistan.
When Bin Laden settled in Sudan in 1992 I was in Pakistan. I advised him at the time to remain in Saudi Arabia to help the Islamic affairs there as he had done in the Afghan jihad. He didn’t accept my advice.
Document (Arabic): 11-29-08-al-masry-al-youm-denudation-part-10