Today, Sayyid Imam treats the issue of Palestine, arguing that a peace treaty with Israel is Islamically legitimate. Although Imam also indicates that he wants it to be under Muslim control again, he argues that it won’t happen until the caliphate is reestablished.
In addition to the Palestinian issue, Sayyid Imam also explains more about the immediate context that produced the Document and now the Denudation: Islamist prison politics in Egypt. His speculation on the use of terrorist attacks to increase the bargaining power of prisoners is interesting in light of the statement released by the Deccan Mujahideen which says that their principle demand is the release of Islamist militants in India.
Palestine was not occupied until after the fall of the Ottoman Caliphate and it won’t return unless the caliphate returns. Jihad in Palestine is obligatory on those who are able to do it, but it will not establish an Islamic state or a non-Islamic state; it will only vex the enemy and delay worse things to come. If the Jews establish themselves in some place, they are not going to permit others to compete with them there.
The Palestinian issue is not the pivotal issue for Arabs and Muslims. It takes away the Muslim’s reasoning, making him easy prey for evil people. The first priority of Muslims is the establishment of the state of the Islamic caliphate which will reunify them and return their glory. In part 15 of the Document I explain how it could be established according to the practice of the Prophet.
* Clarification regarding the recognition of Israel and having peace (sulh) with it
Even though Gamal Abdel Nasser said after the 1967 defeat that there would be no negotiations with Israel, he began to do just that shortly before he died in 1970.
Zawahiri and bin Laden use the same slogan and condemn those who would recognize Israel and have peace with it. In bin Laden’s open letter to Bin Baz in 1994, he said that Israel is not one of the established infidel states with which a peace treaty can be signed; rather, it is an occupier. In this regard, I want to clarify some things for Muslims:
1) Recognizing other states is an American invention, beginning with U.S. President Monroe. It was designed to punish those that America didn’t like [by denying them recognition]. Bin Laden and Zawahiri follow this American heresy but it is un-Islamic.
Jurists have differed over the issue of whether infidels are sovereign over what they take from the Muslims.
2) Peace is possible with any infidel or apostate if it suits the Muslims’ interests. There is no distinction in Shari’a between making peace with infidels in their own country or in a Muslim country they occupy. Did Bin Laden not ask for a truce with America while it occupied Afghanistan and Iraq? Didn’t Zawahiri want negotiations? Why do they permit it for themselves while denying it to others?
The Crusaders occupied Palestine and the coast of Syria for nearly 200 years. Saladin sometimes fought them and sometimes made peace with them. He did not take Jerusalem from them until he made peace with them, after they had occupied it for 92 years. That was in 583 after his victory over them at Hattin. He also contracted a peace with them and 571, 576, and 572.
Palestine is not in the “mother of Islamic issues” as bin Laden claims.
* Among the mischief making of Zawahiri is his crying over his imprisoned brothers in Egypt.
Zawahiri says that the majority of his brothers in prison reject the Document. Here are some facts:
- Were these opponents in prison before or after the document?
- Who caused these people to be imprisoned? It was Z, who has been sending them into Egypt to fight since 1992 to compete with the Islamic Group.
Z was a mercenary for Sudanese intelligence. He was telling jokes to his companions in Sudanese security while his companions in Egyptian Islamic Jihad were being executed. Why would Z care about his brothers in Egyptian Islamic Jihad today when he joined Al Qaeda in 1998?
Z encourages them to remain in prison, unlike the Prophet who encouraged people to seek the release of prisoners. Z never accepted his own advice. In 1996, he was arrested in Daghestan in southern Russia. He asked the brothers to send him thousands of dollars for his release, which they did and he secured his release. This money could have supported dozens of families of prisoners in Egypt, but he spent it on himself.
Likewise in Pakistan during the Afghan jihad against the socialists, he spent great sums of money meant for jihad on his own personal security. Moreover, many mujahids had fake passports because they were afraid to renew their real passports at the Egyptian embassy in Pakistan. Z refused to do this, and he traveled to the US in 1990 to obtain a passport at the Egyptian embassy there.
Recently, Z sent a letter to raise money in Saudi Arabia to support the brothers in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but not to support the brothers in Egypt. (Sharq Awsat 3-4-08)
Z continues to call for jihad in Egypt for propaganda purposes, for raising money, and perhaps to have a card to play in negotiations with Egypt in the future.
Just as many brothers have been sent to prison by Z as have been released by the Document. Among those who oppose the document are those who have already left prison, those who previously had the approval of their companions to do that, those Z sent warning messages about to the brothers responsible for them in Egypt upon their return from military training in Pakistan, and those who are ready to agree in secret. The opponents are not the majority and they’ve not been treated badly. If someone has told Z something else, they are lying.
Those brothers that Z weeps over were his accomplices in betraying the trust and working with Sudanese intel. They said nothing when he sold them to Sudanese intel. This was at a time when they killed a child they accused of working with Egyptian intelligence. They provided him no Sharia guarantees of justice, one of which is an impartial judge and a legitimate representative to defend him because he was a minor. If such is their behavior when they are oppressed imagine what they will do if they run a state. [See Lawrence Wright’s Looming Tower for this sorry episode.]
Those who oppose me (but agree in secret) have tried since 2003 to do what I did in 2007. In 2003, their leader gathered agreements to stop fighting with the government. He wanted to present the government with these agreements as part of a mutual security pact. He is still hesitating because, as he told one of the prisoners, he wants Z to carry out two or three more attacks to improve his [the leader’s] negotiating position with the government. This happened in 2004 before my arrival in Egypt.
When I got to Egypt, I wrote the Document of my own accord because Egyptian Islamic Jihad and Al Qaeda were using my two previous books for recruitment, even though I had opposed them since 1993. I wrote it without any conditions or agreements with the authorities. Those in prison who have objected to it do so for two reasons: 1) the person whose books they depend on in their recruiting [Sayyid Imam] is now criticizing their actions; or 2) the appearance of the Document meant that they lost the political card they wanted to use in negotiations with the government.
Z plays the same way. He offers negotiations to the U.S. while at the same time calling for attacks against it to improve his negotiating position. He wants his brothers in Egyptian prisons to do the same to ensure his personal safety.
* Among the mischief making of Z is his words about preparation for jihad
What does he know about jihad? He destroyed Egyptian Islamic Jihad three times. First, in 1981 he betrayed his brothers by implicating them and testifying against them. In 1993, he paid his brothers to attack Egypt at the behest of Sudanese intel over my objections. The third time was in 1998 when he joined with Bin Laden. According to Hani Siba`i, his representative in Europe, this alliance destroyed Egyptian Islamic Jihad.
Can those who specialize in destroying groups talk about preparation for Jihad?
Document (Arabic): 11-28-08-al-masry-al-youm-denudation-part-9