Al Qaeda leader Zawahiri calls for more anti-Islam film protests

Published: October 13, 2012

Demonstrators torch a US flag during a protest against an anti-Islam film in Karachi on September 20, 2012. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

CAIRO: Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri said an anti-Islam film made in the United States showed Washington was waging a “crusader Zionist war” against Muslims and he called for more protests outside American embassies.

Like in other messages released by al Qaeda’s Yemeni and North African branches last month, Zawahiri praised last month’s assault on the US consulate in Benghazi that killed four diplomats but stopped short of claiming responsibility.

In the recording, posted online on Friday, he called on “free and distinguished zealots for Islam” who attacked the consulate and protested outside other American embassies to “continue their opposition to American crusader Zionist aggression against Islam and Muslims”.

The recording appeared on the Mujahedin al-Ansar website which carries statements from al Qaeda leaders.

Zawahiri said US authorities “permitted the film in the name of personal freedom and freedom of expression” but failed to practise those values in its treatment of Muslims imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay, Iraq and Afghanistan.

US President Barack Obama’s administration condemned the short film, made privately and amateurishly in California, as reprehensible but said it could not be banned without violating the US constitutional right to free speech.

The Guantanamo detention camp was set up after the September 11, 2001 attacks to hold non-American captives suspected of involvement with al Qaeda, the Taliban or other militant groups. Of the 779 men who were held there, 167 remain.

Zawahiri, an Egyptian-born preacher who became al Qaeda’s chief after the death of Osama bin Laden last year, also criticised Obama after his Democratic Party pledged at its pre-election convention to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

He said that decision and Obama’s prayers at Jerusalem’s Western Wall, made during a 2008 visit, showed Muslims faced a “crusader Zionist war” led by the United States.

In September al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the group’s North African affiliate, praised the Benghazi attack and urged Muslims to kill more US envoys.

Earlier last month, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), its Yemeni wing, called for more protests and said the Benghazi attackers had been partly motivated by the death of an AQAP leader in a US drone strike.

Reader Comments (6)

  • Rahul
    Oct 13, 2012 - 4:47PM

    …..While no call for protests for Malala Yousafzai… Priorities anyone?

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  • Oct 13, 2012 - 5:10PM

    Funny how he can fly from Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt so easily, liberating one oil field after the other. Maybe CIA Arab Legion is the best in the game.

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  • Tanweer ahmad
    Oct 13, 2012 - 11:54PM

    Its a believers task to read the teaching brought by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and to note his blessed model and when trying to put it in practice, also invoke blessings(Darud) on him in greatfulness of the tremendous favour of this benefactor of mankind. He guided us to the way that leads to God by showing us practices regarding all aspects of life .He showed us the standard of worship of God and generated the perception of service to mankind and believers. All this demands that while invoking blessings and salutations on him, we make the world aware of this teaching and this blessed model and inform them about his grace and favours . When aspects of his blessed life are put before the outsiders , those with the slightest of fairness in them cannot help but praise inspite of holding contrary views. Today those who raise objections about him or his teachings are either devoid of fairness or do not know about his blessed life and do not try to know either. It is our task to make the world aware of the blessed life of the Prohet (s.a.w) and for this every medium/resourse should be used. Voilent protest is totally unislamic and contrary to our teachings.We should follow the blessed model of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) who was an exempler of all the Quranic commandmends.

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  • True Muslim Paki (An Insafian)
    Oct 14, 2012 - 2:28AM

    Moise, you are a Noise. I guess your Noise is more of a brand new conspiracy theory of a CIA Arab Legion….

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  • Usman
    Oct 14, 2012 - 3:28AM

    In this picture, you can see all sorts of people. Mullas to somewhat educated people as well as Jobless to working people. So I guess, educating or putting the population isnt going to help too much now.

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  • M.Ahmer Ali
    Oct 14, 2012 - 10:35AM

    Ayman Al-Zawahiri now please stop this topic and concentrate on the other issues because the director of anti-islam movie has been arrested and has sent to jail and lots of time and money have been wasted on it and lots of property and precious vehicles have been damaged and destroyed…..
    Please don’t waste more time on it and don’t damage and destroy the left precious properties and vehicles and don’t destroy more economy…..

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