Al-Jazeera broadcasts remarks on upcoming 'battle' with 'enemies of Allah'
In a lecture that touched on the meaning of jihad, a leading Saudi cleric declared the United States is collapsing and Muslims must patiently await their ultimate victory.
Sheik Nasser bin Suleiman Al-Omar said in remarks broadcast on the Arab satellite network Al-Jazeera April 19, "The Islamic nation now faces a great phase of jihad," according to the Middle East Media Research Institute.
Referring to sacred Muslim writings that accompany the Quran, the sheik said, "Whoever is familiar with the Sunna and the Hadith knows that a battle against the enemies of Allah awaits on the horizon, in which the Muslims will be victorious. This is confirmed by the reliable hadiths, as well as by reality."
Jihad is now taking place in Afghanistan, "Palestine," Iraq, Chechnya, Kashmir and the Philippines, he said.
Meanwhile, the sheik asserted to his audience, love for America is "now disappearing from the hearts, within America itself and elsewhere, whereas Islam is growing even within America, my brothers."
"Islam is making steady progress in America," Al-Omar said. "Twenty-five thousand people have converted to Islam every year since 9-11, and an even larger figure was mentioned in the New York Times."
The sheik cited a report "submitted by the American intelligence to the American officials, regarding the religion of Islam, which some think is defeated or weak today," saying Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world and Muslims soon will become one-third of the world's population.
He quoted a "U.S. Congressman John Morlan" – there is no representative by that name – who supposedly said: "The 21st century is the century of Islam, which will offer an opportunity for peace in the world."
The sheik added: "There is no doubt that it is Islam that will bring peace, and not the U.N., America, Russia, or anyone else."
Interviewed for a PBS "Frontline" documentary on the House of Saud in December 2004, Al-Omar opposed the rewriting of Saudi religious textbooks to eliminate anti-Western, anti-Jewish teachings, and he was one of 26 prominent Saudi clerics who signed a fatwa saying Iraqis should rise up and oppose the Americans in Iraq.
In the Al Jazeera lecture, turning to Iraq, Al-Omar said that with its casualties, "America is now in a predicament."
"You follow the media. America is looking for a way out," he said. "Yes, I am aware of the harsh reality. I am aware of what is happening to our Muslim brothers in Iraq, and I'm referring especially to the Sunni Arabs, against whom all have conspired and who have been deserted by their closest friends."
The sheik claimed American reports of the number of casualties in Iraq, about 2,000, are false. He cited "one of the news agencies" and "several of Iraq's religious scholars" who claim there have been more than 40,000 American and Western casualties in three years.
Al-Omar said Americans are dumping their casualties in the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, prompting Iraqi scholars to ask him for a fatwa.
The sheik explained: "Because there were so many casualties, the Americans began to throw them into the Tigris and the Euphrates. The fish have eaten from the flesh of the American and have gotten fat. Are we permitted to eat these fish or not?' Yes. This is the truth, brothers."
Al-Omar said the "Islamic nation now faces a great phase of jihad, unlike anything we knew 50 years ago."
Fifty years ago, jihad was attributed only to a few individuals in Palestine, and in some other Muslims areas, he said, but "following the events of Afghanistan, the nation has embraced jihad. Young and old, men and women - everyone is talking about jihad."
Some young Muslims today, however, because of their "love for jihad," are getting involved in conflicts that are not properly jihad, he said, adding "all these minor battles, which took place in certain Muslim countries, only delay the victory."
"This diverts the strife and calamity into the lands of the Muslims, instead of aiming them directly at the enemies," he said.
In a June 13, 2004, interview with Al-Majd television, Al-'Omar said "America is collapsing from within."
"Where are America's principles of justice and democracy?" he asked. " … Is America now, with its reputation and status, the same America of 30 years ago – the source of hope for many people?"
Islam is "advancing according to a steady plan," the sheik said, "to the point that tens of thousands of Muslims have joined the American army and Islam is the second largest religion in America."
"Today," he said, "America is defeated. I have no doubt, not even for a minute, that America is on its way to destruction."
But the United States "will be destroyed gradually," he said, requiring Muslims to be "patient."
MEMRI recently reported Libyan Leader Moammar Gadhafi declared in a speech aired on Al Jazeera that Islam will take over Europe without violent force within a few decades.
"We have 50 million Muslims in Europe," Gadhafi said. "There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe – without swords, without guns, without conquests. The 50 million Muslims of Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades."