Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri marked the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem on Monday with an audio message declaring that President Trump “was clear and frank, and revealed the true face of the modern Crusade, which does not deal with retreat and reconciliation, and only da’wah [proselytizing] and jihad can resist it.”
The terror group had lashed out at the decision to relocate the embassy, in line with a 1995 act of Congress, when Trump announced the move in December. Al-Qaeda’s branch in Lebanon, for one, declared “kiss our jihad” to “Zionist criminals” including the United States, and said all Muslims should stand in armed resistance
In his new address, “Tel Aviv Is Also the Land of Muslims,” Zawahiri noted the “big uproar” over the move, even among “the sellers of Palestine and the countries of agency and treachery,” aka Arab nations.
“I do not address the sellers of Palestine, nor the countries which claim to protect the creed and defend Muslims, while they are the agents of the enemies of Muslims. But I address every honorable and free Muslim, and I say to them: we must fight the battle of consciousness before the battle of weapons, and we must be free of illusions, and we must not mix up the enemy from friend, and we must realize the schemes of the enemy, and we do not back down before it,” he said.
“To remind my Muslim and mujahidin brothers and the sincere scholars, that I would like to clarify to them that all countries of the Islamic world which are members in the United Nations have recognized Israel by signing the United Nations Charter, which confirms the unity and territorial integrity of each of its states, including Israel, and they recognized – also by the same signature – with leaving ruling by Shariah, and were satisfied with ruling by the decisions of the Security Council and the General Assembly, among them the decision to partition in the year 1947 and the decisions of 242 resolutions and so forth from a series of decisions of defeat and surrender,” the al-Qaeda leader continued, chiding Muslim countries that “established public and private relations with Israel, and wanted Tel Aviv and West Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel, despite it also being an Islamic land where Jews were not allowed to be abandoned.”
“What was the result of the policy of evading the rule by Shariah and seeking to appease the West was the result of the loss of the religion and the world. This fact was realized by the pioneers of jihad, and Sheikh Usamah – may Allah have mercy on him – announced that America is the Hubal [pre-Islamic worshipped idol] of the era, and the first enemy of the Muslims, and he swore that America would not dream of security until we actually live it in Palestine, and until all the disbelieving armies depart from the land of Muhammad, may Allah’s prayer and peace be upon him.”
Zawahiri called upon Muslims to “liberate Palestine and all abodes of Islam and establish Shariah and establish the caliphate” and wage “jihad for the sake of Allah.”
He warned of “a path of loss of religion and the world” if jihadists missed their opportunity.
“So what we need today is to liberate Palestine, and all the other abodes of Muslims is to declare disbelief upon this criminal international tyrannical system, and that we unite …as one Ummah [Muslim community] on multiple fronts, not as separate groups that retreat before the imperatives of the greatest criminals,” Zawahiri said.