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Al-Qaeda Leader Ayman al-Zawahiri Criticizes United Nations in New Video
Al-Qaeda released a 38-minute-long video through its official As-Sahab media branch solely focused on criticizing the United Nations (UN) as being incompatible with and hostile towards Islam. The stated purpose of Ayman al-Zawahiri’s speech is to “warn the Islamic nation about the threat that the United Nations poses.”
Al-Zawahiri states that “the United Nations was created by the victorious powers in the Second World War with the aim of imposing a political system and doctrine on the entire world, and with a view to establishing their hegemony over the rest of mankind.” Thus, he argues, the UN’s rulings, the Charter, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights should be rejected, as they were formulated by “an organization created to control the world and to impose on it an irreligious and immoral ideology that contradicts the Islamic Shariah.” He asserts that “accepting UN membership implies accepting adjudication by laws other than the Islamic Shariah and hence the total abandonment of the Shariah.”
In particular, he criticizes the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) — China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States — who he says “enjoy a sacrosanct status above all, for they pull the strings in the UN,” referring to them as “the biggest criminals on the face of the earth.” Rather than it being an “organization for international cooperation,” he says, it is instead “an organization created by the biggest criminals to change the belief system of the rest of mankind, specifically Muslims.”
And, according to al-Zawahiri, not only is the organization geared towards oppressing Muslims, but the UN is, in large part, designed to protect the status quo and stifle any attempt to liberate occupied Muslim territories or prevent violence against their coreligionists.
The Charter emphasizes the protection of the political sovereignty of the member
state and the sanctity of their territorial borders and forbids the use of force by a member state against another. Therefore, if a state signs the Charter, it gives per se recognition to the usurpation of Muslim territories by other states and affirms their right to hold on to these territories.
If the Muslims in Palestine were to strive for the liberation of Palestine from Israeli occupation, and other Muslims were to offer them help, this would be considered unlawful on the basis of the UN Charter given the fact that Israel is a member state, and it is not in Israel’s interest that the Mujahideen help the Palestinians against it. The same analogy applies to Russia’s occupation of Chechnya and Muslim territories in Central Asia and the Caucasus, India’s occupation of Kashmir, Spain’s occupation of Ceuta and Melilla, China’s occupation of East Turkistan, Ethiopia’s occupation of Zila and Harar, Tanzania’s occupation of Zanzibar, Kenya’s occupation of Somalia and the French occupation of Mali … the signing party must respect the territorial integrity and political independence of member states, including Israel, India, Russia, China, Spain, Ethiopia, Kenya and other states that occupy Muslim lands. This occupation must therefore be respected and recognized as being lawful.
This, he says, contradicts the Shariah which “makes fighting a binding obligation to liberate these lands and the people living therein from the hegemony of the disbelievers.” To underscore this point, an audio clip is included of Abdullah Azzam speaking on how “jihad is a binding duty today on the entire Muslim Ummah,” and saying, “this binding duty ends when we regain every inch of land that was once under the flag of “La ilaha ila Allah” (There is no God but Allah).”
Al-Zawahiri then discusses the UN’s role in creating the state of Israel and, speaking to the “Muslim brothers, Mujahideen, and truthful scholars,” says that all member states from the Muslim world have given recognition to the state of Israel by signing the Charter. He also argues that member states are “subjugated” and “used as tools in wars to secure the interests of the five major criminals who control the organization.” He adds that “Muslims are obliged to support the UN against their Muslim brothers, against whom the UN wages war,” “Muslims may not support other Muslims who are aggressed upon by the UN or its member states,” and, “hence, Muslims end up becoming slaves of the major criminal powers and cannon fodder in wars initiated for securing the interests of these powers.”