Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders
World Islamic Front Statement
23 February 1998
Shaykh Usamah Bin-Muhammad Bin-Ladin
Ayman al-Zawahiri, amir of the Jihad Group in Egypt
Abu-Yasir Rifa'i Ahmad Taha, Egyptian Islamic Group
Shaykh Mir Hamzah, secretary of the
Fazlul Rahman, amir of the Jihad Movement in Bangladesh
Praise be to God, who revealed
the Book, controls the clouds, defeats factionalism, and says in His Book:
"But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans
wherever ye find them, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them
in every stratagem (of war)"; and peace be upon our Prophet, Muhammad
Bin-'Abdallah, who said: I have been sent with the sword between my hands to
ensure that no one but God is worshipped, God who put my livelihood under the
shadow of my spear and who inflicts humiliation and scorn on those who
disobey my orders.
The Arabian Peninsula has never -- since God made it flat,
created its desert, and encircled it with seas -- been stormed by any forces
like the crusader armies spreading in it like locusts, eating its riches and
wiping out its plantations. All this is happening at a time in which nations
are attacking Muslims like people fighting over a plate of food. In the light
of the grave situation and the lack of support, we and you are obliged to
discuss current events, and we should all agree on how to settle the matter.
No one argues today about three facts that are known to everyone;
we will list them, in order to remind everyone:
First, for over seven years the United States has been occupying
the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula,
plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people,
terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the Peninsula into a
spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples.
If some people have in the past argued about the fact of the
occupation, all the people of the Peninsula have now acknowledged it. The
best proof of this is the Americans' continuing aggression against the Iraqi
people using the Peninsula as a staging post, even though all its rulers are
against their territories being used to that end, but they are helpless.
Second, despite the great devastation inflicted on the Iraqi
people by the crusader-Zionist alliance, and despite the huge number of those
killed, which has exceeded 1 million... despite all this, the Americans are
once against trying to repeat the horrific massacres, as though they are not
content with the protracted blockade imposed after the ferocious war or the
fragmentation and devastation.
So here they come to annihilate what is left of this people and
to humiliate their Muslim neighbors. Third, if the Americans' aims behind
these wars are religious and economic, the aim is also to serve the Jews'
petty state and divert attention from its occupation of Jerusalem and murder
of Muslims there. The best proof of this is their eagerness to destroy Iraq,
the strongest neighboring Arab state, and their endeavor to fragment all the
states of the region such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Sudan into paper
statelets and through their disunion and weakness to guarantee Israel's survival
and the continuation of the brutal crusade occupation of the Peninsula.
All these crimes and sins committed by the Americans are a clear
declaration of war on God, his messenger, and Muslims. And ulema have
throughout Islamic history unanimously agreed that the jihad is an individual
duty if the enemy destroys the Muslim countries. This was revealed by Imam
Bin-Qadamah in "Al- Mughni," Imam al-Kisa'i in
"Al-Bada'i," al-Qurtubi in his interpretation, and the shaykh of
al-Islam in his books, where he said: "As for the fighting to repulse
[an enemy], it is aimed at defending sanctity and religion, and it is a duty
as agreed [by the ulema]. Nothing is more sacred than belief except repulsing
an enemy who is attacking religion and life."
On that basis, and in compliance with God's order, we issue the
following fatwa to all Muslims:
The ruling to kill the
Americans and their allies -- civilians and military -- is an individual duty
for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do
it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from
their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of
Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with
the words of Almighty God, "and fight the pagans all together as they
fight you all together," and "fight them until there is no more
tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God."
This is in addition to the words of Almighty God: "And why
should ye not fight in the cause of God and of those who, being weak, are
ill-treated (and oppressed)? -- women and children, whose cry is: 'Our Lord,
rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from
thee one who will help!'"
We -- with God's help -- call on every Muslim who believes in God
and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God's order to kill the Americans
and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on
Muslim ulema, leaders, youths, and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan's
U.S. troops and the devil's supporters allying with them, and to displace
those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson.
Almighty God said: "O ye who believe, give your response to
God and His Apostle, when He calleth you to that which will give you life.
And know that God cometh between a man and his heart, and that it is He to
whom ye shall all be gathered."
Almighty God also says: "O ye who believe, what is the
matter with you, that when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of God, ye
cling so heavily to the earth! Do ye prefer the life of this world to the
hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the
hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty,
and put others in your place; but Him ye would not harm in the least. For God
hath power over all things."
Almighty God also says: "So lose no heart, nor fall into
despair. For ye must gain mastery if ye are true in faith."
© 2001 The Washington Post