War on Iraq New Crusade: Islamic Scholars, Intellectuals

by Mohammad Gamal Arafa, Islam-Online Staff

CAIRO, November 21 (IslamOnline) - Hundreds of scholars and intellectuals from Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and Yemen condemned continued American threats to use force against 12-year-sanction-hit Iraq.

The U.S. assault on the countries of the region recalls to mind the Crusades of the Middle Ages and the era of colonialism in the modern age, they stressed, highlighting mounting U.S. threats despite the revival of inspections in Iraq.

In a joint statement, the scholars, including Sheikh Youssef el-Qaradawi, Sheikh Abdl el-Majid el-Zandani, Sheikh Salman Fahd el-Ouda, Tareg el-Bishri, Dr. Essam el-Bashir, Dr. Ahmed el-Raisoni, El-Habr Bour el-Dayim and Abdl el-Rahman Suar el-Zahab, cited developments in Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq and Sudan.

This is just a small portion of clandestine American strategies and intentions towards Islamic countries, they underlined.

The statement, posted on www.sawtna.com, called on Arab governments to defy the U.S. campaign and Zionist powers propagating new forms of colonialism and hegemony with the aim of applying them on several Islamic countries.

"The U.S. administration's insistence on using force against Iraq and attacking countries of the region brings to the minds crusade campaigns and colonialism when colonial armies invaded Asia and Africa, enslaving peoples and stealing their wealth," the statement averred.

"That dreadful era invited Jihad [struggle] and legitimate resistance and ended with the defeat of the evil forces of the invading crusaders. Therefore, any aggression on the nation will open the doors for Jihad and legitimate resistance that will also end, Allah willing, with the defeat of the invading crusaders and Zionist powers of evil," stressed the statement.

The scholars and intellectuals asserted that among "the motives of the U.S. administration to strike Iraq and tamper with the security of the Arab region is to wipe out the Islamic identity of the nation; imposing American culture in the region; controlling the nation's oil and other riches; covering up its failure in achieving the announced objectives of its campaign in Afghanistan; igniting the region with more tension, dodging development efforts; protecting Israel and Israeli superiority and cracking down on the blessed Palestinian Intifada which has strongly shaken and destabilized Israel."

The statement specified several steps exhorting governments, peoples and scholars, separately, to defy the vicious American campaign.

They urged Arab and Islamic governments to integrate with their peoples to reinforce the spirit of confidence and the principle of shura (consulting with others).

The statement warned Arab governments against standing with the U.S. administration, adopting its policies or even standing hand-folded vis-a-vis its aggressions.

It also pressed governments to dodge division, disagreement and difference deliberately planted by the enemy between governments and peoples.

The statement called on all parties (governments and peoples) to build institutions, diversify income resources and consolidate economic and social ties.

On the other side, the statement appealed to Arab and Islamic peoples to return to Almighty Allah, abide by the Islamic Shari’a (law), repent sins, close ranks, unify forces, put the interests of the nation before those of individuals and be certain of victory with the help of Allah.

It called on "Muslim youth" to give priority to the supreme interests of the nation, avoid violence and help maintain the security and unity of their countries.

The enemy is waylaying for any chance or row (to attack Arab and Islamic countries) and we should not give it such an opportunity, the scholars stressed.

The statement exhorted scholars, preachers and intellectuals to steer the nation during time of crisis, to help awaken the people with what is right, to promote modernity and tolerance based on the correct understanding of the message of Islam and to defend Islamic causes.

Concluding, the statement appealed to justice and peace loving advocates across the globe, whether governments, organizations, groups or individuals, to use all possible means to protest the policies of the U.S. administration, which jeopardize security and stability of the region.

Extracted 03/06/03 from Islam Online


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