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Egyptian Ulama on America’s war

Muslim ulama and college professors in Egypt, long considered a moderate and even friendly Arab state by the U.S., are openly declaring war on America in light of the current military campaign in Afghanistan. Moussa Hal, a reporter for the unofficial website of Egypt's Al-Azhar University, has posted many anti-American statements made by the university's clerics and professors under the heading, "Islamic clerics in Egypt declare war on America."

As translated from Arabic by the Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI, here are some of the comments:

Sheikh Ali Abu Al-Hassan, head of Al-Azhar's Religious Ruling Committee: "It is the sense of danger that unites the West. They have put together a coalition against Islam. They sense danger only from Islam. This feeling has united them against a single enemy, which is Islam. Why, therefore, should we ourselves not unite? ... We, Oh Nation of Islam, are all targeted by our enemy. ... Why should we not unite, therefore, around the cry, ‘There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah' and fight our enemy? ...

"Entering into an alliance with the Americans against Afghanistan constitutes Riddah [that is, turning away from belief in Islam, for which the punishment is death, with no possibility of clemency] ... The Afghan opposition [forces] must not put [their] hand in the hand of the Americans; they must stand with their countrymen [and] their co-religionists, otherwise Allah and his angels will curse them. ..."
On another occasion, Abu Al-Hassan told Hal: "There is no doubt that this is a case of a hostile state fighting us, and we must resist it. ... Resistance in this case is by all possible means, even by means of war. If the enemy sets foot on the lands of Islam, he must be fought. In this case, a man must set out [on a Jihad] without the permission of his father, a woman without the permission of her husband, a debtor without the permission of his lender, and a slave without the permission of his master. Islam urges us to set out on a Jihad for the sake of Allah until we accomplish one of two good things: martyrdom or victory. ... ‘’

"When Islam is attacked, there are no borders. Jihad in this instance is an obligation for all Muslims. ... In this instance, the aggression is against Islam and therefore it is the obligation of all Muslims, not only the local residents, to protect this piece of land.
"The Afghans have the right to defend themselves, and we are obliged to help them and to defend them as best we can from the cruelty of the American attacks. Islam has commanded us to support our Muslim brothers under attack, and to fight the Jihad alongside them against the polytheists, with our souls and with our property ..."

Dr. Abd Al-Azim Al-Mut'ani an Al-Azhar University lecturer: "This war is a criminal attack, genuinely similar to the first Crusader wars, which the West waged in the Middle Ages under the rallying cry of defending the Christian pilgrims, when their actual target was Islam and the Muslims. Now, the U.S. has declared a war on Afghanistan, under the rallying cry of fighting terrorism, when the actual goal is to harm Islam and to wipe it off the face of the earth. ...
"The Islamic world must stand by the oppressed. ... The [Islamic] peoples must fulfill their obligation towards Islam and towards Muslims. The battle is a battle of the peoples and they are the ones who drive the rulers to do their duty. If the armies of Islam do not do their duty with regard to this invasion of Islam, they must be dispersed!"
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