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September 8, 2006 Special Dispatch No. 1285

Indonesian Islamist Abu Bakar Bashir: ‘It is Not Democracy That We Want, but Allah-cracy!’

September 8, 2006
Special Dispatch No. 1285

The Indonesian Islamist cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, who was released from prison in July 2006 after having been charged with complicity in the Bali terror attacks of 2002, gave an interview to Al-Jazeera in which he outlined his plans for establishing an Islamic state in Indonesia. Bashir attacked democracy and the West, and called on Muslims to wage jihad against the ruling regimes in the Muslim world. The interview appeared on August 21, 2006, on Al-Jazeera's English-language website.

The following are excerpts from the article: [1]

"We Demand an Islamic State"

"We demand an Islamic state, and not some form of Islamisation of society. We want the state to be Islamic, with Islamic leaders who have the courage and will to implement the shari'a in total. There is no other way...

"We want an Islamic state where Islamic law is not just in the books but enforced, and enforced with determination. There is no space and no room for democratic consultation. The shari'a is set and fixed, so why do we need to discuss it anymore? Just implement it!

"Right now we are drafting our own constitutional amendments for Indonesia, the framework for an Indonesian Islamic state where Islamic laws are enforced. Indonesians must understand that there is no Islamic state without the enforcement of Islamic laws. Otherwise it is just talk and nothing else."

"Our Leaders Have All Been... Trained to Speak the Way Their Western Bosses Want Them to..."

"...We should not accept the idea that being a radical is a bad thing. Any movement for change will be radical...

"Today the Western powers and media want to domesticate us like sheep, to keep us tame and domesticated. But why are animals domesticated? So that they can be slaughtered in the end!

"That is why they use the label 'radical' in the way they do, to keep us scared and to keep us under control. This is true for our leaders, who have all been domesticated and trained to speak the way their Western bosses want them to...

"The West is trying to weaken Islam from outside and inside. They attack our people and invade our countries from outside, and they weaken us from within with ideas like secularism, liberalism and democracy. This is all designed to contaminate our pure Islam."

"The Jews are Cunning and Cannot Be Trusted"

"There is not a single Muslim leader today who has the courage and commitment to defend Islam and Muslims, they are all in awe of the United States and other Western powers, and are indebted to them... Our Prophet warned that this would be the case in the future, that the Muslim ummat would be great in numbers, but weak in spirit...

"How can Malaysia sign a free trade agreement with America and Japan? Are these not kafir countries? And America today is an enemy of Muslim states and the supporter of Israel. In Islam that makes America a kafirharbi (enemy) state, and we Muslims are obliged to cut off all ties, diplomatic and economic with such an enemy state...

"The Jews are cunning and cannot be trusted, as it states in the Qur'an. At the moment the United States is just being the donkey for Israel, who is riding the USA.

"How can we dialogue for peace in the Arab world as long as Israel exists? Israel cannot dream of having peaceful borders because Israel has no right to exist, no right to be there. That is the land of Palestine, for the Palestinians. How can any Muslim leader say that Israel has the right to safe borders? It should not be there in the first place!...

"There is not a single Islamic state in the world, not even in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are hypocrites and friends of the United States; their leaders are all corrupt and worldly. The closest we ever got to an Islamic state was the Taliban government in Afghanistan, but the Americans destroyed that, with their Western allies..."

"We Need to Go on Jihad Against Our Own Hyprocrite Governments"

"It is the duty for Muslims to oppose their governments when their leaders dialogue with our enemies. It says so in the Quran (Surah 60:9), that those who oppose Islam are our enemies and we must fight against them. So before we dialogue with kafirs, we need to go on jihad against our own hypocrite governments first that are apostates and against Islamic principles...

"Islam is in two parts: the Quran and the Sword.

"The Quran has all the guidelines, rules, norms, laws and punishments we need. The enforcement of the shari'a is the sword we are talking about..."

"If the Prophet Carried a Spear Then... We Can Carry an M-16!"

"Look at the sunna (practice) of the Prophet. When he gave his speeches and sermons he had a spear (tombak) in his hand. Why? This was the symbol of power. His followers knew he was serious, and not simply giving empty talk. He meant what he said and he did what he said he would do.

"Sadly over the centuries Islam grew weak and we forgot that the Prophet carried a spear when he spoke. The spear was replaced with a staff (tongkat) instead, as if Muslims were weak and needed a walking-stick to stand up! We need to go back to this original, strong, robust Islam. Like the Prophet we need to carry the spear (tombak) again. If the Prophet carried a spear, then for us today we can carry an M-16!"

"There is No Democracy in Islam"

"There is no democracy in Islam, so do not try to interpret the Quran and turn Islam into a democracy to suit your needs. God's law comes first. It is not up to the will of the people to decide what is right and how to live. Rather the will of the people have to be bent to suit the will of God. It is not democracy that we want, but Allah-cracy!

"The principles of Islam cannot be altered and and there is no democracy in Islam or nonsense like 'democratic Islam'.

"Democracy is shirk [polytheism] and haram [forbidden]. Here we do not compromise. Those who claim to be Muslims and do not support Shariah one hundred percent are all munafik [hypocrites] and kafirs, they are out of Islam. No need to discuss with these people, they are not part of the ummat anymore. There is no need to listen to public opinion: kafirs, apostates, liberals, atheists - they are all non-believers...

"Islam's victory can only come through dawah [preaching] and jihad, not elections. That's why Islamic parties are on the wrong path... As long as democracy is their chosen path, the end result is haram. Nothing good can come from that which is haram, is that not the case? So if democracy is haram, then what kind of Islamic state can come from that? Certainly not a pure Islamic state. Elections are quite useless."

"There Can Be No Islam Without Jihad"

"The struggle for Islam can only come through crisis and confrontation. Islam is here to change the world, not to be changed by the world. So there is bound to be resistance, that is why the West fears us.

"If we accept Western norms like democracy then we can never reach the Allah-cracy I mentioned earlier. Democracy must be replaced by Allah-cracy and this cannot come from elections. Those who oppose us must be educated, that is why dawah is important, to show them that Islam is the only way. But if they still resist, and are willfully stubborn, or if they create obstacles for us, then they must be opposed. In particular all the Muslims who oppose us are apostates (murtad) and they in particular need to be dealt with firmly...

"This is the Islamic view of things. We must never compromise, relent, give up, submit to our kafir enemies. We must always keep to the Islamic path, jihad in the name of shar'ia, and never be apologetic...

"Remember that jihad is what brought Islam to power and built our community. There can be no Islam without jihad...."


[1] Al-Jazeera.net, August 21, 2006.

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