March 24, 2005 No.

The Iraqi Al-Qa'ida Organization: A Self-Portrait

Recently the first issue of the "Department of Indoctrination" of the Al-Qa'ida-Iraq organization's online magazine was published under the title of "The Crest of the Summit of Islam" [Dhurwat Sanam Al-Islam], an expression which is commonly used to designate Jihad. An article in the magazine by a certain Abu Maysara, who is believed to be one of the commanders of the Al-Qai'da organization in Iraq, discusses the identity of the Iraqi Al-Qa'ida organization and outlines its aims: [1]

What is the Al-Qa'ida Organization in Iraq?

"...What is the Al-Qa'ida organization in Iraq? This is an organization consisting of a group of Muslims from amongst the followers of the tradition and the community of believers [ahl al-sunna wa'l jama'a] which tries to please Allah by committing themselves to keep Allah's orders and proscriptions and to see to it that others do so [as well]... it has set for itself a number of central goals which are mutually interrelated and complementary:

"1) Renewing pure monotheism which was brought by our Prophet Muhammad amongst those whose monotheism was sullied by the filth of polytheistic elements, and the spreading of the axiom 'there is no God but Allah' in lands where Islam has not yet arrived.

"2) Jihad for the sake of Allah, so that His message be supreme, and in order to recapture all the lands of the Muslims from the hands of the infidels and the apostates, and to apply the Shari'a law, Allah's law, in these areas, without any distinction [in this respect] between ruler and ruled, and to free the Muslim prisoners of war, since this is a personal obligation [incumbent] on every Muslim, as all the ulama agree...

"3) To come to the aid of Muslims wherever they are and to reclaim the Muslim's dignity, which has been soiled by the [foreign] invaders and their agents, and his human rights of which he has been deprived, and to strive to improve his conditions and circumstances in every respect, both religious and this-wordly – material, social, educational, etc. – in accordance with the teachings of Islam...

"4) To re-establish the Rightly-Guided Caliphate in accordance with the Prophet's example, because [according to the tradition] 'whoever dies without having sworn allegiance to a Muslim ruler dies as an unbeliever.' [2]

"Our guiding principle with regard to our great goals is: [to follow] the Koran and the tradition of the Prophet, in the way of the righteous early generations, and [to follow] the elucidations of the great ulama from among those faithful to the Sunna [ahl al-sunna] .

"One of the great principles of our faith is that we should not spill even a drop of Muslim blood unjustly, for the end of the whole world is less significant than the spilling of one Muslim's blood."

Why We Carry out Operations Against Americans and Their Collaborators in the Military and Police

"Why do we carry out operations in Iraq against the Americans and their collaborators in the military and the police? The goal is:

"1) In order to please Allah, who commanded [to fight the] Jihad and to repel those who attack lives and [women's] honor and property and to expel them from Iraq - the land of the Caliphs.

"2) In order to redeem the honor of our brothers and the chastity of our sisters and the innocence of our Muslim children, [all of whom] have been ravaged by the Americans and their Shi'ite collaborators in the brigades of treachery [a reference to the Shi'ite Badr Brigades, which is the military wing of the Supreme Assembly of the Islamic Revolution of Iraq] and the party of Satan's mission [a reference to Al-Ja'fari's Hizb Al-Da'wa party].

"3) In order to make the light of the Caliphate shine once again from Baghdad, the capital of the Caliphate, so that it will spread the light of justice and prosperity around the world, as things used to be in the time of Harun Al-Rashid.

"4) In order to kill those whose character has become impure and who has joined the ranks of the infidels in their fight against the Muslims in Iraq, that is, members of the Iraqi army and the police and spies, who strengthen the Americans and help them to commit crimes and to rape our sisters in the Abu Ghraib prison and other places..."

A Call to All Muslims in Iraq

"This is not an issue of Iraq in the geographic sense; rather it is an issue for our great Islam. Don't you see how all the infidels in the world have united and assembled armies from more than 30 countries to invade Iraq and to plunder its resources and to humiliate you and to violate your wives' honor. So why should your brothers the Jihad fighters - both foreigner and native [3] - be subject to reproach? These brothers of yours emigrated from their homelands, left their wives and children, and sacrificed their blood for your sake - to protect you, to protect your families, and to preserve your honor, and to drive the invaders from your land.

"Beware of the Western media's deception and of its agents, such as the 'Alawi government, who distort the image of your brothers the Jihad fighters, who came to you for your sake, without desiring for themselves neither your reward nor your gratitude, neither a penny nor a pound. They put their neck before your neck, their blood before your blood, and their life to ransom your life. God forbid that our Jihad should be [considered] civil strife [fitna] . Rather the avoidance of Jihad is civil strife. That was the verdict of Allah, who said of those who shirked Jihad, 'Surely they have already succumbed to temptation [fitna] , and Hell engulfs the unbelievers.' [4]

"Come, Oh descendants of Khalid [Ibn Al-Walid], Qutayba [Ibn Muslim], and Al-Muthanna [Ibn Haritha], [5] rise up with your brothers who fight Jihad to conquer Iraq, and after that [to conquer] the rest of the Muslim lands that were conquered by the infidels. Extend a helping hand with whatever you can... to gain God's pleasure and to be saved from the fires of Hell, and in order to be worthy successors to good forefathers so as to free yourself from the guilt of shirking Jihad...

"As for you, soldier and policeman, we ask Allah to give you guidance before it is too late. You who betrayed the Muslims and who have degraded yourself in the service of the agents and under the command of the Cross in order to gain some crumbs from this world, trading your afterlife for your worldly goods... try to rectify what you have done wrong, before death overtakes you, and come back and return to your inborn Islamic nature, so that there be no more civil strife [fitna] and so that Allah's religion shall reign supreme. [6] If you do not do so, then the only thing you will deserve from us is the cutting off of your head as a punishment for your being a foreign agent and your betraying your religion and that of the Muslims. For you are the shield with which the occupying infidel defends himself. Repenting from being a foreign agent and joining the caravan of faith to make Allah's word supreme is surely better for you than this world and its goods, and we also would want and desire this much more."

[1] The issue was published in many Islamic forums, such as:

[2] A well-known hadith [tradition] appearing in many sources, e.g. Muslim 3/1478.

[3] The foreign volunteers and the local Iraqis are referred to by the author as muhajireen [emigrants] and ansar [helpers], which are the usual terms for the two major components of Muhammad's community in Medina, Meccan emigrants and Medinans.

[4] Koran 9:49. The term fitna, whose literal meaning is "temptation" or "trial," is the standard term in Islam for civil or sectarian strife or civil war.

[5] These are the names of famous commanders of the early Muslim conquests.

[6] Koran 2:193.