June 14, 2012 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 846

Kuwaiti Muslim Brotherhood Leader And Director Of Saudi Al-Risala TV Tareq Al-Suwaidan Tours West, Promoting Restoration Of Caliphate And New Era Of Cyber Jihad

June 14, 2012 | By Steven Stalinsky*
Kuwait, The Gulf | Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 846


Tareq Al-Suwaidan, 58, is a prominent Kuwaiti Islamist preacher and a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait,[1] as well as a popular Islamic motivational speaker and TV preacher; he earns more than $1 million a year from his talks and TV shows. His CD "Lives of the Prophets" has sold well over two million copies.[2]

Al-Suwaidan has strong ties to the West, from attending high school and college and residing in the U.S. to preaching to large audiences in the U.K. and Canada, as well as in Australia – where he is visiting June 9-18, to speak in Melbourne and Sydney. He speaks to Western audiences at venues such as Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar; his followers and his audiences in the West range from groups of recent converts to Islam to fundraising events for major Muslim American organizations. He frequently supports Western and U.S. Muslim organizations. While Al-Suwaidan's speeches and remarks in English are often moderate,[3] in Arabic he often espouses extremist ideas.

Lived 17 Years In The U.S.

In a 2006 interview, Al-Suwaidan said that he lived in the U.S. from age 17; he attended high school there, and subsequently "graduated from the University of Oklahoma in the United States in petroleum engineering with a minor in management" and went on to remain in the country for 17 years,[4] also earning a B.S. from Pennsylvania State University.

In an interview on Hamas's Al-Quds TV that aired on March 26, 2012, Al-Suwaidan discussed his experiences living in the U.S. and his antisemitic views, and noting that Jews control both "money and the media." He said: "We rely upon Allah and then upon our armed resistance in obtaining our rights." He continued: "The most dangerous thing facing the Muslims is not the dictatorships. The absolutely most dangerous thing is the Jews. They are the most dangerous. They are the greatest enemy." The following is the transcript of the interview:

Al-Suwaidan: "I studied at the Petroleum Department at the University of Oklahoma, and our dean, who was a Christian American, retired. The man they brought to replace him was completely incompetent. I went to the former dean, Dr. Guerrero, and asked him: 'What made them choose Dr. Sylvester as the new dean, even though he is unworthy of this?' I was still a student back then. He laughed and said: "You noticed?" I said: 'Of course. Anybody with eyes in his head would notice.' He said: 'It's because he is a Freemason.' This Guerrero began to curse the Jews and the Freemasons, saying that they control everything.

"This is just a little story from Oklahoma in the middle of America. Now think what happens in New York or California, the centers of power...

"When I was still in the U.S., we decided to try to influence a member of Congress, who seemed to be somewhat sympathetic towards us. He was campaigning in the elections, and we said: 'Let us Muslims vote and raise funds for him.' We raised $300,000 and went to give it to him, saying: 'Take this money, we support you, and you will support us politically.' He refused. We asked why, and he said: 'The Jews were here yesterday and gave me $300 million.'...

"I have no hope that the West will change its positions. I can change the positions of some Westerners, but at the end of the day, power lies with the politicians, who are influenced by two things and two things only: money and the media, both of which are controlled by the Jews.

"So we should make the effort, but we must not rely on Western aid or on Western popular sympathy. These are minor things. We rely upon Allah and then upon our armed resistance in obtaining our rights...

"I say to the Arabs today: 'Please do not negotiate. You are weak and would end up making unnecessary concessions. If you are incapable of regaining the holy city [of Jerusalem], I beg you to leave it occupied. A generation will come that will liberate it for us.' We do not want negotiations or compromises while in a state of weakness, because we would end up relinquishing what the strong would not give up." [...]

Interviewer: "The principle of compromise states that we should get whatever we can. Its supporters say: Let's accept this, so that Palestine is not entirely lost. Some Arab regimes have even begun to lament [their objection to] the [1947 U.N.] Partition Plan. In order not to repeat the same mistake, they say, let's take what is being offered –"

Al-Suwaidan: "This is a defeatist mentality, adopted by the weak. Let me say something to you, to the viewers, and to the Palestinians: This land is not yours. Palestine, the Holy Land – and especially Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque – does not belong to the Palestinians. It belongs to the entire Islamic nation. You have no right to relinquish or divide it. By Allah, even if all the Palestinians accept a compromise and hand over Jerusalem, we will not agree to that. Even if you become weak and surrender, we will not weaken. We will continue to wage resistance until we liberate it. These are our holy places. This is the Islamic mentality as I understand it....

"I'm from Kuwait, but my first and foremost cause in this world is that of Palestine and Jerusalem. Palestine and Jerusalem come before Kuwait for me, because I'm a Muslim, and I believe in my holy places. A nation that relinquishes its holy places becomes worthless. Even if all the Palestinians relinquish it, the Islamic nation will not....

"In a nutshell, my strategy is as follows: We must consolidate the position of the Palestinians within Palestine as much as possible. We must support the armed resistance in Gaza, and if possible, we must spread it to the West Bank, and even to Palestine [within the 1948 borders]. If we can, we should do that. Third, the countries bordering [Israel] must be serious in their resistance to the Zionist entity. Thanks to Allah, there are signs of this. Fourth, this must be a mission for the entire Islamic nation. Everyone should support this cause. The most dangerous thing facing the Muslims is not the dictatorships. The absolutely most dangerous thing is the Jews. They are the most dangerous. They are the greatest enemy."

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit

Although he studied and lived in the U.S., and has been active on behalf of American Muslim organizations, there is some controversy regarding some of Al-Suwaidan's other activities. In May 2007, Al-Suwaidan was listed by U.S. federal prosecutors, along with a group of U.S. Muslim Brotherhood members, as an unindicted co-conspirator in the terrorism financing case against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development; in that case, the foundation and its leaders were convicted of financing Hamas. However, Al-Suwaidan has not been charged in any associated prosecutions.[5]

Al-Suwaidan's Use Of Social Media

Al-Suwaidan's Social Media Accounts

According to Forbes magazine's Arabic edition, Forbes Arabia, Al-Suwaidan ranks second in annual net income among Islamic motivational speakers in the Muslim world. While he has authored over 30 books, his popularity and reach can be credited to his social media activity – including accounts on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, the video-sharing website Vimeo, the presentation-sharing website Slideshare, and iTunes.

Al-Suwaidan's YouTube page ( was launched May 29, 2010; as of this writing, it has 159 videos, 7,684 subscribers, and 1,141,775 total views.

His Facebook page (, launched in March 2008, is very popular; as of this writing, it has over 439,000 "likes."

His Twitter page (!/TareqAlSuwaidan) was launched on March 14, 2010; as of this writing, he has over 518,000 followers and has posted 3,617 tweets.

His Vimeo page (, is relatively new; it was launched "1 year ago" and as of this writing has 12 videos, 7,500 "plays," and 10 "likes."

His SlideShare page ( has 16 presentations, 271,346 views, and 402 followers.

He also has iTunes apps, and a personal website,

Al-Suwaidan On YouTube

Hundreds of speeches by Al-Suwaidan can be found on YouTube, in Arabic and in English. Among them are excerpts from his appearances on Arab TV channels, as well as speeches delivered in the Middle East and in the West. Among the common themes in them are anti-Israel sentiment.

For example, in a video posted March 10, 2011, Al-Suwaidan speaks to a crowd at a mosque. He says, "In your life[time] you will prevail in the conquest of Jerusalem… Israel will not remain."[6]

In another video, posted May 22, 2011, YouTube user "LeqaAlJomah" posted a clip of Al-Suwaidan on Al-Haleej TV in which he declares, "Israel will cease to exist in 20 years." The two top comments under his video read: "Oh youth, prepare yourselves because we will be part of the conquering army" and "Oh Allah, bless me with the means to wage Jihad in your path for the liberation of Palestine, the proud."[7]

Al-Suwaidan also frequently speaks on the coming end of the West, promising that "Islam is coming"[8] and explaining that the Arab Spring will eventually lead to the reestablishment of the Islamic Caliphate, in which the shari'a will rule.[9]

Al-Suwaidan On Facebook

Al-Suwaidan's popular Facebook page includes links to his media appearances and published articles, and includes posts of photos of him with friends, both famous and infamous.

Below, in a photo from Al-Suwaidan's Facebook page, Al-Suwaidan poses with Saleh Sultan, founder of the American Center for Islamic Research (ACIR) and the Sultan Publishing Co. in Columbus, OH, in addition to having held numerous consulting and teaching positions in the U.S.

Sultan is also a member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) which is headed by Sheikh Al-Qaradawi. Sultan openly calls for the destruction of America, praises Osama bin Laden, insists that the U.S. was behind the attacks of 9/11, and as recently as February 22, 2012 on Arab TV, predicts that Allah will "obliterate America."[10] Sultan also frequently appears on Al-Suwaidan's Al-Risala TV.

Source: "Tareq Suwaidan" Facebook profile, July 16, 2011

Al-Suwaidan Tweets In Support Of Cyber Jihad

Following the January 2012 Saudi cyber-attack on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) and El-Al Airlines and series of hacking attacks that accessed the credit card information of thousands of Israelis, Al-Suwaidan used his Twitter account to provide religious justification for these attacks.

On January 17, 2012, Al-Suwaidan tweeted: "I see the need in uniting the efforts of the hackers within the electronic jihad project against the Zionist enemy, and it is an effective and important jihad, and its reward is great – Allah willing."

Al-Suwaidan: "I Strongly Encourage Young People To Undertake Electronic Jihad... I View This As Better Than 20 Jihad Operations"

Al-Suwaidan's January 17 tweet was not his first statement in support of cyber jihad, as documented by MEMRI. In a June 4, 2011 interview on Al-Quds TV, Al-Suwaidan called for armed resistance and electronic jihad against Israel:[11]

Al-Suwaidan: "Israel cannot withstand the will of the people. Ultimately, there will be a decisive battle. We must postpone this battle, because we are not ready, but we will get to this battle...

"The entire nation, and especially the countries bordering with Israel, must provide direct support to the armed resistance, and not just pay it lip service. Secondly, the Palestinian youth must realize that it has no alternative – and indeed, none of us have – other than armed resistance. That is the only solution for this nation. Therefore, any regime, or authority, that does not support this approach, and does not embrace the option of armed resistance… In such a case, your Palestinian youth must shout the slogan: 'The people wants to topple the regime that does not want the resistance.' Wishy-washy regimes that don't know what they want..."

Interviewer: "You bear the responsibility for what you are saying…"

Al-Suwaidan: "You are not responsible for this… I'd like to say one thing, with your permission. The Palestinian Authority, with its spineless positions, has a major part in the loss of the Palestinian cause. When the PA is replaced, and becomes serious about confronting the Zionist enemy, and about the option of resistance – that's when we will have hope. That's why I call upon the Palestinian youth to adopt the slogan: The people wants to change the PA to an authority that views resistance as its strategic option...

"The other day, I was asking myself: Why shouldn't I personally go on jihad? First of all, my body cannot tolerate it. Secondly, is what I am doing any less important than jihad? I would like us all to feel that we are in the same trench. There is such a thing as media jihad, political jihad, and a form of jihad that I strongly encourage young people to undertake – electronic jihad. Some of our youth are extremely clever. I hope that a group of hackers will get together, and will wage resistance over the Internet, targeting Israeli and Zionist sites and destroying them electronically. I view this as better than 20 jihad operations..."

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit

Al-Suwaidan Presentation: Four Phases to Restoring the Caliphate: 2011-2030

On November 21, 2011, Al-Suwaidan posted his presentation "Towards the New Islamic Civilization" on the popular website.[12] This slideshow is in English, but it is noted that an Arabic version is available. The presentation, with 135 slides, lays out Al-Suwaidan's vision for the return of the Caliphate, in four phases.

In his introductory remarks, Al-Suwaidan wrote: "This PowerPoint presentation summarizes the ideas of this change model. I’ve developed these ideas over a period of five years but really focused on the details during the last two. I plan to publish a book in Arabic on this topic."

Enumerating the "Major Crisis Factors" facing the Muslim world, Al-Suwaidan points to "Military Strength," underlining the Islamic countries' meager number of nuclear warheads in their possession. He states: "We may be able to provide numbers for our armies, but we import a large percentage of our weapons. When it comes to advanced weapons, we rely almost exclusively on Western countries. Although Iran and Pakistan purportedly have some nuclear capability, it is not known to surpass that of Israel and India."

Al-Suwaidan and Al-Risala TV

Al-Suwaidan Becomes Director General Of Al-Risala TV – Creating A Vehicle For Anti-West And Pro-Jihad Content

In March 2006, the Al-Risala TV network was founded by Saudi Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal, the 26th wealthiest person and the wealthiest Saudi in the world.[13] Al-Risala's advisory committee comprises leading Saudi religious figures from the Senior Ulema Commission, the Muslim World Congress, and the prince's Kingdom Holding Company, among others. According to a March 7, 2006 Saudi Gazette report, Prince Al-Waleed said that his new channel was family-oriented and created to "counteract the misconceptions about Islam" and to project it as a religion of tolerance. The channel's advisory committee includes Prince Bin Talal (center in photo below).[14]

Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal, center with Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel, vice-chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of Al-Waleed Bin Talal Foundation, hosts the first annual Ramadan lecture at Kingdom Resort, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on August 8, 2011. Al-Risala TV general manager Sheikh Tariq Al-Suwaidan spoke at the event. The lecture is billed as part of Al-Waleed's "vision to promote true and moderate Islam, and his desire to promote a culture of dialogue."[15]

The Al-Risala website also features a list of fatwas by anti-West Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradawi, who is spiritual advisor to the Muslim Brotherhood.[16]

An overwhelming amount of content on Al-Risala is anti-West in nature. The MEMRI TV Project has a page devoted to translations from Al-Risala TV. To view clips on this page, visit (See Appendix I for examples of anti-West content on Al-Risala.)

Al-Suwaidan On Al-Risala TV

November 5, 2007 Discussion On Al-Risala: Death For Any Muslim Who Tries To Leave Islam

In a November 5, 2007 discussion broadcast by the channel led by Al-Suwaidan, the majority of his audience agreed that the punishment for any Muslim who tries to leave Islam should be death. Al-Suwaidan asked: "We have a question for the viewers at home, not in the studio, and they can respond with a text message. What is the best way to deal with apostates who converted from Islam? You have three possible responses. The first is through dialogue only. The second option is killing them, and the third option is to leave it up to the legal system. Enter your votes, send in your answers, and the results will appear on the screen. As for the young people with us in the studio, you can participate in a survey on which we will base our discussion with our guests. You've heard one opinion, and my question is very simple: Does a Muslim have the liberty to change his religion or not? Does a Muslim have the liberty to change his religion?"[17]

The following are excerpts from the show:[18]

Al-Suwaidan: "I asked our audience for their views on this important issue. Does a Muslim have the liberty or the right to change his religion? The results are as follows: 24% said: "Yes, he has the right to change his religion." 76% of the people said: "No." Let's hear some opinions and then I will return to our guests." [...]

Audience member: "Sir, if you become an apostate, your punishment is death. There is a great problem that most of us, 70% of us, are Muslims because they were born to Muslim fathers and mothers. Before a person converts to Islam, he has the liberty to choose, but remember that if you want to convert from Islam, you will be punished by death. So you have the liberty to choose, but on the condition..."

Al-Suwaidan: "That's not liberty."

Audience member: "It has conditions..."

Al-Suwaidan: "What you are saying is: You have the right to become an apostate, but I will kill you."

Audience member: "That's right. I won't tell him not to."

Al-Suwaidan: "What can be worse than being killed?"

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit

Anti-West Incitement, Attacking Non-Muslims

Al-Suwaidan also uses Al-Risala as a platform for incitement against the West and to attack non-Muslims. On March 31, 2006, the channel broadcast his statements in English at a Copenhagen interfaith dialogue following the 2005 publication by a Danish newspaper of cartoons of Islam's Prophet Muhammad. He said: "The West have [sic] done strategic mistakes. And one of the major mistakes that they have done and they are doing is that they underestimate the power of Islam and the depth of Islam and the Muslim nation."

He continued, "You have seen in every situation when there is true elections that the people have chosen Islam. You have seen it in Egypt, you have seen it in Palestine, and you will see it everywhere. The West have [sic] no chance but to deal with Islam, and we are extending our hands in peace and dialogue – you have slapped it. We do not accept insults. We do not accept that you deal with us without respect."[19]

In Lecture On Al-Risala, Al-Suwaidan Encourages Muslim Nation To Work To Establish Caliphate

In a video of a lecture that was posted to YouTube on March 7, 2012 (to view video, visit, Al-Suwaidan said:

"Greetings, fellow revolutionaries. We felt that there was a huge lack of translated material from the revolutions in Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Tunisia and the rest of the Muslim world. A lot of non-Arabs are missing out on the change this Ummah is currently taking, due to the fact that they can't understand the revolutionary's language…"

He went on to explain that the Arab Spring would eventually lead to the return of the Caliphate: "I truly wish to be [among] those who take part in the reestablishment of the Khilafah Rashidah and the revival of this Islamic civilization, and I hope that you likewise take part (in this work) with me."

Al-Suwaidan At Conferences In The West

June 2012: Al-Suwaidan Returns To Australia

Sheikh Tareq Al-Suwaidan's June 9-18 trip to Australia, during which he is speaking at Monash University in Melbourne, and holding further lectures in Melbourne and Sydney,[20] is at the invitation of Human Appeal International-Australia (for his schedule, see The organization describes itself as a "charitable, humanitarian" NGO holding consultative status on the UN Social and Economic Council, and states that it has "carried out joint ventures with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for the Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and has reached several memorandums of understanding with UNICEF and the AGFUND."[21]

However, Human Appeal has been linked to financing of terrorists, in multiple media reports dating from 2003, 2006, and 2008. Its parent organization, Human Appeal International, has been described by the FBI and CIA as being funders of Hamas. According to Australia's ABC news, "[a] 1996 CIA document states: Human Appeal International probably acts as a fundraiser for the Palestinian extremist organisation Hamas. It goes on to state: Human Appeal International is linked to the now defunct charity Muwafaq, which was accused by the U.S. as being an Al Qaeda front organisation."[22]

Islamic Circle of North America Conference

At a conference of the Islamic Circle of North America in 2000, Al-Suwaidan said: "We must tell the West that we are extending a hand of peace now, but it will not be so for long."

He continued, "Even if a civilization is ready to crumble – like the West, with all the characteristics of deterioration of past fallen empires – it will not fall until we, the Muslims, strive to give it that last push, the last straw that will break the camel's back."[23]

Hamas-Front Islamic Association For Palestine (IAP) Conference, Chicago

At the conference of the Hamas-front Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) in Chicago in 2000, Al-Suwaidan called for ongoing jihad, to cheers from his audience:

"Palestine will not be liberated but through jihad. Nothing can be achieved without sacrificing blood. The Jews will meet their end at our hands."[24]


Appendix I: Other Anti-West Content On Al-Risala

Insulting Steve Jobs

A recent example of anti-West content on Al-Risala came on October 8, 2011, following the death of Steve Jobs, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple – of which Al-Suwaidan's close associate and employer Prince Al-Waleed owns 5%. The channel aired an interview with influential Saudi cleric Sa'd Bin Al-Shathari, who called Jobs "an infidel" and continued to insult him by stating that it is forbidden to pray to Allah to place him in Paradise.[25]

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit

Influential Sheikh: "There Is No Alternative But To Resort to the Gun... The West's Conflict With Islam and the Muslims Is Eternal"

The same month that Al-Risala was launched, on March 15, 2006, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Kubeisi stated on it: "When there is no hope for peace, there is no alternative but to resort to the gun... The West's conflict with Islam and the Muslims is eternal, a preordained destiny that cannot be avoided until Judgment Day."[26]

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit

Saudi Author: The West Is Inhabited By "Infidels" Who Practice Sexual Deviance – Including Marrying Animals

The following month, on an April 6, 2006 program on the channel produced by the Saudi Ministry of Religious Endowments, Daw'a, and Guidance, Saudi author Muhammad Al-Arifi claimed that the West is inhabited by "infidels" committing adultery. "If he [the infidel] feels like having any type of sexual relations, he does... they have organizations for homosexuals, organizations for people who marry animals,"[27] he said. He went on to state that Dutch women are so promiscuous that most of them are not sure who fathered their children.

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit

9/11 Conspiracy Theories

Al-Risala has also been a veritable platform for proponents of 9/11 conspiracy theories, with an emphasis on the theory that the Saudis are innocent and the U.S. is the one behind the attacks.

For example, on May 17, 2006, Dr. Salah Sultan, who at the time lived in the U.S. and now resides in Egypt, said on the channel: "I share the view of many Americans, French, and Europeans, who say that 9/11 could not have been carried out entirely from outside [the U.S.] – by Muslims or others… The entire thing was of a large scale and was planned within the U.S., in order to enable the U.S. to control and terrorize the entire world, and to get American society to agree to the war declared on terrorism, the definition of which has not yet been determined."[28]

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit

On December 2, 2011, Prince Al-Waleed's brother Prince Khaled Bin Talal appeared on the network and called the U.S. the real "terrorists." He went on to allege that Osama bin Laden is actually alive and in prison in the U.S.[29]

Appendix II: Support for Jihad and Martyrdom on Al-Risala

Programming on Al-Risala also features support for jihad and martyrdom. On one program, on January 22, 2008, Palestinian Kuwaiti cleric Sheikh Ahmad Al-Qattan explained what happens to a person after they perform a martyrdom operation: "The martyr gets seven rewards from Allah. From the first drop of his blood, he is pardoned. He sees his place in Paradise. He is spared the torments of the grave. He is spared the Great Horror [of Judgment Day]. He is crowned with the Crown of Glory, the stone of which is more precious than this entire world and what is in it. He is wedded to two... to seventy-two black-eyed women. And he vouches for 70 of his relatives to be admitted to Paradise."[30]

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit

Prior to this discussion, on a January 25, 2007 program on the channel, Egyptian cleric Hazem Sallah Abu Isma'il (who was recently disqualified from being a candidate in the 2012 Egyptian presidential elections) explained the rewards of martyrs. He said, "In Islam, one of the goals of jihad, one of the goals of fighting is for there to be martyrs. We used to think that when people are martyred, it is a disaster, but they are martyrs..."

He continued, "One of the goals of the Muslims is to attain martyrdom. This is very important. Why? Because a Muslim harbors the love of martyrdom. Of course, Western thinking does not understand this. They think this is a kind of suicide, despair, and so on. Absolutely not.

"The martyrs are the ones who have changed the course of history. They are the ones who have changed the course of human life. The course of human life proceeds this way, until a martyrdom-seeker collides with it, changing and diverting it. Whenever a martyrdom-seeker collides into it, he restores the course of humanity to the path planned by Allah. Men march towards evil this way, unless they encounter a mujahid who strikes at them, and diverts their course to what Allah had wanted.

"Therefore, for Muslims, martyrdom embodies hope, not disaster.... The [martyr] does not lose anything. He does not die. All of a sudden he ascends to the angels and lives next to Allah. He pleads on behalf of 70 of his family members.

"When a martyr is next to Allah, he has an important role and is greatly rewarded. He pleads on behalf of 70 of his family members. In his death, he feels no pain beyond a mosquito bite. That's it. Allah removes from him the marks of death and its torments. The martyr is not tested in his grave. He is not asked about his god or religion. The glitter of the sword over his head suffices.

"The Crown of Honor is placed on his head. The gem in this crown is more precious than the whole world. He is married off to 70 black-eyed virgins. If one of these virgins were to descend to this world, her light would extinguish the light of the sun and the moon. That's how beautiful she is."[31]

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit

Appendix III: Al-Risala Promotes Wife Beating, Chopping Off Hands

From its inception, Al-Risala's broadcast content often mocked Western laws, and has included support for wife beating[32] and Islamic punishments, including chopping off thieves' hands.[33]

For example, the Mufti of Egypt appeared on Al-Risala and discussed whether it is allowed to beat a wife. To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit

An example of support for chopping hands off for punishment as part of Islamic law can be viewed at

Islamic Scholars Support Al-Suwaidan's Call For Cyber Jihad

Following Al-Suwaidan's statement in support of cyber jihad, other Muslim scholars have come out in support of his statements. A researcher at the Saudi ministry of religious endowments, 'Abd Al-'Aziz Al-Tarifi, ruled that "it is permissible to use the stolen Israeli credit card [numbers], because they were issued by banks that are not Islamic... [located] in countries that have no contracts with the Islamic states. These countries are not peaceful, [so] the money [in their banks] is forfeited, and anyone who makes use of the stolen credit cards is not to be reproached." Al-Tarifi explained that this does not apply to "banks that are protected, [namely] Islamic banks or banks in countries that are at peace with the Islamic states. Nobody may take money from the accounts [in these banks] unless he has a [legal] right to do so."[34]

Fahd Bin Sa'd Al-Jahni, a Saudi lecturer in Islamic jurisprudence, wrote that the texts of the Koran and the Sunna on jihad are applicable to cyber warfare: "Among the various types of jihad are jihad of self [-sacrifice], jihad by money, and jihad of the word. The last category includes intellectual jihad, as well as jihad by writing and by da'wa... Any act that aggravates the enemy and helps the [Muslim] religion, and is carried out by legitimate means, is sanctioned by the shari'a. Therefore, there are numerous and diverse ways to support the religion [through activity] on websites. Some call this 'electronic jihad'... Any [act carried out] by the Muslims using legitimate tools... [and aimed at fighting] deviant thinking, websites [that spread] corruption, and websites belonging to those who attack the Muslims... such as the aggressive Zionists... counts as jihad, as long as it does not contravene the laws of warfare set out by Allah."[35]

Al-Azhar lecturer Dr. Mustafa Murad wrote in a similar vein: "Electronic jihad is a kind of jihad, for Allah the Almighty said in the Koran: 'And those who strive in Our [cause], We will certainly guide them to Our paths: For verily Allah is with those who do right [Koran 29:69]'... Jihad is not [confined to] jihad by the sword, by weapons and by other means of inflicting pain. It is permissible [to use] any tools that can realize the goal of attacking the enemies of Allah and punishing them for usurping [the Muslims'] rights and holy places." The spokesman of Al-Gama'a Al-Islamiyya in Egypt, 'Assem 'Abd Al-Maged, said: "Anything [that can be used to] fight evil and the plans of the enemies is a good thing. However, this requires clever planning, so that we do not open gates of harm that will be impossible to close again."[36]

Egyptian MP Mamdouh Isma'il, deputy chairman of the Egyptian Salafi party Al-Asala, said: "Electronic jihad is one of the ways to fight Israel, though there is no substitute for armed resistance, for Israel is occupying sacred land... There is no choice but to wage campaigns of inflaming and inciting [the people], [write] books, studies and articles, and [use] every effective means to fight the enemy... The hackers' activity against the Israeli websites, and the websites of the Mossad and of anyone else who harms Islam and the Muslims, constitutes a religious duty that is incumbent upon anyone who has the ability to perform it..."[37]

* Steven Stalinsky is Executive Director of the Middle East Media Research Institute.



[1] In March 2006, Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal's Kingdom Holding Company announced the launch of “Al-Risaala” headed by prominent Brotherhood leader in Kuwait, Dr. Tariq Al-Suwaidan. Saudi Gazette, September 29, 2010

[2] The Australian, June 7, 2012.

[3] For example, in an interview in English in February 2008 about Al-Risala TV, he stated, "So many people are spreading hate and fighting, that we feel we should spread peace and love by means of the true message of Islam. We only represent moderate and modern Islam."

[4] MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 3941, "U.S.-Educated Kuwaiti Islamist Preacher Tareq Al-Suwaidan, Manager of Al-Risala TV, Calls for Armed Resistance, Electronic Jihad Against Israel," June 23, 2011, U.S.-Educated Kuwaiti Islamist Preacher Tareq Al-Suwaidan, Manager of Al-Resala TV, Calls for Armed Resistance, Electronic Jihad Against Israel.

[5] In the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, United States of America vs. Holy Land Foundation For Relief and Development, "List of Unindicted Co-conspirators and/or Joint Ventures,"

[10] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 3823, "Article on Muslim Brotherhood Website: U.S. Terrorism Worse than Bin Laden's," May 9, 2011, Article on Muslim Brotherhood Website: U.S. Terrorism Worse than Bin Laden's.

MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 2165, "As Gaza Fighting Continues, Egyptian Clerics Intensify Antisemitic Statements; Columbus, Ohio Muslim Scholar/Leader Dr. Salah Sultan: Muhammad Said That Judgment Day Will Not Come Until Muslims Fight the Jews and Kill Them; American Will Suffer Destruction," December 30, 2008, As Gaza Fighting Continues, Egyptian Clerics Intensify Antisemitic Statements; Columbus, Ohio Muslim Scholar/Leader Dr. Salah Sultan: Muhammad Said That Judgment Day Will Not Come Until Muslims Fight the Jews and Kill Them; America Will Suffer Destruction.

MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 1168, "Columbus, Ohio Muslim Leader Says 9/11 Planned by Americans, Praises the Wanted Al-Qaeda-Linked Yemenite Sheikh Al-Zindani," May 19, 2006, Columbus, Ohio Muslim Leader Says 9/11 Planned by Americans, Praises the Wanted Al-Qaeda-Linked Yemenite Sheikh Al-Zindani.

MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 4534, "Egyptian Cleric Sallah Sultan, Founder of the Ohio-Based American Center for Islamic Research Discusses His Lecture in Dallas, Texas: War with the U.S. – Why Not? Allah Is on Our Side, and Will Obliterate America," February 29, 2012, Egyptian Cleric Sallah Sultan, Founder of the Ohio-Based American Center for Islamic Research Discusses His Lecture in Dallas, Texas: War with the U.S. - Why Not? Allah Is on Our Side, and Will Obliterate America.

[11] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 3941, "U.S.-Educated Kuwaiti Islamist Preacher Tareq Al-Suwaidan, Manager of Al-Risala TV, Calls for Armed Resistance, Electronic Jihad Against Israel," June 23, 2011, U.S.-Educated Kuwaiti Islamist Preacher Tareq Al-Suwaidan, Manager of Al-Resala TV, Calls for Armed Resistance, Electronic Jihad Against Israel.

[13] Macleod, Scott (1997-12-01). "Prince Alwaleed: The Prince and the Portfolio" (,9171,987451,00.html Retrieved 2011-12-19.

[14] Other committee members include: Sheikh Abdullah bin Sulaiman Al-Manai (Senior Ulema Commission, Saudi Arabia); Dr. Abdullah Omar Naseef (president of the Muslim World Congress); Dr. Hamed Ahmad Al-Refaie (secretary-general of the MWC and president of the International Islamic Forum for Dialogue); Dr. Abdullah Al-Muslih (Commission on Scientific Signs in the Quran and Sunnah); Sheikh Ali Al-Nashwan (executive manager of the prince's Kingdom Holding Company's Humanitarian Division, and religious advisor to the prince); Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Askar (former head of the media department at Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University); Dr. Walid Arab Hashem (Shura Council member); and Tareq Al-Suwaidan (Al-Risala general manager). Saudi Gazette (Saudi Arabia) , March 7, 2006.

[16] Ayat Basma, "Religious broadcasters avoid confrontation, " MEB Journal, Jan Feb 2008,,com_magazine/func,show_article/id,160/.

[17] See MEMRI TV Clip No. 1623, "Muslim Scholars Debate Apostates in Islam," November 5, 2007,

[18] See MEMRI TV Clip No. 1623, "Muslim Scholars Debate Apostates in Islam," November 5, 2007,

[19] See MEMRI TV Clip No. 1099, "Director-General of Al-Risala TV Scolds Counterparts at Copenhagen Dialogue for Prophet Muhammad Cartoons," March 31, 2006,

[20] The Australian, June 7, 2012

[23] The Australian, June 7, 2012.

[24] House Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs and International Relations of the House Committee on Government Reform, “An Investigation into the Modus Operandi of Terrorist Networks in the United States: The Structure of Osama Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, Hamas and other Jihadist Organizations in the United States,” Testimony of Steven Emerson, October 11, 2001.] For more on the Conference visit,

[25] MEMRI Special Dispatch No.4451, "On Channel Owned By Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal – Who Also Owns Part of Apple – Saudi Cleric Sa'd Bin Al-Shathari Says: It Is Forbidden to Pray to Allah to Place Steve Jobs in Paradise," On Channel Owned By Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal – Who Also Owns Part of Apple – Saudi Cleric Sa'd Bin Al-Shathari Says: It Is Forbidden to Pray to Allah to Place Steve Jobs in Paradise, January 26, 2012.

[26] See MEMRI TV Clip No. 1075, "Iraqi Cleric Ahmad Al-Kubeisi Promotes Jihad on a New Saudi Channel Broadcasting from Kuwait," March 15, 2006,

[27] See MEMRI TV Clip No. 1104, "Saudi Author Dr. Muhammad Al-'Arifi on Show Produced by Saudi Ministry of Religious Endowments: Women in the West Marry Dogs and Donkeys; 54% of Danish Women Do Not Know Who Fathered Their Babies," April 6, 2006,

[28] See MEMRI TV Clip No. 1143, "President of American Center for Islamic Research in Columbus, Ohio, Dr. Sallah Sultan: 9/11 Attacks Planned by Americans on the Basis of the Film "The Siege"," May 17, 2006,

[29]See MEMRI TV Clip No. 3229, "Saudi Prince Khaled Bin Talal: Bin Laden Is Alive and Being Held by the Americans; The Shiites in Saudi Arabia Are Loyal to Their Iranian Masters," December 2,2 011,

[30] See MEMRI TV Clip No. 1669, "Kuwaiti Cleric Ahmad Qattan on the Rewards of the Martyr in Paradise," January 22, 2008,

[31] See MEMRI TV Clip No. 1415, "Egyptian Cleric Hazem Sallah Abu Isma'il on the Rewards of the Martyr," January 25, 2007,

[32] See MEMRI TV Clip No. 1154, "Mufti of Egypt Sheik Ali Gum'a: Wife-Beating Is Permitted by Islam in Muslim Countries, but Is Forbidden in the West," May 26, 2006,

[33] See MEMRI TV Clip No. 1865, "Egyptian Cleric Hazem Abu Ismail Favor of Chopping Off Hands of Thieves: In 100 Years of Islamic Rule, There Were Only 4 Cases of Theft," September 3, 2008,

[34], January 29, 2012.

[35], January 28, 2012.

[36] MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 4483, "Muslim Clerics: Cyber Warfare against Israel Is a Form of Jihad," February 9, 2012, Muslim Clerics: Cyber Warfare against Israel Is a Form of Jihad.

[37] Al-Wafd (Egypt), January 22, 2012.

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