Following are MEMRI TV clips of comments from Al-Jazeera TV on the Tunisian uprising, by prominent Sunni Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi, Libyan Leader Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi, and Tunisian Islamist opposition leader in exile Rachid Al-Ghannouchi.
Leading Sunni Scholar Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi Says to Ousted President Ben Ali: "You Idiot! It Took Four Weeks and Hundreds of Casualties for You to Get It?!"
Following are excerpts from an address by leading Sunni scholar Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on January 16, 2011:
To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit http://www.memri.org/legacy/clip/0/0/0/0/0/0/2761.
Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: "We salute the [Tunisian] people, which has taught the Arab and Islamic peoples, as well as the oppressed peoples in general, the following lesson: Do not despair, and do not fear the tyrants, for the tyrants are weaker than a fly, and more feeble than a spider-web. They quickly collapse in the face of the power of steadfast and resolute peoples. [...]
"After these words of salutation, we would like to advise the Tunisian people to protect its achievements, which it gained only with the blood of free people, with the lives that were lost, and with the pure blood that was shed.
"The thieves of the revolutions must not deceive or make a mockery of the people. There are people who steal revolutions from their owners. They excel at this. I would like to warn the Tunisians to be on the lookout for such people. [...]
"Let me ask the new president, Mr. [Fouad] Mebazaa, why he hasn't published, since he came... He should have begun by releasing the political prisoners, who were unjustly thrown into prison, merely because they held opposing views. They must be set free.
"The detainees who have been held without trial and without evidence must be released immediately. Some things must not be postponed. Freedom must be made available to all – to all those whose hands were shackled or whose tongues were silenced, so that they would not speak or express a view regarding the building and revival of their country. All these people must be set free.
"I have often said, on this TV show as well as on others, that as far as I am concerned, freedom takes precedence over the implementation of the shari'a. There must be no restrictions on liberties.
"How is it possible that the tyrant has been toppled, yet liberties remain [restricted]? I am astounded by this. The tyrant has fallen, yet his followers remain in power." [...]
Interviewer: "This revolution began when a young man set himself on fire, in protest against the injustice he suffered, and so on. One of our viewers, Abdallah Ja'far, asks: Is the case of Mohamed Bouazizi, which led to the Tunisian uprising, an exceptional form of Jihad against the oppressor, or was it suicide?"
Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: "Anybody who considers the matter in a comprehensive manner undoubtedly sees that this young man and others like him had mitigating circumstances. These [rulers] have brought the people to a state of psychological crisis. In my view, he was not free when he made this decision. He was seething from within. [...]
"The tyrants never listen and never heed advice, until they are toppled. Once they are toppled... After four weeks, Ben Ali said: I get it. You idiot! It took four weeks and hundreds of casualties for you to get it?! Why didn't you get it during all this time? This is the case with all the tyrants."
Libyan Leader Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi to the Tunisians: "You Have Brought Shame upon the Arab Peoples"
Following are excerpts from an address by Libyan leader Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on January 14, 2011:
To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit http://www.memri.org/legacy/clip/0/0/0/0/0/0/2760.
Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi: "Wikileaks, which people call 'Kleenex,' makes fun of you, and publishes information written by ambassadors who are liars, in order to pit peoples against one another and cause confusion. We have some of them here.
"We will place the ambassadors who wrote this on trial. We will take them to court, either as witnesses or as the accused. They should prove the truth of what they wrote to Washington about Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, or France. We will place them on trial.
"First, we will treat them as witnesses. Prove to us that such corruption exits. If you wrote that such-and-such a company exists in such-and-such a place, you should prove that such a company exists. If it doesn't exist, it means you lied, and you become an accused.
"Why shouldn't the U.S. ambassador be placed on trial? They place heads of state on trial. They order to bring [Omar] Al-Bashir to court, the Liberian president to court, and the president of Yugoslavia to court. Yet a U.S. ambassador cannot be placed on trial?! He will be placed on trial, if he lied. [...]
"Even you, my Tunisian brothers, may have read nonsense by this Kleenex on the Internet. Any drunken idiot can write whatever he likes on the Internet, and people believe him. The Internet is like a garbage bin. Any dimwit, any dog, any liar, any drunk, any opium addict can say whatever he likes on the Internet, and you read it and believe him. Talking is free. Should we become victims of Facebook, of Kleenex, and of YouTube? [...]
"You call this a revolution, but is there any respectable revolution in which people go the prisons and free the worst criminals and murderers? You let them roam the streets at night, with their knives, to terrorize Tunisian families. You call this a revolution?! Dozens of wretched people are killed in prison...
"Tunisia, I'm sad to say, is entering a state of anarchy, the end of which is unknown. Tomorrow, the entire Tunisian people might enter Libya. That's why what happens in Tunisia is of great interest to me. [...]
"The Tunisians are a cultured people, respected and esteemed by all. Is it like in Romania, in the days of Ceauşescu, or like in Kenya? It matters to me, for Tunisia is an Arab country. You have brought shame upon the Arab peoples with what you have done. [...]
"Zine [Al-Abidine Ben Ali] is the best leader for Tunisia. That is truth. He brought Tunisia to where it is today. I don't care if you are for or against him, if you love him or hate him. I am telling you the truth. Zine hasn't given me money, glory, or anything in return. But I am telling you the truth." [...]
Rachid Al-Ghannouchi, Tunisian Islamist Opposition Leader in Exile, Calls to Topple the Dictatorship
Following are excerpts from an interview with Rachid Al-Ghannouchi, a Tunisian Islamist opposition leader in exile, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on January 15, 2011:
To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit http://www.memri.org/legacy/clip/0/0/0/0/0/0/2759.
Rachid Al-Ghanouchi: "I salute the Tunisian youth and women, who have managed to teach the greatest dictator in Tunisian history a lesson. They kept chanting: 'Ben Ali, you coward, Tunisia will never be humiliated.' Indeed, Allah has made their hopes come true, and Ben Ali turned out to be a coward, and fled like a mouse in the still of night. [...]
"What remains is for them not to make do with the toppling of the dictator, but to bring down the dictatorship. There still is a dictatorship in Tunisia. The ruler is gone, but the regime remains. It is evident in the constitution itself.
"The Tunisian constitution was tailored to the needs of the dictator, who has taken control of the entire country. This dictatorship is evident in the laws pertaining to the political parties. There is a complete legal system. The police is unrestrained. The dictatorship is evident in the entire structure of this state, which was tailored to the needs of a single political party. Consequently, it has turned into a mafia state, a police state, and a dictator state." [...]