Following are excerpts from an address given by Hamas leader Khaled Mash'al at the Al-Murabit Mosque in Damascus. The address was delivered following the Friday sermon at the mosque and was aired on Al-Jazeera TV on February 3, 2006.
Khaled Mash'al: We apologize to our Prophet Muhammad, but we say to him: Oh Prophet of Allah, do not be saddened, your nation will be victorious.
We say to this West, which does not act reasonably, and does not learn its lessons: By Allah, you will be defeated. You will be defeated in Palestine, and your defeat there has already begun. True, it is Israel that is being defeated there, but when Israel is defeated, its path is defeated, those who call to support it are defeated, and the cowards who hide behind it and support it are defeated. Israel will be defeated, and so will whoever supported or supports it.
America will be defeated in Iraq. Wherever the [Islamic] nation is targeted, its enemies will be defeated, Allah willing. The nation of Muhammad is gaining victory in Palestine. The nation of Muhammad is gaining victory in Iraq, and it will be victorious in all Arab and Muslim lands. "Their multitudes will be defeated and turn their backs [and flee]." These fools will be defeated, the wheel of time will turn, and times of victory and glory will be upon our nation, and the West will be full of remorse, when it is too late.
They think that history has ended with them. They do not know that the law of Allah cannot be changed or replaced. "You shall not find a substitute for the law of Allah. You shall not find any change to the law of Allah." Today, the Arab and Islamic nation is rising and awakening, and it will reach its peak, Allah willing. It will be victorious. It will link the present to the past. It will open up the horizons of the future. It will regain the leadership of the world. Allah willing, the day is not far off.
Don't you see that every act of deceit they contrive is being turned against them by Allah? Don't you see that they make every effort to defeat us militarily, but fail to do so? Israel and the occupation forces in Iraq are supplied with the entire Western military arsenal, yet they fail and are defeated.
Don't you see that they believe they are capable of using democracy to deceive the people, but then democracy is turned against them? Don't you see that they are spending their money in efforts to block the way of Allah, to thwart Hamas, to defeat it, and to help those whom they want, but [this plot] is turned against them? They are not acting reasonably.
They do not understand the Arab or Muslim mentality, which rejects the foreigner. Our Arab forefathers, before the advent of Islam, rejected the aggressors and the foreigners.
I bring good tidings to our beloved Prophet Muhammad: Allah's promise and the Prophet's prophecy of our victory in Palestine over the Jews and over the oppressive Zionists has begun to come true.
I say to the [European countries]: Hurry up and apologize to our nation, because if you do not, you will regret it. This is because our nation is progressing and is victorious. Do not leave a black mark in the collective memory of the nation, because our nation will not forgive you.
Tomorrow, our nation will sit on the throne of the world. This is not a figment of the imagination, but a fact. Tomorrow we will lead the world, Allah willing. Apologize today, before remorse will do you no good. Our nation is moving forwards, and it is in your interest to respect a victorious nation.
Our nation will be victorious. When it reaches the leadership of the world, and controls its own will decisions, then it will prevent this overt interference [in our affairs], and its pillaging of natural resources, and will prevent these recurring offenses against our land, against our nation, and against our holy places – then you will regret it.
The Western countries must stop the fools. Are these reasonable people? They allow offenses against Allah and the prophets. They are not offending only Muhammad, but all the prophets. But when an historian among them talks about the Holocaust, it is the sin of all sins. If anybody criticizes the Jews, this constitutes anti-Semitism. By law, they hold their own people accountable [for that]. The West, which waved the slogans of liberty after the French Revolution, three centuries ago, does not respect its own principles or slogans today. It violates them.
This victory, which was clearly evident in the elections, conveys a message to Israel, to America, and to all the oppressors around the world: You have no way of overcoming us. If you want war, we are ready. If you want democracy, we are ready. Whatever you want – we are ready. You will not defeat us. The time of defeat is over. Defeat within six days, defeat within hours, the defeat of armies – all this is over.
Today, you are fighting the army of Allah. You are fighting against peoples, for whom death for the sake of Allah, and for the sake of honor and glory, is preferable to life. You are fighting a nation that doest not tire, even after a 1,000 years of fighting. Today, you are facing peoples filled with faith, with the love of Allah, the love of Allah's Prophet, with bravery, glory, and pride – a nation that knows its way, a nation that knows what it is, a nation that respects itself. How can you possibly defeat us?
There is a chasm between you and our defeat. You will be the ones to be defeated, Allah willing. The time of defeat is gone, and the day of victory has come, Allah willing. Wherever you turn, you will fail.
Crowd: Death to Israel. Death to Israel. Death to America.
Khaled Mash'al: Before Israel dies, it must be humiliated and degraded. Allah willing, before they die, they will experience humiliation and degradation every day. America will be of no avail to them. Their generals will be of no avail to them. The last of their generals has been forgotten. Allah has made him disappear. He's over. Gone is that Sharon, behind whose back they would hide and find shelter, and with whom they would feel relatively secure. Today they have frail leaders, who don't even know where our Lord placed them.
Allah willing, we will make them lose their eyesight, we will make them lose their brains.
Their weapons will be of no avail to them. Their nuclear weapons will be of no use to them. They thought that they had hegemony over the region with their nuclear weapons, but suddenly Pakistan popped up with Islamic nuclear weapons, and they are afraid of Iran and several Arab countries have some chemical weapons.
Israel has begun to sense that its superiority has come to an end. Its army, which has superior conventional weapons – the air force, the armored corps, and the missiles – there are no longer wars in which these are used.
The Arabs have said: We don't want [conventional] wars, thank you very much. Leave the war to the peoples. Today, the Israeli weapons are of no use against the peoples. We have imposed a new equation in the war. In this equation, our tools are stronger. That is why we will defeat them, Allah willing.
"If you fight them, they will turn their backs on you, and will not be victorious." But the problem is that we need to fight them first. If we sleep at home, how are we to beat them?! "If you fight them..." – that is a divine promise... "If" – It is conditional: "If you fight them, they will turn their backs on you and will not be victorious." And indeed, when we began to fight, and we armed ourselves with a will to fight, we defeated them.
That is why Allah Akbar [Allah is greater]. We say that every day – Allah Akbar. Yes, Allah is greater than America. Allah is greater than the oppressors. Allah is greater than the superpowers. Allah is greater than the tyranny of the oppressing world, and Allah is greater than Israel. Since Allah is greater, and He supports us, we will be victorious.
By Allah, I know that all Arab leaders – and I have met many of them – deep inside want the resistance in Palestine to be victorious, and want Palestine to be liberated. Perhaps the need for flattery and for diplomacy, and the American hegemony force other things on them, but in their hearts they are happy when we are victorious.
If before the Hamas victory, there were several military wings, each with a few hundred or a few thousand fighters, under the rule of Hamas, if you continue to besiege us, to starve our people, to ignore our rights, and if you continue your occupation, your aggression, and your assassinations, we, the Hamas, will declare a general call to arms. We will place the entire Palestinian people at the disposal of the resistance and its weapons.
Crowd: Allah akbar, Allah be praised. Allah akbar, Allah be praised. Allah akbar, Allah be praised. Allah akbar, Allah be praised. Allah akbar, Allah be praised. Allah akbar, Allah be praised.
Khaled Mash'al: Be careful not to drive our people into a corner - Occupation, aggression, assassinations, 9,000 male and female prisoners, preventing aid, imposing a siege, causing starvation – and on top of all this, you don't want to recognize democracy and its results.
The German [Chancellor Angela] Merkel pops up and says: Democracy and success in the elections are not sufficient for Hamas to gain legitimacy. To hell with you all. How are we supposed to gain legitimacy? When you said we had the legitimacy of resistance, you called it terrorism. Now, we say we have the legitimacy of democracy, but you deny it. In that case, you yourself are not legitimate, because you emerged through democracy. This is the logic of a frail and defeatist person.
Brothers and sister, there is confusion in the Western world, and in the American administration. Allah has come to them from where they did not expect him. That is the grace of Allah. That is why we do not fear them. We do not fear their threats.
Today they give us an ultimatum: Recognize Israel. Wonderful! The murderer is not required by anyone to recognize the rights of his victim, but the victim is required to recognize the rights of his murderer, and to sing his praises.
Hamas has a vision. Hamas has a plan. Hamas can manage the political battle, just like it managed the military battle, but in a different language, with different tools, and recognizing Israel is not one of them. Nor is giving up the rights, giving up the right to resistance, and nor is giving up the weapons of the resistance.
Nevertheless, we want to deal with politics, but there is a difference between the politics of the weak and defeatists, which we will constantly repeat – the kind of politics that does not impress the enemy and so it does nothing, because, like in the market, products that are praised too much become cheap. If we continue to praise our products, constantly saying: "We love peace," "We have given up the option of war," "Peace is our strategic option," "For God's sake, Israel, give us a few scraps of land" – By Allah, we will be degraded in the eyes of our enemies.
We will conduct our politics in the language of victory. We will conduct our policy in a confident language. We will conduct our politics in the language of those who are steadfast and sure of themselves. Besides, by Allah, after the people has elected us, and has bestowed upon us all this power, we will disrespect its rights?
The people has given us a deposit, and has empowered us to liberate its land, to restore Jerusalem and its holy places. It has empowered us to release 9,000 male and female prisoners. It has empowered us to stop the aggression, to liberate the land, and to restore its rights. The people has empowered us to bring back 5.5 million Palestinian refugees and displaced people to their homeland. After all this, Hamas – in order to please America and the European Union, and in order for the pressure on us to stop, and in order for their highnesses to allow us to establish a government... We are not trying to please them.
I say to America, Europe, and the West: It is in your interests to change your relations and policies regarding the Arab and Islamic nation and the Palestinian cause. Because we are winning, it is in your interests to deal with the victors, not the losers.
Israel will be defeated and will be of no use to you. The Arabs will be victorious. The Muslims will be victorious. Palestine will be victorious. Change your policy soon, if you want to protect your interests, and maintain healthy relations with the East.