Following are excerpts from a speech by Iraqi cleric Sheik Hareth Al-'Ubeidi, which aired on Baghdad TV on October 31, 2008.
Sheik Hareth Al-'Ubeidi: The Prophet Muhammad promised us that Constantinople, or Istanbul, would be conquered, and indeed it was. Today, Istanbul is a Muslim city. It is part of a Muslim country. It is a city that symbolizes Islam. Istanbul was conquered, as the Prophet Muhammad foretold. When was it conquered? Much later, in the days of Muhammad the Conqueror. The promise of the Prophet was fulfilled later, in the Ottoman period. That's with regard to Istanbul and the promise of the Prophet Muhammad.
He also said that Rome would be conquered, and we will see that in the future. It will not necessarily be conquered by the sword and through fighting. No! Maybe it will be conquered by means of preaching. Islam will be spread there, and people will see the light of Islam, and thus, the city will be conquered. This promise has yet to be fulfilled, but it is inevitable. We can swear that this will happen. We have no doubt about this.