The following are excerpts from a speech by Libyan Leader, Mu'ammar Qadhafi, at the Arab League conference. Al-Arabia TV (UAE) aired this speech on March 23, 2005.
The issue that worries us is that the entire world talks about terrorism, morning, noon, and night. We are not dumb, we can talk.
What is terrorism? Has any American blown up an airplane? No. Has any American strapped on an explosives belt and gone to Cairo, Tripoli, or Algiers, to blow something up? Such a thing never happened. Has any Indian gone to China to blow something up? No. Has any Russian done such things? No. Has any Italian, any Frenchman...? No.
So who carries out terrorism? Who are the ones who blow up things – which is called terrorism? Terrorism is clearly limited. It takes place in Palestine, in Iraq, and in Afghanistan.
Therefore, terrorism is Islamic. Why do we say only "terrorism"? We should say "Islamic terrorism" because beyond these two areas there is no such thing as terrorism.
The IRA, which Libya has supported with weapons - this matter has been settled by negotiations between Britain and us in Cairo... Libya supported the IRA with weapons for Ireland's independence. Of course it is a terrorist organization, but it never had a bad reputation and international claims were never leveled against it. Ireland has been fighting for 300 years, but we've never heard of global terrorism there.
The Red Brigades in Italy killed people, and even kidnapped and killed the Italian prime minister, whose body hasn't been found to this day. No one claimed this was terrorism.
As for the Basques, fighting for the independence of the Basque region between France and Spain - although ETA, which is affiliated to them, is considered a terrorist organization, there has never been talk of [global] terrorism there.
These movements have been operating for decades. So where were the calls against terrorism, and the campaign against terrorism? They didn't exist. Therefore, when we talk about "war against terror," this means war on Islamic terrorism. We must be clear about this.
As for what terrorism is, what its causes are – this is another matter. But the current war and the campaign against terrorism - There is no global terrorism, there is Islamic terrorism.
I'd like to take this opportunity to say that the Palestinians… Where is Brother Abu Mazen? Ah, I see you, don't be angry – but the Palestinians and the Israelis are stupid. Why? I'll convince you, and explain to you why they are stupid.
First of all, the Israelis paid no attention to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for 20 years, and showed no interest in them. They declared statehood and called it Israel in 1948, and put aside the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since they considered [these areas] dispensable and unimportant, why are they fighting for them now? This is stupidity. Dozens of Jews are killed by Palestinian fedayeen even in Tel Aviv, because of their presence in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. If the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were so important, why did you abandon them in 1948? You abandoned them. They were unimportant.
As for the Palestinians – they are stupid because these territories were theirs. They were in their hands for 20 years. Why didn't they establish a state there? Why are they dying now by the dozens in order to establish a state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip? The West Bank and the Gaza Strip were yours. The West Bank was Jordan's, and Gaza belonged to Egypt since 1948. Why didn't you establish a Palestinian state then? Where was this problem until 1967? This leads to a moral, fundamental, and legal problem. It is impossible to recognize either. Both parties are guilty of stupidity.
You say that Sharon is the enemy of the Palestinians and the Arabs, that he is an arch-murderer, and so on… Another theory says Sharon is a collaborator with the Palestinians and the Arabs. How come? He commits acts that lead to the murder of dozens and hundreds of Israelis. Therefore, he must be an agent who has been planted among the Israelis.
Someone who brings upon his people such tragedies and massacres is an enemy of his people. His actions have negative consequences for the Israelis. Therefore, this is stupidity.