Following are excerpts from a speech given by Saudi cleric Dr. Nasser bin Suleiman Al-'Omar, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on April 19, 2006.
Dr. Nasser bin Suleiman Al-'Omar: Listen to this report, which was submitted by the American intelligence to the American officials, regarding the religion of Islam, which some think is defeated or weak today. According to the report, Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. Muslims will soon become one third of the world's population. Conversion to Islam increased significantly following 9/11.
In addition, U.S. Congressman John Morlan [sic] said: "The 21st century is the century of Islam, which will offer an opportunity for peace in the world." There is no doubt that it is Islam that will bring peace, and not the U.N., America, Russia, or anyone else.
What do the people who call for coexistence with the West say? They call for the abolishment of the so-called "clash of civilizations." How can you call upon us to abolish the clash of civilizations, while America violently attacks Muslims in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and in all corners of the world?
What the Jews are doing in Palestine... Look at what is happening in Palestine. How can anyone claim coexistence with such people is possible? This contradicts the Koranic verse: "They will not stop fighting you until they turn you back from your faith if they can."
Thirty years ago - some of the brothers who are still alive recall the pan-Arabist and Ba'thist slogans. The voice of Islam was barely heard in Palestine. What is happening now? A great transformation. After all the peace plans, the recurrent betrayals, and so on, Hamas, which has raised the banner of Jihad, along with all its brothers in Palestine, won these elections, which stunned the whole world.
Is the America of today the America of yesterday? Twenty or thirty years ago, many of our sons were dazzled by America, believing it to be the country of democracy, justice and liberty. Is that the reality today?
What liberty are they talking about, when America acts violently in all corners of the world, in Iraq, Palestine, Chechnya and Afghanistan?
What democracy? It did not come to our countries for the sake of liberty and democracy. What did they do when Hamas won the elections? Where is their democracy? Where is their liberty?
America is now disappearing from the hearts, within America itself and elsewhere, whereas Islam is growing even within America, my brothers. Islam is making steady progress in America. 25,000 people have converted to Islam every year since 9/11, and an even larger figure was mentioned in The New York Times.
As for the casualties in Iraq - brothers, America is now in a predicament. You follow the media. America is looking for a way out. Yes, I am aware of the harsh reality. I am aware of what is happening to our Muslim brothers in Iraq, and I'm referring especially to the Sunni Arabs, against whom all have conspired, and who have been deserted by their closest friends.
Nevertheless, according to the statistics, the number of American and allied casualties during the last pilgrimage month - and this figure came from one of the news agencies, and I've checked it with several of Iraq's religious scholars, who confirmed it... There have been more than 40,000 American and Western casualties in three years.
Do not believe the American reports. According to America it had around 2000 casualties, but in fact, the casualties number 40,000 or more.
By Allah, a number of Iraqi religious scholars came to me, and said: "We have a problem." What was the problem? They said: There have been so many American casualties that they loaded them on trucks and threw them away in the desert. But because the number of casualties was so high... The Iraqi scholars were asking me for a fatwa. They asked me to issue a fatwa on the following question: "Because there were so many casualties, the Americans began to throw them into the Tigris and the Euphrates. The fish have eaten from the flesh of the American and have gotten fat. Are we permitted to eat these fish or not?" Yes. This is the truth, brothers.
If they report about three operations in Iraq - in reality there are no fewer than 60-70 operations every day.
The Islamic nation now faces a great phase of Jihad, unlike anything we knew fifty years ago. Fifty years ago, Jihad was attributed only to a few individuals in Palestine, and in some other Muslims areas. Following the events of Afghanistan, the nation has embraced Jihad. Young and old, men and women - everyone is talking about Jihad.
Whoever is familiar with the Sunna and the Hadith knows that a battle against the enemies of Allah awaits on the horizon, in which the Muslims will be victorious. This is confirmed by the reliable hadiths, as well as by reality.
But some young people wish to expedite this, and because of their love for Jihad, get involved in things that are not Jihad. As I've said, all these minor battles, which took place in certain Muslim countries, only delay the victory. This diverts the strife and calamity into the lands of the Muslims, instead of aiming them directly at the enemies.
Yes, there are places where Jihad is proper - in Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq, Chechnya, Kashmir, and the Philippines. There are many places where Jihad is undoubtedly proper.