Following are excerpts from a religious show featuring Saudi cleric Salman Al-Odeh, which aired on MBC TV on September 14, 2007
Salman Al-Odeh: I say to my brother Osama: How much blood has been shed, and how many innocent people, children, elderly, and women have been killed, displaced, or banished in the name of Al-Qaeda? Would you be pleased to meet Allah while you bear responsibility for hundreds or even millions of people?
The Prophet Muhammad said that anyone who killed even a bird unjustly will meet Allah on Judgment Day, and the bird will say to Allah: "Ask so-and-do why he killed me unjustly." This religion protects the sanctity of the blood of even birds and animals. The Prophet Muhammad said about a prophet who burned an anthill: "Just because one ant bit you, you burned an entire colony of ants that were praising Allah?" This is all the more true when it comes to human beings.
My brother Osama Bin Laden, the image of Islam is not at its best today. People all over the world say that Islam kills anyone who is not of this religion, and that Salafism kills any Muslim who does not believe in it, whereas the Prophet Muhammad refrained from killing even the hypocrites, about whom Allah said they would dwell in the lowest level of hell. The Prophet Muhammad said that the reason was so that people would not say that Muhammad kills his friends.
My brother Osama, what happened on 9/11 was the killing of several thousands, maybe less than 3,000, who died aboard the planes and in those towers, whereas there are unknown preachers, through whom Allah has guided hundreds of thousands of people, who have been enlightened by the light of Islam, and whose hearts have been filled with the love of Allah. Is the difference not clear between one who kills and one who gives life?
My brother Osama, the annihilation of an entire people, like what is happening in Afghanistan, through destruction and through hunger... This people has lost its entire infrastructure... Or the destruction of another people, like what is happening in Iraq... There are more than three million refugees in Jordan and Syria alone, apart from those who went to other countries in the East or West. The specter of civil war, which hovers over Afghanistan and Iraq, is not something about which Muslims are happy. The Prophet Muhammad heard about a man called Harb ("war") and changed his name, because he loathed war. Our God said: "Fighting is ordained for you, even though you hate it." This is a hateful thing to which people resort only when it is necessary, and when there is no other choice.
Who benefits from the attempts to change countries like Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, or any other country into countries governed by fear, where people feel unsafe? Should coming to power be the goal? Is it the solution? Are [you] determined to come to power, even if it is over the bodies of thousands and hundreds of thousands of policemen, soldiers, ordinary Muslims, or innocent people who are sometimes killed, and then you say that they will be resurrected according to their intentions. Indeed they will, but the question is how we shall be resurrected, and how we shall appear when we meet our God, when so much blood has been shed under our patronage, whether we like it or not.