In August 1991, the South African Muslim scholar Ahmed Deedat said that he hates the Jews and the Americans and that he wanted "to see something done to the Jews, and something done to America." "If I had a laser gun, if I had an atom bomb, and if I could aim it on the Jews – Israel – I would do it," he said. Deedat, who died in 2005, claimed to be "intoxicated" by Saddam Hussein, praised him for his threats against the U.S. and Israel, and said that he was "prepared to overlook" Saddam's sins because he was going to "fix America right" and "fix the Jews right," but that Saddam "has lost the road." These statements were made in the framework of a series of lectures given by Deedat in the UK in 1991, titled "Mother of All Injustices" – a play on Saddam Hussein's pledge of the "mother of all battles" – which dealt with the question whether Gulf countries could rely upon the help of the U.S. and the West in driving Saddam out of Kuwait. Deedat was in favor of such Western intervention. In the course of one of the lectures, Deedat showed photographs of a tour he had made in the Dhahran military base in Saudi Arabia, where he had lectured to U.S. soldiers. The excerpts presented here are from lectures delivered at the Young Muslims Youth Camp in Worcester on August 11, 1991, and at the Islamic Cultural Centre at Regent's Park Mosque, London, on August 4, 1991.
Ahmed Deedat: "I hate the Jews. We all hate the Jews. Me, personally – I don't hate individual Jews. I hate Israel for what they are doing to my people, my sons and daughters. I hate them for that. If I had a laser gun, if I had an atom bomb, and if I could aim it on the Jews – Israel – I would do it."
Audience member: "Say: 'Allah Akbar!'"
Audience: "Allah Akbar!"
Ahmed Deedat: "In the process, my Palestinian brothers and sisters will die – to me, Allah will give them reward on the other side, but I would do the job, I wouldn't wait for one minute. By Allah, I wouldn't wait for one minute, if I had it. I hate the Jews for what they have done – they robbed my people of the land, and now what they are doing to my brothers and sisters, my children. I hate them for that. And by extension, I hate the Americans. It is America that has caused all this problem. At the end of November, 1947, America forced this resolution to the United Nations – partitioning Palestine. Did you know that?
"We are not only fighting the Jews. We are fighting America. The whole world now... We have reached the stage where the whole world realizes that injustices are done by the Jews against the Palestinians. The whole world... And they pass resolutions. America, the godfather of Israel, vetoes it. 81 vetoes against resolutions by the whole world... The whole world is on one side, America and the illegitimate bastard child is on the other side, and they veto. They veto, veto, veto.... 81 vetoes. How do you feel? How do I feel? Frustrated.
"Now, my senses are not there. I want to see something done to the Jews, and something done to America. This is my feeling, everybody's feeling. So now my brother [Saddam Hussein] comes along, and he says: 'Mother of all battles.' That's the declaration he made: 'Mother of all battles.' He gave the start. Now everybody is [saying] Mother of this, mother of that... 'Mother of all battles.' And it intoxicates everybody, including me. Although I said: 'This is not right, what he has done is not right,' but now he is promising me that he is going to send the American boys and girls back in body bags. For a change, after 81 vetoes... And Israel – he says 'I will burn half of Israel.' How did you feel? How nice.
"After 42 years, we have a brother now. He is going to do the job for us. That's what he said. I don't know whether you remember. 'Sons and daughters of the Americans – I'll send them back in body bags.' And Israel: 'Half of Israel, I'm going to burn it.' He has committed many sins, Saddam, but I am still prepared to overlook them – me, you, I think everybody. Look, because of him, one million Muslims died between Iran and Iraq. That's normal. We'll overlook that. He's raped Kuwait – we'll overlook it. He's killed the Kurds, poison-gassed the Kurds – men, women, and children, 5,000 in Halabja – we'll overlook it. He has been arming General Aoun in Lebanon to kill the Muslims – I say we will overlook it. He is going to do our job for us. He is going to do our job for us. He will fix America right. He will fix the Jews right.
"But he lost the road. Instead of going to Israel, he goes to Kuwait. No, he lost the road, and that is pitiful."
Audience member: "You talked about justice in your speech, and how important it is that we mustn't let our emotions get in the way. But then you went on to do exactly that, by saying that you would drop an atom bomb on Israel. How can you say that, and where in the Quran and Sunna does it say that we are allowed to indiscriminately kill women and children, who may very well be innocent?"
Ahmed Deedat: "My dear sister, I was talking emotionally. This is how I feel. But if I had it... If we were Muslims and we were at war with Japan, during the Second World War with Japan – and you know it will cost you half a million lives before you can subdue Japan... The alternative was: Either you throw the atom bomb and save your half a million, or allow half a million to die. I, as a natural person, a sensible person, I would be prepared to drop the atom bomb.
"But now, with regard to all your piety, religiosity, and spirituality, my dear sister – I have no answer. What you would do – I don't know. But I, if I had that thing in my hand, I would give an ultimatum: the immediate release of the Palestinians, immediate declaration of undeclaration of Israel... Immediate. If not – I'm giving you warning... I'm giving you warning... If you don't listen, I say you're gonna get it – exactly as America gave [Saddam an ultimatum to withdraw] until January 15. Similarly, I say: 'Now, I won't wait for such a long period.' I say: '24 hours. I want a declaration immediately.' If I had the thing that I press the button and I could destroy the country, I say: 'Look, this is what I would do.'
"And I am no angel, I am telling you. I am not a Sufi, a spiritual person – nothing. I am just an ordinary human being, like any other Muslim. I say this is how my mind works and this is what I would do. On that higher level of standards, I leave it for better people to talk, discuss and debate. I am not fit for that."
Audience member: "You did not answer my question. Is there evidence in the Quran and Sunna to support what you say? What does Islam say on the subject?"
Ahmed Deedat: "You will ask the scholars, they will answer you.
"I don’t like the Jews – not as a people, but what the nation is doing to my brothers and sisters – I hate them for it. I hate that Israeli nation for what they are doing to my children. If I had the atom bomb, and if I could direct it onto that nation – I would do it. It will kill some Palestinians too. I say: Just too bad. Allah will give them Paradise on the other side, Allah willing. I believe that – martyr, martyr. But I will do it, because the wrongs that they are doing – I hate them so much. And by extension, I hate the Americans, because they created the problem.
"My dear brothers, I am telling you now, I am warning you, if this is how you behave, like little children, like the Christians behave, I am going to close the meeting, and I am going to walk out. And you'll say: 'Deedat ran away.' I am prepared to answer you. I am not running away. If you want to deliver lectures – the man tells you: 'Come along and organize, they'll listen to you.' Ask the question, and I will answer.
"Now there you are – like little children. The only time I came across an audience like this was in India – Indian Christians, like little puppies... Indian Christians – they behave like this. May Allah forgive me. My time... Discipline, discipline... This is 'the best nation brought forth [as an example] for Mankind.' Allah says: 'You are the best nation brought forth [as an example] for Mankind.'
"Discipline, brothers, discipline. Man... Look... I went and lectured to the Americans, just before coming here, in Dhahran [in KSA], at the military base. I have got pictures here. And you watch the people, the Christian Americans... There are video tapes that will be available. The discipline, the attention with which they are listening... You pay the guy 10,000 dollars each to sit like this, and this is how you must look at the speaker. And you will digest and absorb everything that he says.
"I say, the guys couldn't have done it. Ten thousand dollars each – they couldn't have done it. But the Americans – the discipline that they have, it overwhelms you. Man, I take off my hat to the people. They are given a hearing... It is undermining their religion. What I am saying is undermining his religion, and yet he is prepared to applaud you if he has got the right... If he feels that you had a logical answer, but he doesn't accept your conclusion, but still he applauds you. Here, my brothers... 'My turn, I put my hand up first' – like little puppies, like little children. Why do you behave like that?"