BBC NEWS | Europe | New Bin Laden tape threatens EU
BBC NEWS | Europe | New Bin Laden tape threatens EU
New Bin Laden tape threatens EU
The voice on it says the cartoon, re-published recently in all major Danish newspapers, was part of a crusade involving Pope Benedict XVI.
The drawing, first published in 2005, depicts the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb in his turban.
The voice on the audio has not yet been verified as belonging to Bin Laden.
The message comes on the fifth anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq.
But the BBCs Jonathan Beale in Washington says that the message was probably released to not to mark that anniversary, but rather the anniversary of the birth of Prophet Muhammad, which Sunni Muslims mark on Thursday.
It appeared on a Islamist website that has carried al-Qaeda messages in the past.
Over the audio is a graphic with a still image of Bin Laden holding an AK-47 and bearing the logo of al-Sahab, the media wing of al-Qaeda. There is a written translation of the message in English.
John Pike, director of the defence think tank GlobalSecurity.org, said bin Laden had chosen to talk about the cartoon in an effort to remain relevant and provide direction to followers.
“His judgement is that its a consistent crowd-pleaser, and that if he has any hope of getting people stirred up, this is probably a good way to try to do it.”
Last month, Denmarks leading newspapers reprinted one of 12 cartoons that first angered many Muslims when they were originally published in September 2005.
Anger in the Muslim world peaked in 2006 as newspapers in other countries published the cartoons.
If there is no check on the freedom of your words, then let your hearts be open to the freedom of our actions
Words attributed to Osama bin Laden
What the cartoons show
Some of the protests turned violent and led to the torching of Danish diplomatic offices in Damascus and Beirut and dozens of deaths in Nigeria, Libya and Pakistan.
The Danish newspapers decided to republish the most controversial drawing after Danish intelligence said it had uncovered a plot to kill the cartoonist.
The re-printed drawing shows the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb in his turban. Islamic law forbids any representation of the Prophet.
The message attributed to bin Laden says the attacks of Europeans on women and children “paled [in comparison] when you went overboard in your unbelief and… went to the extent of publishing these insulting drawings.
“This is the greatest misfortune and the most dangerous,” the voice says.
“If there is no check on the freedom of your words, then let your hearts be open to the freedom of our actions”.
It is not clear when the message was recorded. The last audio message attributed to Bin Laden appeared in November but he has not been seen on video since October 2004.
He is believed to be in hiding on the rugged border area between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
You can read a transcript (not mine) of the message:
May our Mothers be bereaved of us if we fail to help our Prophet (peace be upon him)
In the name of Allah, the Most compassionate, the Most merciful. To the intelligent ones in the European Union: peace be upon he who follows the guidance. This talk of mine is to you and concerns the insulting drawings and your negligence in spite of the opportunity presented to take the necessary measures to prevent their being repeated.
To begin, I tell you: hostility between human beings is very old, but the intelligent ones among the nations in all eras have been keen to observe the etiquettes of dispute and morals of fighting. This is the best for them, a conflict is ever changing, and war has its ups and downs. However, you, in your conflict with us, have abandoned many of the morals of fighting in practice, even if you hold aloft its slogans in theory. How it saddens us that you target our villages with your bombing: those modest mud villages, which have collapsed onto our women and children. You do that intentionally, and I am witness to that. All of this you do without right and in conformity with your oppressive ally who- along with his aggressive policies – is about to depart the White House.
And it is no longer hidden from you that these savage acts haven’t ended the war, but rather, increase our determination to cling to our right, avenge our people and expel the invaders from our country. And you also know now that these massacres are never erased from the memory of the peoples and the effects of this are not hidden. Although our tragedy in your killing of our women and children is a very great ones, it paled when you went overboard in your unbelief and freed yourselves of the etiquettes of dispute and fighting and went to the extent of publishing these insulting drawings. This is the greater and more serious tragedy, and reckoning for it will be more severe.
And I bring your attention to a more telling matter, which is that despite your publishing of the insulting drawings, you haven’t seen any reaction from the one and a half billion muslims, which includes an insult to the Prophet of Allah, Jesus the son of Mary (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). We believe in all of the Prophets (peace and blessings be upon them), and whoever detracts from or mocks any one of them is an apostate unbeliever. And here it is worth pointing out that there is no need to use as an excuse, the sacredness you accord freedom of expression and the sacredness of your laws and how you wont change them. If so, then on what basis were American Soldiers exempted from being subject to your laws on your land? And on what basis do you suppress the freedom of those who cast doubt on the statistics of a historical event?
In Addition, you know that there is one man who can put an end to these drawings, if it mattered to him: the crownless king in Riyadh, who ordered your legal institutions to stop their investigations into the embezzlement of billions from the al-Yamamah deal, and Bair carried this out, and he is today your representative in the quartet. To sum up, then the laws of men which clash with the legislations of Allah the Most High are null and void, aren’t sacred, and don’t matter to us. And in addition, yout practical stance towards the al-Yamamah deal required you to admit that there are some values which are greater than your values. In closing, I tell you: If there is no check on the freedom of your words, then let your hearts be open to the freedom of our actions.
And it is amazing and to make light of others that you talk about tolerance and peace at a time when your soldiers perpetrate murder even against the weak and oppressed in our countries. Then came your publishing of these drawings, which came in the framework of a new crusade in which the Pope of the Vatican has played a large, lengthy role. And all of that is confirmation on your part of the continuation of the war, as well as a testing of the muslims in their religion: is the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) more beloved to them than themselves and their wealth? The answer is what you see, not what you hear, and may our mothers be bereaved of us if we fail to help the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). And peace be upon he who follows the guidance.