March 30, 2011
Al Qaeda’s most influential English-language preacher said revolts sweeping the Arab world would help rather than harm its cause by giving Islamists freed from tyranny greater scope to speak out.
Western and Arab officials say the example set by young Arabs seeking peaceful political change is a counterweight to al-Qaeda’s push for violent militancy and weakens its argument that democracy and Islam are incompatible.
But al Qaeda preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, in an article published online on Tuesday, said the removal of anti-Islamist autocrats meant Islamic fighters and scholars were now freer to discuss and organize.
“Our mujahideen brothers in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and the rest of the Muslim world will get a chance to breathe again after three decades of suffocation,” he wrote, using a term that refers generally to Islamic guerrilla groups or holy warriors.
“For the scholars and activists of Egypt to be able to speak again freely, it would represent a great leap forward for the mujahideen,” wrote Awlaki, an American of Yemeni origin who is believed to be hiding in southern Yemen.
This article was posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 8:42 am