AlJazeera: The following is an edited translation of an audiotape attributed to al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, parts of which were aired by Aljazeera on April 23, 2006. (It is not known where or when the recording was made.)
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the world, prayer and peace be upon our prophet Muhammad, his kin and all his companions.
Peace, Allah's mercy and blessing be upon you, as I am directing this speech to all the Islamic Umma, to continue talking and urging them to support our prophet Muhammad, and to punish the perpetrators of the horrible crime committed by some Crusader-journalists and apostates against the master of the predecessors and successors, our prophet Muhammad.
The holy verses of the Quran and the holy prophetic teachings have all clarified the need for according love, respect and obedience to our prophet. Allah, the Almighty, has made it a taboo to offend him, saying in the Quran those who harm Allah and his messenger would be damned and severely punished.
It was also confirmed by an authentic source that prophet Muhammad said no one could be faithful until he loves me more than he loves his parents, his sons and all other people. Therefore, the Umma has reached a consensus that he who offends or degrades the messenger would be killed. Such offence is regarded as kufr (infidelity).
We ask Allah to give his blessings to whoever decried the behaviour of the infidels who have offended the prophet in every part of the world, and blessings to those who have died in the process, while we vow to Allah to avenge for those whose blood have been spilled.
The West is incapable of recognising the rights of others. It will not be able to respect others' beliefs or feelings. The West still believes in ethnic supremacy and looks down on other nations. They categorise human beings into white masters and coloured slaves.
This is why they established institutions and enacted laws to maintain their supremacy by creating the United Nations and the veto power ... . They regard jihad for the sake of God or defending one's self or his country as an act of terror. US and Europe consider jihad groups in Palestine, Chechnya, Iraq and Afghanistan as terrorist groups, so how could we talk or have understanding with them without using weapons?
On their part, the rulers of our region consider the US and Europe as their friends and allies while looking at the jihad groups that fight against the Crusaders in Iraq and Afghanistan as terrorist groups as well. So how can we reach understanding with those rulers who deny us the right to defend ourselves and our religion without carrying arms?
The net result of their thinking is for us to abandon jihad and acquiesce to remaining as their slaves. This is impossible, God willing.
The Palestine question is a manifestation of such injustices when the allied forces of the Crusaders and the Zionists decided to hand over Palestine to the Zionists to establish a state after committing massacres, displaced the indigenous Palestinians and brought Jews from all over the world to settle in Palestine.
The ongoing injustice and aggression did not stop in the last nine decades, while all attempts to reclaim our rights and exact justice on the Israeli oppressors, were blocked by the leadership of the Crusaders and Zionists' alliance by using the so-called veto power.
Such attitudes were also reflected by their rejection of the Hamas movement and its victory in the elections ... . Their rejection to Hamas has reaffirmed that they were waging a crusade against Islam.
The US sought to reach southern Sudan, recruited an army of southerners, supported them with weapons and funding and directed them to seek separation from Sudan. Then it exercised pressure against Khartoum government to sign an unjust agreement which permits south Sudan to gain independence from the north within six years.
[Sudanese President Omar] al-Bashir and [US President George] Bush should have been aware that this agreement is not worth the ink by which it was written, and we do not accord the least concern to it. Nobody, whoever he was, has the right to accede an inch of the land of Islam and the south will remain an inseparable part of the land of Isalm, God willing, even if the war continued for decades.
The US was not satisfied by all the sedition and crimes, but went on to incite sedition, the largest of which was the west Sudan sedition by exploiting some disputes between the tribes and sparking a savage war between them that will spare nothing, prior to sending in Crusader troops to occupy the region and steal its oil wealth under the pretext of peacekeeping.
This is a continuous Crusader-Zionist war against Muslims. In this respect I am inviting the mujahidin and their supporters in the Sudan and other countries around, including the Arabian peninsula in particular, to prepare all that is needed for a long-term war against the Crusaders and thieves in western Sudan.
Our objective is obvious, that is defending Islam, the people and the land but not Khartoum government since our differences with them are so enormous, mostly when it backtracked in implementing the Sharia law and abandoned south Sudan.
I urge the mujahidin to get acquainted with Darfur state tribes and land and its surroundings, keeping in mind that the region is about to face the rainy season that hampers means of transport.
This is one of the reasons why the occupation was adjourned for six months. So it is imperative to speed up action and benefit from the time factor by stocking a large amount of landmines and anti-armour grenades such as RPGs [rocket propelled grenades].
What was the aim behind barring arms from the unarmed people in Bosnia and letting the Serb army to massacre Muslims and spill their blood for years under UN cover? It was a Crusader war against Muslims.
What was the aim of the pressure against Indonesia by the Crusaders countries until East Timor, 24 hours after a warning by the UN? A Crusader-Zionist-Hindu war against Muslims.
Meanwhile, a UN resolution passed more than half a century ago gave Muslim Kashmir the liberty of choosing independence from India and Kashmir. George Bush, the leader of the Crusaders' campaign, announced a few days ago that he will order his converted agent [Pakistan President Pervez] Musharraf to shut down the Kashmir mujahidin camps, thus affirming that it is a Zionist-Hindu war against Muslims.
With respect to Pakistan, some Muslims have done a good job by assisting their fellow Muslims, God bless them, but the Pashtun tribes must be aided after the Pakistan army devastated their homes in Waziristan in order to satisfy the US.
What does the silence over Russian atrocities inside Chechnya mean, along with mutilating their bodies by tying them to tanks while the so-called free world gives its blessings and even secretly supports the aggression ? This is a Zionist crusade.
What does the humiliation of Muslims in Somalia and killing 13,000 Muslims mean, along with torching Muslims' bodies? This is a Zionist-Crusaders war.
I will remind Muslims to fear God and to save their brothers in the African Horn from the famine that hit them.
What does the destruction of the infrastructure in Iraq mean and the tragedy that befell them mean? And the use of depleted uranium, besieging Iraq for years, causing the death of more than one million children which amazed all who had visited Iraq, including the Westerners themselves? It is a malicious crusade against Muslims.
What does the reoccupation of Iraq mean by using lies and deception along with murder, destruction, detention, torture and creation of huge military bases to dominate the whole region? It is a Zionist crusade against Muslims.
What about the continuous cultural domination through the setting up of radio stations and TV channels along with the Voice of America, London and others to continue the cultural domination of Muslims, combat our beliefs, change our values, encourage vice and even interfere with school curricula?
How can we explain France's stance on the headscarf and the banning on wearing it at schools, its relentless dealing with the Muslim community and its plan to establish a TV channel in Morocco to combat Islamic awareness there? This is a Zionist-Crusader war.
In conclusion, a war is under way to offend the messenger of Allah, his religion and his Umma (nation). The Muslim preparedness and their jihad should be on a par with these events. The duty of our Muslim nation over this Crusaders' campaign with its different aspects is to focus on supporting the prophet, his religion and the Umma to the best of our ability in all fields.
Despite the numerous Crusader attacks against our Muslim nation in military, economic, cultural and moral aspects, but the gravest of them all is the attack against our religion, our prophet and the our Sharia tenets. The epicentre of these wars is Baghdad, the seat of the khalifate rule. They keep reiterating that success in Baghdad will be success for the US, failure in Iraq the failure of the US.
Their defeat in Iraq will mean defeat in all their wars and a beginning to the receding of their Zionist-Crusader tide against us. Your mujahidin sons and brothers in Iraq have taught the US a hard lesson while in the fourth year of the Crusaders' invasion, they are steadfast and patient and keep killing and wounding enemy soldiers every day.
It is a duty for the Umma with all its categories, men, women and youths, to give away themselves, their money, experiences and all types of material support, enough to establish jihad in the fields of jihad particularly in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Sudan, Kashmir and Chechnya. Jihad today is an imperative for every Muslim. The Umma will commit sin if it did not provide adequate material support for jihad.
O fellow Muslims, pay no heed for the number of the enemy and their arsenal of arms because victory is a gift of God while the enemy, praise be to God, is experiencing a critical situation.
A full Arabic transcript of the audiotaped message can be read here on Aljazeera's Arabic website.