Interview of Commander-In-Chief of the Caucasus Emirate Dokka Umarov to Kavkaz Center's journalist Shamsuddin Nashkhoyev (Jumada Al-'Awwal 1429 / May 2008). This interview is a transcript of the latest video of Amir Dokka.
S.Nashkhoyev: I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful! Assalamu Aleykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh Abu Usman.
Abu Usman, everybody who knows you have been saying for quite a while that you never liked politics, that you have always been shunning any political groups and political confrontations, however hard they were trying to drag you in. How true is it? Has your attitude towards politics changed when you became the head of the Jihad in the Caucasus?
D.Umarov: I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful! Praise be to Allah the One and Only and may the blessings and peace be upon the one after whom there is no other Prophet shall come. Assalamu Aleykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Really, I've never liked politics and I've always tried to stay away from it, and to tell you honesty, today I don't like politics either, the politics that humiliates the Muslims.
After the first war I, with a group of the Mujahideen that I fought side by side with, moved to the mountains and organized a military training base. Back at that time the group was not bad at all, nor was the base. And we know that after the first war there was no unity among the Mujahideen like in the old days, and the Mujahideen were organizing into groups. Since I had my group under my command, and since I had a military training base, it was impossible to remain outside politics back at that time, so even if you wanted to remain outside politics, they wouldn't let you do that, and the President of that time, Aslan Maskhadov, may Allah have mercy on him, appointed me Secretary of Security.
On that post during the well-known Gudermes Fitna (dissent) I with my Mujahideen was the referee and the peacekeeping side in that Fitna. I wrote the resignation letter to our President probably about ten times and every time I was turned down. It was easier for me to fight a war, to carry out assigned missions, I had enough of problems on the post of Amir (Commander) of Southwestern Front, and for me it was enough that Aslan, Abdul-Halim, Abdulla Abu Idris - it's Shamil, may Allah bless their Jihad, - were the ones engaged in politics.
Has my attitude towards politics changed when I became the head of the Mujahideen? I must say yes, it did, because it is impossible to be at the head of the Jihad and outside politics. What's more, politics is one of the most important sides of Islam. But, like I said at the beginning, so I will repeat one more time that I still do not recognize the politics where the clearly outlined goal is obscured, where a distinct position is blurred, and when all of it is being done under the guise that allegedly it is not politically beneficial at this time. In reality it turns out that Muslims are deviating from their Religion, disparaging their own selves, and all of it is being done in exchange for doubtful benefits that the adversary is promising. There are plenty of examples of today's politics in our world. Let's not bring them up because each of us knows that there are enough of such examples.
S.Nashkhoyev: After your address to the Muslims in the last month of Ramadan, along with the approval from the Mujahideen there also emerged some opponents, who until then had been our supporters. One of their claims is that a sharp change in politics occurred hastily and spontaneously. How real is it?
D.Umarov: Not real at all. Ever since Abdul-Halim headed the Jihad the topic of revision of our political system and bringing it in compliance with Aqidah was regularly discussed among the leadership of the Mujahideen and among ordinary Mujahideen as well.
Abu Idris insisted that I, as the Vice President, as Abdul-Halim's Deputy, regularly demanded that he revises our state structure to bring it in compliance with the Sharia. I was refusing, since I did not want to get into the area of responsibility of the leaders of Jihad. Abu Idris would argue, get offended, but I stuck to my opinion. Now I don't believe that I was right. Abu Irdis could not remain in the position of variance for too long, he was a true Mujahid, a noble man, energetic and active.
By the way, before Abu Idris became a Shaheed (Martyr), about half a year ago, he ordered a seal of the Caucasus Emirate. I have this seal now. It proves once again that revision of our policies is not hasty or spontaneous, and the people who say that it was a sharp change in policies, that everything happened hastily and spontaneously - these are the fantasies of hypocrites, ravings of hypocrites.
S.Nashkhoyev: And another commonplace accusation against you is that we declared the war on the entire world without having financial or human resources, even though your statement contained a clear Islamic position: the kuffar who attacked Muslims and occupied their lands are your enemies; the Muslims who defend their Religion and their dignity are your brothers. Clarify this issue.
D.Umarov: Yes, this is my Islamic position, the position of a true Muslim, even an ordinary Mujahid, because I'm thinking as a free Muslim, not as a slave.
And if today a kafir invades a land of Muslims under various pretexts, even if these pretexts are made up and the entire world sees that the pretexts are made up, they attack any Muslim country by hordes all together, as soon as something Islamic happens in that country, something that corresponds to the Sharia, something that was prescribed to us by Allah. And if a kafir attacks these countries, if these countries are being annihilated, bombed, their children exterminated, their families, their houses, their cities, and if I, an ordinary Muslim living in the Caucasus, have no right to say that it reverberates in my soul with anguish, that this is wrong, and if my position is being expressed by some lost Muslims, let me put it this way, lost Muslims, as if I declared war on the entire world, then I think, repeating myself again, it is self-humiliation, self-humiliation of Muslims.
Because today the war is declared not by me, the war against kuffar was declared long time ago. As soon as Muslims proclaim that they are not going to live by the laws of the kuffar (infidels), that they are going to live by the laws of Allah, the war is declared starting that very moment, and any state that proclaims, makes a proclamation that they are going to live by the laws of Allah, that state is attacked by kafir states in hordes. It gets annihilated, bombed, so today I think the whole defectiveness of these Muslims is in their statements and in their doubts that they express.
If you approach this issue logically, today the power is with Allah. Since ‘91 we declared the war on the Soviet Union, we declared the war on Russia, and we are waging the Jihad in our land, so that Islam would be here in our land and so that we become free and so that we would be a part of the Islamic Ummah (Nation). So why did we declare the war on such a superpower that takes up a large area of dry land and its might is no less that all these states combined? We declared the war, we are declaring the war because it was prescribed by Allah, because we must live by the laws of Allah, because today, when it was prescribed by Allah to declare a war, to take part in this war, if you are unable to participate, at least perform Dua, at least you have to condemn in your heart when a kafir does not let the Muslims to freely practice their Religion, to do Daavat, to live by the laws of Allah; and even we are unable to take part today, we must be condemning it, to be speaking about it, but today they do not even let us talk about it, and this is where the whole defectiveness lies.
This is why I, for example, stand by my words, and even if I were incapable of participating in the Jihad (today I take part in the Jihad in the North Caucasus), if there were no Jihad here in the Caucasus today, I (Insha Allah, if Allah gave me willpower) would have participated in a Jihad where Muslim brothers are being exterminated, killed, therefore, it is my position, Islamic position, the position of a free Muslim.
I hope, I wish that all brothers would have the same position.
S.Nashkhoyev: Some of our brothers are saying that along with military operations there has to be flexible diplomacy as well, and as an example from the Sunnah they quote the Hudaybiya Treaty, which was signed by Prophet (pbuh).
D.Umarov: I have heard this argument many times. The Hudaybiya Treaty is mentioned often but they do not get into its meaning. And its meaning is that the main most influential power of that time, Quraish heathens recognized the Muslims as an equal force and signed an armistice for ten years. In that agreement there was not a single item, not a single word that would limit the Religion, the Davaat of Muslims. The question is: who is offering the Hudaybiya Treaty to us Muslims today? Who is letting us freely practice our Religion and establish the Sharia? No one.
To us, Muslims, today all around the world it is not the Hudaybiya Treaty that is being offered, but rather an ultimatum is being given: "either you renounce the Sharia, or we will be bombing your cities and villages", which we can see happening today, "and will invade your lands". This is the kind of treaty that is being offered. And you shouldn't delude yourself, we are not going to agree on these terms, it is self-deception.
But Insha Allah, the time will come when a kafir will offer us an agreement, and then we will accept their peace, because the Koran says that if they offer you peace, then accept it. War is not the goal for the Muslims in and of itself, so today's Hudaybiya Treaty with today's politics, with what's going on, -- our Ulama, many of our brothers don't understand its meaning and misinterpret it.
S.Nashkhoyev: Abu Usman, many are interested which insignia the Caucasus Emirate will have.
D.Umarov: Insignia, the way I understand it, is a coat of arms, an anthem, and so forth. If our Prophet (pbuh) had a coat of arms, an anthem, etc., I would accept it with no objections. If no one can quote me a proper Dalil, then we can well do without that insignia, especially since we are not going to get an appointment at the UN secretariat so that they could recognize us and register the Caucasus Emirate, may Allah save us from such a delusion.
I know that Prophet had a black flag. This is the flag under which the new generation of Muslims all around the world came out to Jihad, and this is the flag that is our insignia.
Second: the stamp. We have one. So far this is as far as the insignia goes. And also I would like to warn our brothers and supporters not to hurry in creating a virtual state of the Emirate, so that they do not put the cart before the horse. As of today, the Mujahideen are controlling the woodland, the mountains and some of the foothill villages - this is our territory and our base, Insha Allah. The control is not complete so far, not absolute, because the kuffar at times gather large forces and enter our territories, but the kuffar and apostates are not capable of controlling the valley either, and the Mujahideen enter cities and villages and carry out operations and raids.
Insha Allah, the time will come when this balance will be upset and the control by the Mujahideen will spread across the entire territory of the Caucasus. The result is with Allah. And what is the most important is that whoever fights on the way of Allah never loses, whichever result is prepared in this life, and this is true.
S.Nashkhoyev: Abu Usman, right now many young men came out to Jihad. The predominant age is 18 to 33 years old. Not too many have remained from the old generation of the Mujahideen. Those who took part in both wars are saying that they are different in their character. What is your opinion in this regard?
D.Umarov: Yes, there is a difference, even though all wars are somewhat alike. I'm not going to list all differences of the two wars, but I'd like to draw attention to one important detail. The first war was difficult in its own way, because it was the first one for our generation. From peaceful life getting under the rain of bomb fragments and bullets was not easy. War, hardships of life, as well as blessings of life is a test from Allah. Allah warns us in the Koran that we will also be tested by fear, cold, hunger, privations, the way previous communities were. All of this one way or another happened in that first war and in the beginning of the second war.
But the state of affairs and the situation are changing. In the past it used to be relatively clear who is on which side. But over the recent years Allah has been putting Muslims to the real tests: whether to betray your companions, or to put the lives of your loved ones in danger, and such a test cannot be overcome even by those who have been taking part in Jihad for a long time, who even participated in the "first" Jihad, in the "second" Jihad, who have been considered reliable and incorruptible persons. Allah is leading these people astray into delusion further and further, and they are committing the crimes against the faith and the believers that they even overshadow the inveterate apostates.
I think that a great deal of purification of the ranks of the Mujahideen is going on, but Allah knows best, we know nothing. Insha Allah, when the stage of purification is over, Allah will grant us victory, Insha Allah. We all must do Dua and be sure of that.
S.Nashkhoyev: One more time on policies. As far as I understood, and many Mujahideen approve of that too, the entire essence of our policies is not to deviate from Aqidah. Where do you see the deviation and the delusion among the Muslims who were waging Jihad and attained independence, since this is what our objective was during the first war? I mean the Jihad in Bosnia and Kosovo, for an example.
D.Umarov: Yes, Balkan examples for any Muslim who came out on Jihad today must serve as forewarnings. They were doing Jihad to get independence from Serbia and get under dependence from America and NATO; they were doing the Jihad to get from kuffar to kuffar, may Allah preserve us from such a way.
Repentance Surat in the Koran says:
"Or think ye that ye shall be abandoned, as though Allah did not know those among you who strive with might and main, and take none for friends and protectors except Allah, His Messenger, and the Believers? But Allah is well- acquainted with (all) that ye do."
It's been said clearly and unambiguously, and it is understandable to any Muslim, i.e. you can't take anyone as friends except Allah, His Messenger and the believers, i.e. you can't take as friends the UN, OSCE, the European Union or NATO as it happened in the Balkan Jihad. These kafir organizations were not created to provide unselfish assistance to Muslims, but to subdue Muslims to their dictates, and then again the Koran warns:
"O ye who believe! If ye obey the Unbelievers, they will drive you back on your heels, and ye will turn back (from Faith) to your own loss."
I.e., in this particular case we are losing in both this life and the next, may Allah preserve us from such a Jihad.
S.Nashkhoyev: And in conclusion of our conversation, Abu Usman, what would you like to say to the Muslims of the Caucasus and the entire world?
D.Umarov: While concluding our today's conversation, I would like to address to all Muslims, the Muslims of the Caucasus and the Muslims all around the world.
First of all, I would want unity, unity is important to us today as never before; respect for yourselves; respect for the Ummah of the Prophet, the most revered prophet in this world; the right evaluation of the events going on in this world; freedom from the slavery that we are in today.
We, praise be to Allah, are praising the Most High for being united, we, the Mujahideen of the Caucasus and Muslims of the Caucasus, the true Muslims of the Caucasus, that Allah gave us such opportunity that today, however weak we may be so far, however small we be, all of it is by the will of Allah, but the main thing that today we all are united. This, I think, hasn't happened until now, and today Allah is the One Who gave us this opportunity, Insha Allah, from this will we have barakat. The main things is that power is in the hands of Allah, and when He wishes to put it into our hands, it will be put into our hands and with our hands the kuffar and the apostates will be destroyed; the main thing that today we are united, the main thing is that we love one another and are worried about one another.
My wish is so that we somehow get free from slavery, which is great too. Why? Because today Muslims from the Ummah of the Prophet, the most revered prophet in this world (pbuh) are in slavery, and if something happens somewhere, if somewhere Muslims are being killed, humiliated, we are not worried about it, we take it all calmly, as long as the label of terrorism does not touch us, and this label is put on anyone who does not think the way they are allowed to think.
Let's take just one day from the information space. Israeli invaders fire a tank shell and kill a family in Palestine, where four children die - the children who has not even realized who they are, what they are, who haven't even inflicted any harm on Israelis or anyone in the world. But the entire world is calmly watching it, and it is calmly accepted. Mujahideen of Afghanistan, the Taliban warriors risk their lives and penetrate into the stadium where the apostates headed by Karzai conduct some kind of a parade, and make an attempt to remove that apostate, and the entire world gets shocked and starts condemning it the very next day. Pay attention: the difference! The difference! Pay attention what bounds we have been driven into. This world has been divided by the kuffar and the Satan. We are assigned the role of slaves, and even in that role we have no right to grumble. This world is divided, and divided not by us, and the values in this world are all replaced, all values. And we are not allowed to even grumble, we are not allowed to resist to only get free from that slavery.
This is why I am calling on the Muslim brothers to wake up so that they know, so that they memorize one commandment, commandment of Allah, that nothing in this world can happen, whether good or bad, other than what Allah has foreordained. This is the commandment: both bad and good that happens to us is all by the will of Allah. The main thing is that we must seek to please Allah in this world. The main things is so that in the future life we would be in an good place, so that in the future life we would be in Paradise, so that in the future life we do not regret this life. Why? Because we have not done much and we have to answer for it. I want all Muslims to think about it.
Wallahi, Wallahi, maybe the satanic mass media are presenting our fight, our Jihad as if we are fanatics... no, it is no fanaticism, it is nothing; but a man who can think freely after getting free from that slavery, who can read the Koran, he already understands what kind of state Islam is in and, the Koran says it too, that Allah will never change the state that we are in until we ourselves show willingness to change it. Therefore we, the brothers, must change the state that we are in; we, the brothers, must know today that we are people from the Ummah of the Prophet (pbuh), the most worshipped, the most loved prophet, that we must be free, we must preach our Religion, we must do the Daavat, we must spread Islam, we must live freely, and not by the laws that the kuffar imposed on us, but by the laws that were sent to us by Allah.
Today in our understanding the Religion is nothing but words, and when Allah was establishing the Religion, it was both words and deeds. Today we diverged from the deeds, we have no deeds. This is why I want today's Muslims and today's Mujahideen to accept the Religion as both words and deeds. Deeds are the important part of the Religion. And the word of Allah is the Koran, and none Alhamdulillah can change it, and Insha Allah, as soon as we can see and read the Koran, we understand what Allah wants and what is required from us so that we can be virtuous.
This is where I conclude my talk.
Glory be to you, o Allah; praise be to you. I testify that none has the right to be worshiped but you in repentance. Assalamu Aleykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!