I offer this humble contribution to the media frenzy surrounding the Tunisian revolution.
Here's my translation of Al-Qaeda's (Maghreb branch) video communiqué regarding the Tunisian situation (exciting sections in red):
Al Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb Countries
Al-Andalus Islamic Productions
Friday, 7th of January 2011
Sheikh Abi Musaab Abd Al Wadud
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I seek refuge in God from Satan the rejected.In the Name of Allah, The Merciful, the Compassionate. All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.Victory is for the believers. Let there be no aggression except against the wrongdoers.I witness that there is no god but Allah, guardian of the righteous.and I witness that Muhammed is his slave, prophet and purest of all His creations.Peace be upon him, his companions, and all who in goodness follows in their footsteps until the day of judgement.
Says Allah the Almighty:
And why should you not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who being weak are ill-treated? Men, women and children whose cry is: "Our Lord! rescue us from this village whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from the one who will protect; and raise for us from the one who will help!"
And so says the prophet, peace and prayers be upon him:
When you deal with transactions involving interest, and follow the tails of cows, and you are pleased with agriculture, and you give up Jihad, Allah will allow disgrace to prevail over you, and will not lift it until you go back to your religion.
My Muslim brothers in Tunisia:Twenty three years of tyrannical rule have passed today, of tyrannical rule of the criminal Ben Ali, and his ilk crouching on your chests, dispensing with the worst of mistreatment.
So long has been your ordeal, so intense your plight , and so great your calamity. Their corruption and ruin to your religion and your world has reached intolerable levels. The latest uprising and the subsequent widespread popular movement came to Sidi Bouzid as a high cry from a victim in the face of his executioner.
A cry that broke the silence that prevailed in Kairawan, Tunisia since decades. (Nizo: Kairawan is the traditional name of the Arab encampment in Tunisia, and Islam's 4th holiest city). A cry and a long-awaited blessed uprising, coinciding with frequent popular uprisings by your neighbors and your Muslim brothers in Algeria, in the neighborhoods of Bash Jarrah and Baraki and Hayy Al Nakheel, and others. Your mujahideen brothers have found inspiration in your uprising. We recognize this to be an opportunity to inform you on behalf of my brothers the Mujahideen in the Islamic Maghreb of our sympathy to you and our hopes for your victory.We stand by you, in your calamity, with advice and support.
I want to address the following facts:
The first fact is that the tyrant Ben Ali is a contemporary Pharaoh and the biggest of hardened criminals who was propped up by the Crusaders in our nation so that they could continue to slaughter and tear the nation away from its religion. He went beyond his apostate peers in other Muslim lands, by forcefully imposing a secular regime on Tunisia. This regime has been more persistent than others in the fight against islam, by banning the pilgrimage to Mecca, the hijab, and cleansing the nation of anything related to Islam. This regime has has tortured muslim youth in its dungeons and has violated he chastity of the pure women.
It has gone as far as banning mosques in which Allah's name is spoken but allowing instead the building of churches and Christian missionary work. And so the Jews and Christians have reinforced themselves in Tunisia, and have humiliated and insulted Muslims. There is no power and no strength except in Allah.
Not only has this tyrant corrupted the religion of Muslims, he also pillaged the wealth of the country, and imposed hunger and poverty on millions of Muslims. He has covered their mouths, depriving them of freedom, and dignified living. One of the results of his criminal policies was the millions of unemployed and poor downtrodden. In summary, the tyrant of Tunisia sucked the world and religion out of the country.
The second fact:
Rights were taken away, not given. But at "red" freedom's door there's always a hand, full of rings, knocking! This is a historical fact and universal constant.
(Nizo: The imagery of the bejewelled hand knocking on freedom's door is borrowed from a poem
by the great Egyptian poet, Ahmad Shawqi.)
Without an aversion to death and through clamouring for pleasures of this world, we have enabled this criminal tyrant and his brothers to suppress our breaths, and to crouch on top of our chests and to persist in our enslavement, and to humiliate us as they please for years without end.
Jihad and resistance to injustice are the way the Muslim religious mind yearns for salvation, and sacrifice is the price that is inevitable and unavoidable.
So spoke the truth when the Tunisian poet Abu al-Qasim al-Shaabi said:
When I so aspired, I embarked upon my wishes and flew
I did away with caution and paid a price by being burnt
Yet he who doesn't seek to climb mountains is condemned to spending eternity in holes.
The injustice of this apostate,treacherous state it is not the kind that should be met with
patience. It is the kind of injustice that must be fought through personal Jihad. But yourmovement to be effective, it should not be limited to one city or one front at the
same time, but should be extended to all regions of the country and its environs. Because
the tyrant can be extinguish any uprising if undertaken by one section of the ummah (nation), but he cannot fight the whole nation.
The third fact:
Your wealth, Dear Muslims, is either stolen by the president, his family and his gang or wasted at concerts and pagan dance festivals, all in a deliberate policy that is intended to subvert the morals of youth and keep them from their religion. There is no development in Tunisia only corruption and distraction to promote Vice in the Tunisian Muslim community.
The fourth fact:
The battle that you're waging today isn't separate from the universal battle that that is waged by the islamic nation today against local and foreign enemies. That battle is for the sake of lifting the injustices and realizing equality and liberating the lands of Islam from colonizers and the expulsion of their apostate collaborators and the imposition of a sharia.
This is one battle. For we shall not realize justice of freedom except under an Islamic government that looks out for rights and spreads justice. This Islamic government cannot rise except through Jihad against the Crusaders and Jews and the tearing of their collaborating rulers such as the Moroccan King and the Libyan Qaddafi and others.
My Muslim brothers in Tunisia:
The Pharaoh and his soldiers will try to crush your uprising and isolating the city of Sidi Bouzid, which leads us to the responsibility of all muslims to support this endeavor by refusing the rule of such tyrants. To the religious scholars of Tunisia goes the responsibility to wage a battle by directing the angry masses to request more sweeping demands, nothing less than the removal of the tyrannical regime and replacing it with an Islamic regime that would redeem the dignity of the nation and give it back its lost rights.
There is no solution but to confront the injustice through Islamic Jihad in the way of Allah.You shall not fear losing anything after having lost all in this life and your religion. For you are like a slaughtered sheep, and why should a slaughtered sheep be wary of being skinned? For you to die in honour, while fighting this tyrannical regime is a thousand times more honourable than to live in humiliation, cowardice and shame.