Ayman al-Zawahiri's last speech released last month before he was killed in CIA drone strike in Afghanistan

    On August 1, 2022, news reports claimed that Al-Qaeda's leader, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, was killed by a U.S. strike in Afghanistan. A speech by Al-Zawahiri was featured in a video released by Al-Qaeda's central media wing, As-Sahab, on July 14, 2022, which was the sixth part of a series titled "Deal of the Century or Crusades Spanning Centuries." The video featured a recording of a speech by Al-Zawahiri, accompanied by a still photo of him.

    In his message, Al-Zawahiri told Muslims around the world that they should seek to liberate Muslim countries from apostates and infidels and provide Muslims with facts and information to expose the tools that the occupation powers are using to implement their political or military occupation. He further called on Muslim to expose and confront Christianization and reject international legitimacy, secularism, the nation-state, and atheism.

    The following report contains excerpts of Al-Zawahiri's July 14, 2022 address:

    On July 14, 2022, Al-Qaeda's official media outlet Al-Sahab released a video featuring an audio address by the organization's leader, Ayman Al-Zawahiri. The video is the sixth part in a series titled "Deal of the Century or Crusades Spanning Centuries," whose first part was released on September 11, 2020. The fifth part was released on June 14.[1]

    Like the fifth part, the new video features a recording of a speech by Al-Zawahiri, accompanied by a still photo of him. This is different from the first four episodes in the series, which showed Al-Zawahiri speaking.

    In his new address, Al-Zawahiri continued to discuss two elements he laid out in previous parts of the series in connection with countering "the aggression of the Crusader," saying that it involves jihad through preaching as well as physical jihad, i.e., fighting.

    Discussing the first type of jihad, preaching, he explained that in previous episodes he had talked about the different elements that can be classified in this category, such as "the battle of awareness, jihadi education, dawa [preaching], political jihad, and unity."


    Jihad through dawa (preaching)

    "Today, I would like to discuss the battle of dawa," he said, adding that he wants to address all Muslims but mostly "the informed elite which seeks to change the miserable reality of the ummah [nation] and which feels that it has the obligation to shoulder this burden."

    He went on to say that dawa has a significant status in Islam, noting that there are key points that Muslim preachers should take note of in their endeavor to confront the "Deal of the Century" and the Crusader-Zionist alliance against the Muslims.

    "The first thing I want to refer to is the goals behind Islamic preaching. It is indisputable that Islam is a call for tawhid [monotheism] that started with Adam and will continue until Allah inherits His land and those on it." He then pointed out that accordingly, inviting people to join the creed of tawhid and defending it is the first layer of the battle of dawa.

    "Today, I would like to discuss the battle of dawa," he said, adding that he wants to address all Muslims but mostly "the informed elite which seeks to change the miserable reality of the ummah [nation] and which feels that it has the obligation to shoulder this burden."

    He went on to say that dawa has a significant status in Islam, noting that there are key points that Muslim preachers should take note of in their endeavor to confront the "Deal of the Century" and the Crusader-Zionist alliance against the Muslims.

    "The first thing I want to refer to is the goals behind Islamic preaching. It is indisputable that Islam is a call for tawhid [monotheism] that started with Adam and will continue until Allah inherits His land and those on it." He then pointed out that accordingly, inviting people to join the creed of tawhid and defending it is the first layer of the battle of dawa.

    Muslims Should Reject National State

    Elaborating, he noted that Muslims should defend their religion against the enemies of monotheism, including "national governments, international legitimacy, atheism, and oppression and injustice, military occupation, and Christianization." Preaching, he asserted, should incite all members of the Islamic nation to defend their religion against those opponents.

    Discussing each enemy, Al-Zawahiri said that a national state in principle weakens the ummah and "shatters its strength into fifty pieces" and claimed that for this reason, Western Crusaders advocate for it among Muslims.

    He added: "The bottom line is that the world should realize the danger which these Crusader nations, from Eastern Europe to Western Europe to America, pose to the ummah's existence as an entity, authority, influence, creed, sharia, and behavior" by forcing the national state on the ummah.

    He further claimed that a secular national state poses a threat to Muslim unity, saying that its history in the Muslim world has been "stained with betrayal."

    "Hussein bin Ali[2] and his son Faisal were the first Arab Zionists to acknowledge Israel in the Weizmann Agreement of 1919," he noted, accusing Ali of opening the door for the establishment of a state based on ethnicity instead of Islam, as he was advised by "his English masters."

    Secularism Is Atheism

    Discussing secularism, Al-Zawahiri defined it as "a polite atheism or a deceitful one" aimed at convincing Muslims to reject or stray from their religion. Secularism that calls for separating religion from the state is also atheism because it eventually allows the state to have control over religion, he argued. For this reason, he added, the Crusaders established organizations that supposedly speak for Muslims and Islam and make "heinous" fatwas, such as allowing Muslims to join the U.S. army, or stating that "there is no need for a Caliphate or those who claim that the current national states are religiously legitimate entities.

    "Or those who state that a ruler who commits adultery for half an hour on television every day should be obeyed, or that it is acceptable to reconcile with Israel or to get an Israeli visa to visit Bait al-Maqdis [Jerusalem], or that Osama Bin Laden and those who oppose the Saud family are preachers of discord."

    He further claimed that since abandoning the religious concept of the Caliphate, the Islamic world has been shattered, noting that since the end of World Wars I and II, the principle of establishing national states has been reinforced through the UN and the international community that make laws, as well as through educational curricula and the media.

    "The concept of the national state infiltrated the Islamic movements as well," he said, noting that some members of these movements have called for national unity with parties that betrayed their countries to please the West.

    Among the key elements of dawa, he argued, is to expose the corruption and shortcomings of establishing a secular national state. Instead, one should call for Muslim unity as a foundation for establishing a state, he said.

    The Reasons Behind Atheism

    On countering atheism, Al-Zawahiri said one should understand that there are reasons for atheism, some of them political, such as rejecting an untrue religion advocated by phony clerics, and some behavioral, such as people's tendency to practice a free lifestyle. Another reason he mentioned is that some people suffer from intellectual confusion in the absence of strong and sound Islamic preaching.

    "Spreading atheism could be a political goal aimed at distracting the nation from practicing its creed, which is its source of power," he added, citing research studies published by Arab and Western scholars.

    Hence, he added, the informed Islamic elite should counter atheism, and he urged them to be diligent in their endeavors.

    Reject International Legitimacy

    Al-Zawahiri added, "As for international legitimacy, it is a system that was imposed by the winners of World War II, and through it they sought to oppress the world in general and the Muslim ummah in particular." He added that it is the Security Council, which is controlled by "five criminals," which legitimized the establishment of Israel in the heart of the Islamic nation, just as it legitimized China's control of eastern Turkistan, India's takeover of Kashmir, Spain's takeover of Ceuta and Melilla, Russia's takeover of the Caucasus, and most recently, the Crusader occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq.

    "We have to expose these arrogant criminal schemes of so-called international legitimacy," he told the Muslim elite, urging them again to confront oppression, injustice, and political, financial, and moral corruption. He added that injustice should be confronted and rejected even when it is inflicted by a Muslim on an infidel.

    "We have to expose the corruption practiced by states and the tools they use to run Muslim lands. We have to expose their corruption, injustice, and deviation from the notion of Islam. We should expose the lies of those who support these states and tell people to obey."

    Reject Occupation Of Muslim Lands

    Addressing the military occupation of Muslim lands, Al-Zawahiri told Muslims that they should seek to liberate Muslim countries from apostates and infidels and provide Muslims with facts and information to expose the tools that the occupation powers are using to implement their political or military occupation.

    "We have to show our nation the extent to which the American, British, French, Russian, Turkish, Iranian, UAE, Chinese, and Indian military bases are spread in Muslim lands and the dangerous role these bases play around the world. To show the ummah that it is not yet free of occupation but has moved from one form of occupation to another that is more deceitful and forceful."

    Expose, Confront Christianization

    Speaking on Christianization, he said it should be seen as a vibrant element in the Crusader-Israeli campaign against Islam, empowered by the churches that have their own interests, resources, and "soldiers." Despite the difference between these churches, he said, they all have the common goal of fighting Islam.

    To counter Christianization, he advised that Muslims should expose the "deviant ideology of the church and how it distorted the message of Essa [Jesus]."

    The second approach he advised would be to expose the political history of the church and political goals behind its actions.

    Concluding, Al-Zawahiri said that he prays for the victory of the mujahideen who are on the front lines of countering Christianization.


    [1] Talk.gnews.bz/channel/as-sahab-mussh-alshab, July 14, 2022.

    [2] Hussein bin Ali Al-Hashimi, an Arab leader from the Banu Hashim clan who was the sharif and emir of Mecca from 1908 and, after proclaiming the Great Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire, king of the Hejaz from 1916 to 1924.

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    Evarist Chahali

    Evarist Chahali

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