CAIRO: An Al-Qaeda spokesman lashed out at moderate Muslims in a video sermon posted online Thursday, accusing them of promoting Western ideas that lure other Muslims away from holy war.
In a 45-minute video posted on a militant website, Abu Yahya Al-Libi said clerics who support unity among followers of different religions aim only to court favor and flatter the West.
The duty of the Islamic nation is not to emulate the infidel nations, nor to lick their boots nor satisfy them…nor even look for ways to coexist, Al-Libi said.
The footage shows the bearded Al-Qaeda figure speaking directly into the camera, in front of a mud wall that could be the side of a house or mosque. He wears a black turban and traditional white Muslim gown.
Al-Libi said Western powers have succeeded in winning over some Muslims to help propagate their theories, and admonished some moderate clerics for using words like non-Muslim to describe what he called infidels.
A day will come when the ringing of church bells will resound in the heart of Arabia, as they do in Qatar, he said.
Qatar, a tiny Muslim sheikdom and US ally in the Persian Gulf, opened its first-ever Catholic church two months ago. Last week, it inaugurated an interfaith center where Muslim, Christian and Jewish scholars, including two from Israel, were invited to hold talks.
Al-Libi gained fame for escaping from Afghanistan s notorious Bagram prison in 2005, and since then his prominence in Al-Qaeda has risen. He is one of the most visible faces of Al-Qaeda on the internet, and has released four statements so far this year.
Tell all those who call for moderation… that Islam is a religion of the sword, he said on Thursday s video. We say it and we re not ashamed of it.