First Published: 2004-09-15

 
Islamic Army of Iraq: France is enemy of Muslims
 

Statement from Iraqi captors of two French journalists blasts France for crimes carried out against Muslims.

 

Middle East Online

The statement did not mention anything about the fate of the journalists

DUBAI - The Islamic Army of Iraq, which is holding two French journalists hostage, said Tuesday night that France is an "enemy of Muslims," in a statement on a website that gave no details on the fate of the captives.

The statement, carried on http://iaminiraq.tripod.com, cited France with a list of "crimes" that France had allegedly carried out against numerous Muslim countries.

"France has distinguished itself for its war against Islam and Muslims and has committed butchery against the nation," said the statement, whose authenticity could not be verified.

"France's history with Muslims is a black one, blemished by hatred and malice and blood. Its modern history is no less so that in the past," the statement added, calling on the "Islamic nation to unite against its enemies," such as France.

It accused France of "playing a principle role in blocking Muslims from taking power in Algeria after their victory" in 1992 legislative elections.

It said French prisons are "full of Muslims" being held in the name of the fight against terrorism, while denouncing continuing French support for the "Zionist entity" (Israel) and its "war against the symbols of Islam, such as the headscarf" for women.

The French journalists Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot, along with their Syrian driver, were kidnapped on August 20.

The hostage-takers initially demanded that Paris rescind its ban on the wearing of Islamic headscarves and other "conspicuous" religious insignia in state schools, but the law went into effect on September 2 as planned.

After an unprecedented wave of condemnations from the Arab and Muslim worlds, the group seemed set to release the men but for the past week there has been no news.

The statement said "true professionals, be they journalists, doctors or others, who do not carry out any activity of sabotage ... are not the target of the Islamic Army," the statement said.

"We respect those who are on a genuine humanitarian mission ... and are not pursuing missionary or intelligence objectives."

"The Islamic Army has an organism for sharia (Islamic law) to settle such matters by a fatwa (religious decree) in conformity with the Book (the Koran) and Sunna (Islamic tradition). The Islamic Army respects the ulemas (Muslim scholars) of the nation."

The statement accused France of "active participation in starving the Iraqi people for 12 years," an allusion to UN sanctions on the regime of Saddam Hussein after the Gulf War.

And it ridiculed France's refusal to participate in the US-led war on Iraq last year, saying that was calculated to "protect its own interests and not to please the Iraqis."

The statement allso accused France of "active participation in the Israeli air strike against Iraq's Osirak power plant" in 1981 by "providing sensitive and precise intelligence on the plan to the Zionist enemy."

The statement went on to include a long litany of grievances involving alleged French meddling in the affairs of Syria and Lebanon "to serve the interests of Jews and Zionists," of combating the Arabic language and Islamic law in former colony Tunisia, of seeking to divide Sudan and make Chad a French base.

Morocco and Mauritania were also listed as victims, while France was also accused of "effectively participating in the war in Afghanistan" against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

In Paris, the foreign ministry said it was analyzing the statement.

On Monday, French Foreign Minister said that, according to information he had, the hostages were alive and being well treated.

 

US-backed Kurdish-Arab alliance advances in IS-held Tabqa

US drone strike kills 5 Qaeda suspects in Yemen

Libya seizes two foreign oil tankers after gunbattle at sea

Turkish opposition down but not out

Europe’s 2017 elections affecting lives of Arabs, Muslims

Iran opens refinery to become petrol self-sufficient

Kuwaiti resigns from FIFA council to fight bribery claim

Waterway lifeline for civilians fleeing Tabqa

New Jordan-Syria spat revives simmering tensions

Trump’s U-turn on Syria checks Iranian ambitions

Hezbollah defiance on Israel border undermines Lebanon Army

Pope lifts spirits of Egypt's persecuted Christians

UN eyes new Western Sahara talks after Polisario pullback

Erdogan says Turkey, US can turn Raqa into 'graveyard'

Hamas to amend controversial charter

Turkish authorities block access to Wikipedia

Pope Francis leads mass in Egypt

President of European rights group censured for Assad meeting

Pope Francis flies to Egypt as 'pilgrim of peace'

Palestinians protest to support prisoners on hunger strike

Turkish army, Syrian Kurdish militia in new clashes

Erdogan to rejoin Turkey ruling party next week

Germany urges EU not to break off Turkey accession talks

OPCW says chemical weapons allegedly used 45 times in Syria

Netanyahu slams German foreign minster as 'insensitive'

UK warns of ‘increased level of terrorist activity’

Erdogan hopes for 'new page' with US under Trump

UN Security Council calls for Polisario pullback from Guerguerat

UN envoy to Libya to visit Sudan for peace talks

Tunisian PM booed out of town hall meet

Russian spy ship sinks off Turkish coast

London police arrest ‘terror act’ knifeman by parliament

Palestinians strike in support of protesting prisoners

Two Saudi soldiers killed in rocket attack near Yemen border

German soldier plots attack under refugee disguise

Iraq forces retake town of Hatra from IS

Syria accuses Israel of strike near Damascus airport

10 dead after strikes on rebel-held hospitals in Syria

Turkey’s AKP to hold special congress readmitting Erdogan

EU reviews Libya request for naval equipment

Jail terms over death of Moroccan fishmonger

UN appoints Syrian Olympic swimmer as ambassador

Bahraini activist on hunger strike behind bars

Calls on Saudi social media for jobless protest

Tunisian coastguards no match for high-speed smugglers