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.

 

Moscow seeks to boost its influence in Kurdistan through oil

Tillerson does not expect Gulf crisis to be resolved soon

Lebanon approves first budget since 2005

Iraq army takes last Kurd-held area of Kirkuk province

Ancient Turkish town set to vanish forever under floodwaters

Germany advances Israel submarine deal after corruption holdup

Bashir Gemayel's killer convicted, 35 years later

SDF hails 'historic victory' against IS in Raqa

Hamas delegation visits Iran

Turkish court orders release of teacher on hunger strike

Yemen rebel youth minister urges children to join war

Iran's Guards show no intention of curbing activities in Mideast

EU will cut some money for Turkey as ties sour

Iraqi workers return to oil fields retaken from Kurds

Kurdish disarray shows resurgence of Iraq's army

Iranian military chief visits frontline near Syria's Aleppo

Turkey issues arrest warrants for 110 people over Gulen links

Hamas calls US unity comments ‘blatant interference’

OPEC chief pleased with oil market rebalancing

Turkish police detain leading civil society figure

G7, tech giants meet to tackle terror online

Iraq’s Kurdish regional government open to Baghdad talks

Tensions flare among Yemen's rebels

Baghdad court issues arrest warrant for Iraqi Kurd VP

Erdogan, Nigerian counterpart to ramp up cooperation

Russian medics operate on Yemen's Saleh despite embargo

Baghdad condemns oil deal between Russia’s Rosneft, Kurds

Power shifts again in Iraq's multi-ethnic Kirkuk

Syrian general accused of journalist deaths killed in Deir Ezzor

Raqa liberators ready for civilian handover, on to next battle

Revolutionary Guards say Iranian missile program will continue

Erdogan calls on three major mayors to resign

ICC investigating several war crimes in Mali

Erdogan says may shut Iraqi border at any moment

Tunisian couple jailed for 'public indecency' over car kiss

Next round of Syria talks at end October

Gazans hope Palestinian reconciliation ends their woes

PSG's Khelaifi to be quizzed in Swiss World Cup probe

UN urges de-escalation in Iraq

Haley: Iran must be judged in totality of its aggressive behaviour

EU says Israeli settlements illegal under international law

Kurdish independence goes from dream to dust

Female commander more than just poster girl for Raqa victory

Saudi airline flies to Baghdad for first time in 27 years

Wanted Dead: France's approach to IS jihadists