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Iraqi Cleric Calls for Jihad

The Post reported that a leading Islamic intellectual said that “If the violence begins, nobody can tell how it will end. We will see and the United States will see.”

Preaching in the Mother of All Battles mosque, the cleric said, “O God, strike the oppressors. O God, please shoot down their planes, sink their ships. O God, please make the infidels and aggressors drown. O God, make Bush and Blair drown,” according to Reuters news service.

“God will make the believers victorious and will defeat the infidels,” Saadi told worshippers on Friday.

He said, “We will fight no matter how many warplanes they send, no matter how many missiles they fire and tanks they send. God is greater and stronger than Bush and Blair. We cling to God.”

Reuters reported that Saadi said, “It is the duty of Muslims today, Iraqis and others, to threaten American interests wherever they are, to set them on fire and to sink their ships. This is jihad in the name of God.”

Earlier in the week, Egyptian Islamic scholars said that a United States invasion of Iraq was part of a new “crusade,” reported the Washington Post.

“According to Islamic law, if the enemy steps on Muslims’ land, jihad becomes a duty on every male and female Muslim,” said the statement issued by the Islamic Research Academy at Cairo’s prestigious Al-Azhar University, which was founded in 969.

The scholars called on “Arabs and Muslims throughout the world to be ready to defend themselves and their faith.”

The Post reported that a leading Islamic intellectual said that “If the violence begins, nobody can tell how it will end. We will see and the United States will see.”

AFP, another news service, reported that Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood said that “any aggression on Iraq will be considered an aggression on Jordan and part of the plot to colonize the (Muslim) nation.”

In other developments, Arabicnews.com reported that the Coptic Orthodox Church urged United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to prevent an unjust war against Iraq.