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Mullah Mohammed Omar's speech, September 19, 2001

The following is a translation of the Pashtu-language speech by the leader of Afghanistan's hard-line Islamic Taliban government, Mullah Mohammed Omar that was read to the hundreds of clerics meeting in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday, September 19, 2001.

"Our system is the true example of an Islamic system. For the enemies of religion and our country, this system is like a thorn in their eyes, and they are trying to destroy it under various pretexts.

Holding Osama Bin Laden responsible for the strikes in New York and Washington is an excuse. Afghanistan does not have resources, nor is Osama that powerful, nor does he have contacts with the outside world to carry out or plan such attacks. We also do not give him permission to use Afghan territory against any other country.

We have never tried to create problems with America. We have held talks in the present and the past with US governments several times, and we are ready for more talks.

We have told America that we have severed all the communication links of Osama, and he cannot have contact with the outside world.

America considers him as a suspect (in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon). Osama has denied his involvement. It is unfortunate that America doesn't listen to us and levels all sorts of charges and threatens military action.

We have told America that if it has any evidence, give it to the Afghan Supreme Court, or let the clerics from any three Islamic countries decide his case, or he could be placed under the observation of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, (a body representing 52 Islamic nations). But these offers have all been rejected.

We appeal to the American government for tolerance and ask it to conduct an investigation and track down the real culprits. We want to assure the world that Osama cannot use Afghan soil against any country.

Despite all this, if America still wants to attack us, and to punish our innocent people, and to destroy the Islamic government of Afghanistan, we want to get the religious decision from you, our respected religious scholars. You should make a decision in light of Islamic Shariat (law)."

Source: Associate Press






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