``You should know that this is not only the issue of Osama, it is opposition to Islam,'' Mullah Omar said, according to a BBC transcript. ``Here (in Afghanistan) there are real Muslims and there is real Islam, and the real voice of religion is raised. They regard this as a danger signal and pay attention to this danger signal,'' he added, referring to the United States.
Mullah Omar recalled that the British and Russian empires had failed to impose their will on the Afghan people in the 19th and 20th centuries and urged Afghans to stand firm against any U.S. attack. ``Be ready for jihad,'' Mullah Omar said.``Each Muslim should be ready for a jihad against this and be ready for his religion if there is a need for him to sacrifice himself for Islam and his belief, and make a sacrifice for the symbol of belief in Islam,'' he said.
President Bush (news - web sites), calling this week's terror attacks in Washington and New York ``acts of war,'' is seeking an alliance against those who attacked the United States this week. Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) said Washington would now judge countries by their willingness to help.Omar, for his part, called on the world's Muslims to support Islam and defend Afghanistan.
``All the Muslims in the world should support their Islam and their own belief, should defend Afghanistan, should defend Muslims and should be ready for anything to make a sacrifice for Islam,'' Mullah Omar declared.``If they don't do this, then they don't do it. It depends on everybody and it is everybody's own business. But they should defend their history and their Islam and their belief.''
Omar said that bin Laden could not have been the mastermind behind the attacks on New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon (news - web sites) in Washington, in which suicide squads flew hijacked airliners into the buildings, killing several thousand people.``Those who sacrifice their lives have a particular purpose and goal. They are not afraid of America or of anybody else. Those who sacrifice their lives don't need Osama to be glad or not glad, or Osama to order them or not,'' he added.
Omar's broadcast was partially monitored by Reuters in Islamabad on Friday despite poor reception. In it he said that Muslims should not fear death and each should be ready to die for their faith. ``Whether America will launch cruise missiles or drop bombs or create aggression or whatever it does is ahead of us. We cannot save our skins by cowardice or in any other way,'' the BBC transcript said. ``If they do this or have the will (to do this) or if God has this will, then it will happen. We cannot save our skins from this.''True believers, he added, had a duty to defend their faith and the symbols of it. ``Each Muslim should think deeply and defend Islam and the Koran. Almighty God is kind and will give victory to these people. If you die for your belief it is a great victory, or if nothing happens it is also a great victory,'' he added. ``The greatness of the flag of Islam is that, if everything is finished, the flag and the symbol of belief in Islam will remain high. If you destroy the flag, it means you agree with things which are what they (enemies) want. By this you destroy the zeal and name of Islam and cover it with dirt.''