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Osama says West waging war against Islam

Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden said the crisis in Sudan's Darfur region and the isolation of Hamas were proof the West was waging war against Islam, according to an audiotape attributed to him aired on Sunday.

india Updated: Apr 24, 2006 03:48 IST

Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden said the crisis in Sudan's Darfur region and the isolation of Hamas were proof the West was waging war against Islam, according to an audiotape attributed to him aired on Sunday.

In the tape broadcast on Al Jazeera television, which US intelligence agencies believed was authentic, the Saudi-born militant criticised the Sudanese government for agreeing a US-backed peace deal for the south.

He also inveighed against the Palestinians' Hamas-led government for breaking what he said was a taboo against "joining infidel assemblies" and entering parliament.

Despite moves taken by Sudan and Hamas that might be seen as in step with Washington's stated goal of peace and democracy for the region, bin Laden said the West was still isolating the Palestinian government and the United States was planning to send troops to southern Sudan "to steal its oil".

"Their (the West's) rejection of Hamas affirms that it is a Crusader-Zionist war against Muslims," bin Laden said.

"It is scornful to people that your (the West's) warplanes and tanks are destroying houses over the heads of our folk and children in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya and Pakistan, then you smile at us and say that 'we are not enemies of Islam but enemies of terrorists'."

"Reality shows that they lie."

Bin Laden accused people in the West of sharing responsibility for their countries' war against Muslims, implying they were fair game for revenge attacks by militants.