Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: the MCO airport
'Al Qaeda' attacks France veil ban
A taped message attributed to Osama bin Laden's deputy Ayman al-Zawahri has condemned French moves to ban the Muslim veil in government schools.
The tape has been aired by an Arabic television channel.
The French Parliament this month voted to ban religious emblems in state schools, a measure Paris says will keep tensions between Muslim and Jewish minorities out of public classrooms, but which Muslims around the world have said targets Islam.
"This is a new sign of the Crusader hatred which Westerners harbour against Muslims while they boast of freedom, democracy and human rights," the voice, which sounded like previous audio tapes attributed to Zawahri, said on the Dubai-based Al Arabiya.
"France is the country of freedom which defends freedom to show the body, and to be immoral and depraved; in France you're free to show yourself but not to dress modestly," Zawahri said.
He is thought to be hiding, along with bin Laden, somewhere in the mountains between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
"This is a campaign planned by the Crusader Zionists with their agents in Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia and other Islamic countries," Zawahri said, in an attack on Muslim countries which have made moves to secularise their societies along Western lines.
Zawahri also cited Israel's treatment of Palestinians, the US occupation of Iraq and detention of Muslims in Guantanamo Bay, where foreign terrorism suspects are held.
"America has given itself the right to kill or detain anyone anywhere and to deport anyone to anywhere for any period, without anyone daring to ask why, who, where or until when," he said.
"Atomic weapons are banned for everyone except Israel," he added, referring to US ally Israel's presumed weapons arsenal.
"Banning the veil (in France) conforms with all these crimes and the moral and ideological hypocrisy of the Zio-Crusaders."
Zawahri and bin Laden have been on the run since the September 11, 2001 attacks on cities in the United States.