Mahmoud al-Zahar (BBC)
The U.S. empire is in decline and will fall because of the country’s “immorality,” promotion of “open sexuality” and political “injustice,” argued Mahmoud al-Zahar, the chief of Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
He also predicted the rise of China and India as new superpowers, while hailing the revolution in Egypt that led to the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, a staunch U.S. ally.
Zahar was speaking today by cell phone from Gaza to Aaron Klein on the latter’s investigative program on New York’s WABC Radio. It was the Hamas chieftain’s first public comments on the recent chaos in Egypt.
After claiming Americans “live like animals,” Zahar told Klein the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood – the most organized opposition in Cairo – is the “most moderate organization, the most democratic organization, even more than the Western people.”
Hamas is an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks to establish an Islamic caliphate in Egypt.
‘U.S. like fallen empires’
“It is well known,” Zahar said, predicting the decline of the U.S., “any state without morality will not survive. Morality is not only having money. Morality is having justice. You are not implementing the justice.”
He claimed Hamas was a weak and besieged authority in Gaza and stated, “You are going sooner or later to suffer from the same problem when your power decreased and the power of others, for example, China, India, Japan, as your history (shows) becomes more supreme.”
“You are not serving your national interests” he said.
He also compared the U.S. to former European empires.
“Look to the British empire. Look to the French empire. Look to the German power,” he said. “What was the cause of their destruction? Their immoralities. So I am not here fabricating or inventing a story or a theory. This is well known.”
“Where is (sic) the big powers in the history? Finished. Why finished? Because of the injustice, because of the immorality,” he concluded.
Audio of the first part of the interview can be heard below:
‘Americans live like animals’
Zahar slammed U.S. culture and upheld Islamic Shariah law as the template for a moral society.
“Your (American) style is very bad style, is animal style. Life like animals,” he exclaimed. “You have one husband but you have 50,000 female girlfriends. And you have, the woman has one husband and has many boyfriends. This is the style? This is the animal style, this is not the human style.”
Zahar lectured: “The human style has one family, one husband, or two or three [wives] according to our tradition if she has no chance to deliver or to have pregnancy, or if she is sick or so on.”
Zahar pointed to Hamas’ official television network, Al Aqsa TV, as espousing proper Islamic tradition and music.
“But this is not the music to see the body of the woman bare. This open sexuality is not allowed for us,” he said. “That destroyed your country. That destroyed your family and your integrity.”
He continued, “We produce film, we produce songs, but it’s committed to our morality, not to your style.”
He went on to slam the U.S. for “injustice” against minorities.
“Your history in the West is not a history of justice,” he said. “The discrimination between black and white, the discrimination between Muslim and non-Muslim, this is not lasting, or a life-lasting system.”
Zahar told Klein that the West can learn from Islamic law: “Ask the Christian people in Egypt and the Christian people in Gaza about the Islamic law, that is the only law that protected the minority whether they are Jews or Christian,” he stated.
Klein confronted Zahar about reports of persecution of Christians in the Gaza Strip under the rule of Hamas.
“What about taking a look at Hamas in the Gaza Strip?” asked Klein. “Since you came to power, Christians in Gaza have been targeted. We’ve had churches firebombed, we’ve had Christian leaders complain they cannot celebrate the Christmas. We had the sole Bible store in Gaza firebombed, its owner murdered. We’ve had Christians complain of rampant persecution and intimidation in Gaza.”
Klein was referring to the October 2007 murder of Rami Ayyad, who managed the only Christian bookstore in Gaza. That murder was widely blamed on Islamists in Gaza.
Zahar countered, “This is one case killed. Now how many Christians [were] killed by the hands of the Christians in America? How many bodies went to the schools and shot the students in America? These are the crimes, but it is not the Islamic tradition.”
Hails Middle East revolution
Zahar hailed the recent riots in Egypt that led to the downfall last week of Mubarak.
He warned, “Any leader who will be not supported by his people” will suffer a fate similar to Mubarak’s.
He continued: “Jordan, there were demonstrations there. In Yemen, there are a lot of debates between the authority and others. So it is not a secret to say the phenomenon of the change is present all over the Arab countries.”
Regarding the Muslim Brotherhood, Zahar claimed, “The problem in the West is they are afraid from the Muslim Brotherhood because they know nothing about them.”
The Hamas chieftain upheld the Brotherhood as “the most moderate organization, the most democratic organization, even more than the Western people. Don’t search for the devil.”
He said the Brotherhood strategy to assume power was one of progressive democratic gains in the Egyptian parliament.
“They [the Muslim Brotherhood] are going to participate by one third of the number of the parliament,” he said.
“They can achieve more than that, but now in the expected era, they are going to participate only by one third of their power,” he said. “This is the first step, but they are going to participate in the local councils in order to serve the people and to reconstruct what was destroyed by the corrupt systems.”
Audio of the final part of the interview can be heard below: