Transcript of video 'ISIS: Trying to Win Hearts and Minds in Deir ez-Zur, Syria (Part 2)' that features a meeting between a Saudi ISIS official identified as Abu Abdulla Daigham and tribal leaders from al-Zir village in Deir al-Zor province, Syria.
What distinguishes this country from other Muslim countries [UNINTELLIGIBLE] Name an Islamic country whose ruler does not aid the infidels against Muslims. There is not any. In the Arabian Peninsula [Saudi Arabia] warplanes take off from the airports of Tabouk and Arar to bomb our brothers in Iraq [UNINTELLIGIBLE] There are bases all over the Arabian Peninsula. As for Qatar, you can talk about it unreservedly; it hosts the largest [US] military in the Middle East [UNINTELLIGIBLE] infidels.
In colloquial we say that they want to annihilate Muslims. When I come for your assistance and you are fighting against Muslims what does that mean? It means that I am annihilating Muslims.
He who wishes the disappearance of Islam and Muslims is not related to Islam in any way. Yesterday, I told the brothers that if a member of a clan leaves his clan and joins another and say to them, that clan has this or that weakness. What would you say of him? You would call him a traitor and say: he is not one of us. This is at the level of a clan, let alone God’s religion.
[UNINTELLIGIBLE] Name a country in which God’s Sharia reigns. God’s rule is only applied parts not fully. In the Arabian Peninsula they arbitrate the Sharia in court in issues of marriage, divorce, etc. but in military and commercial issues they do not resort to God’s Sharia. There are commercial courts and martial courts, which have special laws. You might find someone who had consumed alcohol, if he is a military, the Sharia court would sentence him to be flogged 80 lashes or 40 lashes.
He goes to the institution in which he works, he would receive a different sentence. They say that this is a military court. Why? Are you not satisfied with God’s rule? God almighty sentenced him to 40 lashes. Were you not satisfied with God’s rule? Do you have to come up with your own law?
The same applies to commercial issues, such as workers, etc. All of these issues do not follow God’s Sharia. There’s an office called the commercial chamber.
These are French laws [UNINTELLIGIBLE].
God almighty descended the Quran and said that this is your constitution. However, someone makes a constitution and you follow it. Some of the constitutions that exist… some of the brothers say that their content is ridiculous.
In [UNINTELLIGIBLE] there are sentences to 300 years [in prison]. Could someone live for 300 years? Someone would be sentenced to 300 for this and 150 years for that and the sentence would be 700 years at the end. If it was less… respect people’s minds and say that the sentence is until the [culprit] dies. Not 600 or 500 years… who could live for 500 or 600 years? Verdicts that even the mind cannot understande.
Among the things that annul faith in Islam is to deny what the prophet peace be upon came up with. Someone would say, “I do not like siwak [tooth cleansing twig] I do want to follow the [Sunna] Prophet’s teaching about using siwak. Why would you get a twig and put it in your mouth? This is not a nice thing.” He hates it. He does not like [UNINTELLIGLIBLE]
The Prophet peace be upon him said: “Had it not been a hardship for my nation, I would have commanded that they use siwak before every prayer.”
If the Prophet peace be upon him entered your home, the first thing He would [UNINTELLIGIBLE] would be siwak. May God be praised [UNINTELLIGIBLE] the mind. If someone is outside his home [UNINTELLIGIBLE] if he had bad breath the family would be repelled by him.
The Prophet peace be upon him did not eat onions or garlic in order to have good breath. If someone had garlic or onions [UNINTELLIGIBLE] come to the mosque. People hate that smell, angels also hate it. [UNINTELLIGIBLE] of what the Prophet peace be upon him said is part of Islam.
It does not mean that if someone was afflicted with drinking liquor [UNINTELLIGIBLE] this is not problem, this disobedience of God. [Someone would say] I [UNINTELLIGIBLE] the religion of God almighty, but I was afflicted with drinking liquor [UNINTELLIGIBLE] disobedience and [UNINTELLIGIBLE] what the prophet Peace be upon him said.
Among the things that annul faith in Islam is sorcery. This [UNINTELLIGIBLE] sorcery. [UNINTELLIGIBLE] in Raqqa 14 or 15 years and did get [UNINTELLIGIBLE] would directly go to the sorcerer. Some would call it a consultation according to the Quran.
Or if you did not receive [UNINTELLIGIBLE] you would go to a malicious sorcerer and have [you sleep at his place for three days. I seek refuge in God from this! These are only talismans and spells and beseeching of the jinn. I have footage of some things… sorcerers’ papers, hair, things that are written – you can talk endlessly about this.
Sorcery starts with women [UNINTELLIGIBLE] sorcery is polytheism. God says [UNINTELLIGIBLE] houses have been ruined because of sorcerers. How many homes were safe and tranquil yet was turned head over heels in a day or even moments.
[Man enters]: Peace be upon you.
[UNINTELLIGIBLE] sometimes if you leave your home you miss it, but if you return you will find that you hate the family [UNINTELLIGIBLE]. This is nothing but a tool of sorcery.
Among the things that annul faith in Islam is mocking the religion of God almighty. This is something that good people often fall in. Good people often fall in that. Why? A mechanic [UNINTELLIGIBLE] the same applies to computer owners [UNINTELLIGIBLE]
Righteous people joke about [UNINTELLIGIBLE]
Some of the Prophet’s companions reneged their faith because of one of word [UNINTELLIGIBLE]
Three words that made them outside religion. God almighty descended [UNINTELLIGIBLE] from the heavens
“Say thou: was it Allah and His signs and His apostle that ye have been mocking? Make no excuse. Of a surety ye are disbelieving after declaring your faith.”…. you are disbelieving after what? After declaring your faith.
One of the Prophet’s companions says [UNINTELLIGIBLE]
He said, of God’s prophet, this is a conversation of travelers, we were only joking. The prophet peace be upon him [UNINTELLIGIBLE] said do not make excuse.
A word could make you perish in life and the afterlife. This is why man one should always be careful about [UNINTELLIGIBLE] Make jokes [about everything] except religion. [Some would say] look at their beards [UNINTELLIGIBLE] or look at that man’s robe, how short it is or that he has miswak in his mouth.
Joke [UNINTELLIGIBLE] but not about religion.
This is one of the things that annul faith in Islam.
Also from the things that annul faith in Islam [UNINTELLIGIBLE] what the Prophet peace be upon him said or deny something that the Prophet peace be upon him said.
We would say for example that praying is one of the Prophet’s teachings; one would say, “No it is not.” We would say the prophet says this or that, one would say “no this [UNINTELLIGIBLE].”
You would say to someone drinking liquor is no lawful, it has been forbidden by God almighty. He would say: there is no [UNINTELLIGIBLE] it is not unlawful. One would justify this to himself.
One would deny what the Prophet has said.
This one of the things that annul faith in Islam.
Among the things that annul faith in Islam is to deny resurrection and that God almighty resurrects people from the graves. Some would say that if we die, our life would be over. It is over. A human being would live, but at the time of the resurrection, it would be over. There is nothing called resurrection. This is one of the things that annul faith in Islam.
One would deny torture in the grave by the angels Munkar and Nakeer. One would deny the prophet’s saying about torture after burial one would say: “No this is not true, I do not believe it. How could this be?”
Of the things that annul faith in Islam… of course [missing] prayers is one of the things that annul faith in Islam. Prayer is considered… the prophet peace be upon him says, “He who has abandoned prayer has shown disbelief.”
Of the things that annul faith in Islam… ah…. is not to not to acknowledge the infidels’ lack of belief or doubt [UNINTELLIGIBLE] or to correct what has been proven in Islam. [He who does this] is an infidel.
One would say: ‘Christians are not infidels.’ God almighty mentioned in the Quran that they are infidels.
[Someone would also say] that if you call someone infidel he will not embrace Islam. “You have to be kind. Be kind [UNINTELLIGIBLE] why would call him an infidel?” I said to him that God declared them infidels.
He said: “God declared them infidels but I do not want to call them that name. They are the people of the book [monotheist].”
This is happening… I have seen young men in Syria, in Sham… I asked them, saying: “What do you think of Christians?” They said: “We do not know.”
You do not know?! You do not know?! Christians say that Issa [Jesus] is the son of God.
Unseen man: They do not recognize that Mohammad peace be upon him is a prophet.
Sheikh Daigham: You do know that Jews say [UNINTELLIGIBLE] Have you not read the Quran? He said: “I know that they are the people of the book, but being infidels… I do not consider them infidels.”
One should not go that far. Scholars say that… God almighty mentioned this in the Quran [UNINTELLIGIBLE] the same applies to polytheists. He who doubts the infidelity of a polytheist is an infidel.
You would find someone kneeling at a tomb and beseeching [Imam] Ali [a central religious figure for Shiite], O Mohammad, O Jelani [a historic Sufi scholar in Morocco], O Zeinab [granddaughter of the prophet and a central figure for Shiites], etc.
Someone would say: “This is none of my concern. This is something between them and God almighty.”
God almighty will not punish me. This is an act of infidelity. We do not want exaggerate in declaring people infidels, as the khawarij do, or be like the murji’a who do not declare anyone infidel. For them, Iblis [Satan] has intact faith, just as angel Gabriel. Why? Because Iblis has said: “I fear God.”
During the conquest of Uhud… or Bader… Iblis said: “I fear God,” therefore [for the murji’a] he has integral faith.
There are the Khawarij who say that faith is indivisible, is a single bloc. Whoever disobeys God, becomes… becomes faithless. Whoever commits a great sin no longer remains a Muslim.
No. the prophet peace be upon said: faith [UNINTELLIGIBLE] he declares that there is no God but Allah and that Mohammad is his messenger.
For us, Sunnis, faith increases [victory?] increases obedience to God. We are neither Khawarij nor murji’a.
We ask God almighty to strengthen our faith, teach us the principles of the righteous ones, show us the righteous path and. We ask God to spare us from hell [UNINTELLIGIBLE] and Peace be upon the prophet.
Unseen man: Whoever has a question for the sheikh may go ahead and ask.
Sheikh Daigham: If someone would like to ask about the pledges of allegiance or about the state…
Unseen man: O sheikh, Christians, what is the ruling about them. Should be they be killed?
Sheikh Daigham: Nazarenes?
Man: Nazarenes …
Sheikh Daigham: Christians… God almighty has arbitrated his book between us and them, the same applies to Jews. Either they pay the jizya [a tax imposed on non-Muslims], or they embrace Islam.
Man: I expected this…
Sheikh Daigham: You expected this… If they embrace Islam, then thanks be to God. If they said: “We want to remain Christians impose the jizya on them. Then we would have to protect them. They should not break their covenant. They should not fight against Muslims, otherwise their covenant is no longer respected.”
Christians are all the same, whether in America or Syria. They are all the same.
Muslims are all one. A Muslim in America is not different than the one in Sham [Syria] or China. They are all one. The prophet peace be upon him when… ah… he wrote a covenant with Ibn Nathir and said that his people would be safe. When one man of them betrayed the covenant, he lifted a Muslim woman’s robe, a Muslim killed this Jewish man, [UNINTELLIGIBLE].
Only one man did this, right? The prophet however evicted all of them from Medina. The Prophet peace be upon even wanted to kill them.
Today, Abudllah bin Sallul [a pejorative name for the House of Saud] was following the Prophet’s call [UNINTELLIGIBLE] the prophet peace be upon him evicted them from Medina.
Someone might say: What do the others have to do with this? What do the Christians here have to do with Christians elsewhere? Fine, then what did the [Jews] in medina have to do what that the man who violated Muslims’ decency?
They are all one. Between the Christians and us… they either pay the jizya, or they embrace Islam, otherwise they have to be fought.
Omar may God be satisfied with him, placed conditions during his caliphate that arbitrated his relation with Christians. They could not ring their bells, declare their faith, or carry swords. They could not walk in the middle of the road, they had to walk on the side. And they had to “pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued” as God almighty said. These are called the Omari Conditions, they exist. These are the conditions that arbitrate between us and them.
How could we honor them while God humiliated them? They say that God is a trinity and that Issa [Jesus] is the son of God. How do you want us to [UNINTELLIGIBLE].
[Unnamed man makes inaudible comment]
Sheikh Daigham: Jews are harsher than Christians. Jews are harsher than Christians. Maybe only one of them embraced Islam at the time of the prophet peace be upon him, even though they knew that that man the messenger of God. They were certain that it was him, yet they did not embrace Islam. Christians on the other hand, were more lenient. Many of them embraced Islam [UNINTELLIGIBLE].
Fighting an apostate is greater than fighting a genuine infidel. Fighting an apostate is greater than fighting a genuine infidel; it is more crucial.
Now, our battle is with the apostates, Bashar [al-Assad] and his aides. Fighting is more crucial than fighting the Christians.
Unseen man: Is Bashar an apostate or an infidel?
Sheikh Daigham: Ah… an infidel
[Man keeps talking; inaudible]
Sheikh Daigham: An apostate…
[Man keeps talking; inaudible] he is not an apostate.
Sheikh Daigham: An apostate… is anyone who says that there is no God but Allah, and that Mohammad is his messenger and…
[Man talks; inaudible]
Sheikh Daigham: If Christians said there is no God but Allah and that Mohammad is his messenger… it should be spoken. Bashar and his aides testify that there this no God but Allah, and they testify that Mohammad is God’s messenger, but they commit acts that annul faith. They commit acts of polytheism, infidelity, acts that are very grave. They neither pray nor fast.
They pronounce the phrase there is no God but Allah and that his messenger is Mohammad however they do not act accordingly.
Among Bashar’s soldiers, are those who used to pray and now is fighting with him. Such a person would not be an original infidels. His father, mother and his grandfather are Sunnis, but the devil deceived him and he followed Bashar. He was deceived by life in the netherworld, TV channels that say victory is near, and there are women and money [UNINTELLIGIBLE].
Now, they are under siege. [UNINTELLIGIBLE] at night, there are women and hashish. They are happy in their atmosphere, and they know that they are wrong.
Unseen man: Should an apostate be sentenced to death?
Sheikh Daigham: Yes, of course. The prophet peace be upon him said: “He who changes his religion should be killed.”
Unseen man: Abu Baker al-Siddiq [prophet’s companion] fought against the apostates [UNINTELLIGIBLE]
Sheikh Daigham: We fight against apostates [UNINTELLIGIBLE] religion belongs to God, not to this or that person [UNINTELLIGIBLE] if a soldier from Bashar’s army comes and say I repent to God almighty, would I say ‘no’ to him? This is not permissible. This is not my religion. Religion belongs to the Lord. Whoever [UNINTELLIGIBLE] and says I repent, we would accept him. But if you caught him and he says I repent… no. It would be over. He is an apostate. If, before, he had run away and declared his Islam we would accept him.
Sheikh Daigham: What would stop him from repenting?
Man: Sheikh, you are saying that if one came to you and said I testify that there is no God but Allah and that Mohammad is messenger, should we finish him?
Sheikh Daigham: If he was a Jew or a Christian, no.
Man: Not a Jew or a Chrisitian, someone from the regime.
Sheikh Daigham: If he was a Muslim…
Man: If he said the shahada [that there is no God but Allah and that Mohammad is messenger]…
Sheikh Daigham: [UNINTELLIGIBLE] A Christian would not say “there is no God but Allah.” If you fight against a Christian and he said “there is no God but Allah,” if he was an original infidel, I would stop and not lift my sword on him.
Man: [UNINTELLIGIBLE] would this be while dealing with a Christian or an infidel?
Sheikh Daigham: With a polytheist, a polytheist!
Man: I understand, but the Prophet peace be upon him said that if someone said there is no God but Allah, you should not kill him.
Sheikh Daigham: A polytheist would not say “there is no God but Allah” or “Mohammad is God’s messenger”
Man: This one would have said “there is no God but Allah”
Sheikh Daigham: [UNINTELLIGIBLE] the Prophet peace be upon him [UNINTELLIGIBLE] He made a mistake.
Sheikh Daigham: what the prophet peace be upon say? “Lord I beseech you for what they have done.” As for someone who is with Bashar, if he says 70,000 times “There is no God but Allah” while I am standing near him, [he could not repent] because he always say “there is no God but Allah” the rawafid [Shiite] say “there is no God but Allah” every day. They say there is no God but Allah and beseech Hassan, Hussein, and Zainab, etc. Am I right or not? Will someone like this benefit from saying there is no God but Allah? No, because he would not have fulfilled the condition that comes with that saying. He was not honest or loyal or believing or loving, or even the acceptance of [UNINTELLIGIBLE].
Even if he said a 1000 times “there is no God but Allah”
Sheikh Daigham: Bu t if this man came and said I repent “I testify that there is no God but Allah and that Mohammad is His messenger” and I repent from every great sin. I repent. Then I would not able to say “no” to him.
Man: All of Bashar’s soldiers?
Sheikh Daigham: All those who repent.
Man: What would the sentence of a defected soldier be? If defected today, now. If someone came today to see you and said: “Brother, I defected.” What would the sentence against him be?
Sheikh Daigham: If he came and said “I repent” we accept his repentance and put him under surveillance to make sure that he truly repented… but we accept his repentance. We would not say to him….
Man: Even if he was a murderer?
Sheikh Daigham: Even if he was a murderer. Even if he was a murderer.
Man: Excuse me sheikh. Would he not be held accountable for the killings that he committed?
Sheikh Daigham: No.
[UNINTELLIGIBLE] No matter how many Muslims he would had killed. If he repents that it would be over.
Man: Suppose that a group of Bashar’s people are located in a certain position. I would call upon them and say “You shall be safe [if you surrender]” – this issue is being discussed on the street and I am telling you about it. They would tell them that they are safe and then once they come out they slit their throats. Would it be right to kill them?
Sheikh Daigham: No, it would not. If one is told that he would be safe and he came out, it would be over. If you can kill him, kill him. But once you tell him that he would be safe, you have to take him and educate him and benefit from him; let him return to Islam. Keep him for a day or two, or even a month or two so that you would teach him about his religion and that he would repent.
Man to Sheikh Daigham right: They said that [Islamic] State members does so and so [ININTELLIGIBLE] and the say “God is greatest” then kidnap women on the streets. These things are being talked about…
Sheikh Daigham: Rumors have reached a large scale. Things that could not be logical are said on the street. There are many things that I did not believe people would say on the street. Once, someone said to me “do you not fear God?”I said that had I not feared God I would not have come here. I laughed. He said: Why do you say ‘God is greatest’ three times and then kidnap a woman?” I said that we have women in the peninsula. We do not do this. I did not believe… a young man at my camp said to me that as soon as he went out, young women in his village started to run away. When he went home he asked why this was happening, he was told that it was because he was from the Islamic State – they were scared that [he] would kidnap them.
My children joke with me at home. My son puts his hand on [UNINTELLIGIBLE] and say “God is greatest” and say, “this is mine.” I said, “if you say God is greatest 70 times, it will not be yours.” They [my children] joke about it. People tell stories.
By God, I was visiting an old man. He said: Did you see hear what they said on this channel? I said: What? He said: They are saying that you forbid selling tomatoes with cucumbers, you do not put them together, because one is feminine and the other masculine.
I said: No, it is preferable…to put them together. Cucumbers with tomatoes are the best thing. [UNINTELLIGIBLE] to respect people’s minds.
Man: Frankly, there are so many… People think about the [Islamic] State that it does agree with Islam and its rulings are not Islamic. [People believe that Islamic State members] act according to their own ideas and not religion. Which of your ideas are yours?… You might have recourse to your own ideas in certain cases.
Sheikh Daigham: Ah… In Raqqa, after we declared that we will accept the repentance of anyone from the armed groups that fought against us… or shabbiha [regime thugs] no matter who they were… we said, “whoever wants to repent, let him come.” An old man came. He said, my son was injured and the men [Islamic State members] rescued him [UNINTELLIGIBLE] he had another son who was a fighting with a certain group against the Islamic State [UNINTELLIGIBLE].
I said, “may God salute you.” [UNINTELLIGIBLE] he did not imagine that [UNINTELLIGIBLE] he thought that I would only deal with him as members of Bashar’s regime do, with insults. [UNINTELLIGIBLE]
How would we [communicate with clans]? For example we went to the Bu Assaf clan. I would have tell and have tents prepared for them, big tents, where all the Bu Assaf would be gathered and talked to them. People did not believe. They said, “are you with the [Islamic] State?” I say, I swear by God that I am.” I am not here to do any magic. They would ask questions…
When they would come to my office and all what I would say to them [UNINTELLIGIBLE] Quran I swear by God, when I would see them… Thanks be to God, when you hear a man talking, you could tell whether someone is honest or lying. Our souls were close. Thanks be to God since I was six or seven years old, I have been with old men [UNINTELLIGIBLE] I swear to God that I find among the heads of clans some who consider me one of their children. This is by the grace of God almighty.
When we were besieged in Raqqa, they gathered [near the] governor’s palace and said that Sheikh Daigham is under siege. They said: “By God, we shall get him out [UNINTELLIGIBLE].”
What arbitrates between people and us are the Quran and the Prophet’s teachings. If we deviate from the Quran and the Prophet’s teachings do not obey us. And if we ordered to do something according to the Quran and the Prophet’s teachings then obey us. We should be obeyed unless according to the Quran and the Prophet’s teachings.
Man: I have a question. You… on the level of a village… you want to establish God’s rule. Are you commanded by God to impose punishments under these circumstances while there is a state of war?
Sheikh Daigham: I have said that punishments are not carried out in a state of war. However, they are postponed. If the war stops, punishments start being carried out. But if my power was established in a part of this land where this is no war, would I practice God’s Sharia in this part or not? Yes, I would. I would impose Sharia on the members of the State as well as the people. Because in that particular place there is now war. Raqqa has an area of 20,000 square Km, about 100 Km to the north… hundreds of kilometers. Only the [Islamic] State exists there. And we have an Islamic court. Would I say there is war in Idlib, therefore I should not carry out punishments in Raqqa? No. I carry out punishments in Raqqa because I am the party in control there.
I would flog a drunkard; the killer, I would either have the heads of clans mediate for a about a month or two, if the victim’s family relinquish their right voluntarily, then thanks be to God. If they do not, we would arbitrate God’s Sharia.
We would fulfill God’s Sharia. The same applies to robbery, and all the punishments. I swear by the one and only God, if you apply punishments, people rejoice. Imagine that killing one man… you kill one man, a murderer, and people would know that no one would threaten them.
When it comes to lands, you might find that every year around 10, 20, 30 people are killed over disputes per land ownership and delineating property surfaces. Families would be displaced.
One person would be killed, but the entire family suffers the consequences. The siblings would be displaced, homes would be destroyed, crops would be burnt an [UNINTELLIGIBLE] would be killed. Why? Is that God’s Sharia? But if you bring the killer in, the rest of the family would spared [UNINTELLIGIBLE] nobody would do anything to them, otherwise it would be an offense to the Islamic State. Your problem is with that man, we will him put in jail until we apply God’s Sharia.
People would be relieved. Imagine that [UNINTELLIGIBLE]] in the village someone was killed during a fight. Would you expect that the young men in the village, when they see that he was punished, do you think if someone engages in a fight he will kill anyone? Many will think very well before doing something like this.
In this village, if someone steals we would cut his hand off in front of the mosque after the prayer in front of the people. Would there be any more thieves? God willing there will not be a single a thief.
A ruler once said that the punishment for theft, cutting the thief’s hand, will cause all half of the population to have their hands cut. But if you cut the hand of one person, you will not have as many thieves as half of the population. People would see an example. “And there is life for you in retaliation, O men of understanding” [Quranic verse] Life! If you kill one person, there would no more killings among people.
But according to the clan code, if one person is killed the best person [from the killer’s clan in revenge]. What did he have to do with it?
In ancient battles among Arabs, they did not kill the best people in order not to lose them. Instead, they would kill average people. Yet, you would kill the best of men? This is a disaster! What do I have to do with it? Why would you kill me? Was I the murderer? Did I hurt you? I am not guilty! On judgment day he would his head on my [UNINTELLIGIBLE] and say to God: “O God, ask him. Why did he kill me?” This would be a disaster!
By God, brothers, there nothing better than God’s Sharia. God almighty created people and knows what is best for them, which is the Quran and the Prophet’s teaching.
Man: [UNINTELLIGIBLE] Why do certain armed groups - the so and so battalion. Of course, you performed your right in self-defense. Why [do they fight you] while they say there is no God but Allah? Many feel too embarrassed to ask this question- just so that no would feel any tension about this issue. Please go ahead. I think this the most important issue.
Sheikh Daigham: God almighty’s enemies have different ways to fight Muslims. The most important thing [for them] is that God’s Sharia would not be applied. This is the most important thing. The means of fighting are numerous.
[Man comes in]: - Is there a meeting?
-Come in! Come!
Sheikh Daigham: [UNINTELLIGIBLE] either fighting formally and publically, as America did against the mujahedeen in Afghanistan and Iraq, or fighting a proxy war, as has happened in the past few years in Iraq, when they took advantage of the so called Islamic Army and the Awakenings (Sahawat). This is less [UNINTELLIGIBLE] and creates more divisions. They [America] would not lose anything [UNINTELLIGIBLE]
America and France [bombed] Iraq, but could not do the same in Syria. But they have an alternative. You could find [UNINTELLIGIBLE] and people who have a black history and appoint them as heads of battalions, flood [one of them] with money, and give them five [oil] wells he [UNINTELLIGIBLE] he will do whatever you want.
When I first came here, I was told that there is a man called Joujou. [UNINTELLIGIBLE] they said this Joujou is a man who is mostly likely 20 years old. He had billions [of Syrian pounds] and has soldiers [UNINTELLIGIBLE] why did he form a battalion? For the sake of “there is no God but Allah”? Why did he get heavy machine guns, artillery, and anti-aircraft machine guns? Why would get these weapons? It is either for the sake of controlling [oil] wells or [UNINTELLIGIBLE].
They formed the so-called Islamic Front and said this is an alternative to the Islamic State. They brought some of the most criminal armed factions… I have heard about a man called Abu Issa, saying: we want a civil state. ..yes it is there… a civil state, in people from different affiliations could live together…. Christians, Jews, Druze… all people could coexist and be equal in the homeland. God forbid! This is the apogee of unbelief! This means that the entire country would be for everyone. No! The Prophet peace be upon said: He who changes his religion shall be killed.”
A Druze should say “I testify that there is no god but Allah and that Mohammad is the messenger of God” and pray and fast, otherwise we kill him.
A Christian should either embrace Islam or pay the jizya, otherwise I would battle him.
Man: If there the war was over and there was a Druze man among us, should he be killed?
Sheikh Daigham: Yes.
Man: Even if there was no war?
Sheikh Daigham: Yes, even if there was not a war. Druze and Alawites are [UNINTELLIGIBLE].They either embrace Islam and return to God’s Sharia or be killed. Of course you know that Druze do not pray….
Man: They have no religion…
Sheikh Daigham: They only pray [UNINTELLIGIBLE]
Sheikh Daigham: The proof is what the Prophet peace be upon him said: He who changes his religion should be killed. This is general [rule] that applies to everything.
After [Abu Issa] joined the Islamic front, they told him that what he was saying was blasphemy, and if we appoint you [in an official position] people will turn against us. He said: I renege what I have said because people do not realize that things happen in different steps. He justified what he said, saying that these are gradual phases, and that what he said was perfectly alright. What said later [his justification] is graver than what he said before. Saying that this is “going in gradual phases” is act of disbelief in God.
Man: Sheikh Abu Abdallah, perhaps the men know that you need to interact more with people and be closer to them, because otherwise, there will be many rumors. Also, concerning anything that you hear about, such as the [Islamic] State did this or that, you need to issue statements to say that you have nothing to do with these things.
Your media does not defend you. Let us return to the issue of Joujou, whom you mentioned. You might be mistaken. You are in Raqqa, and I told the men [ISIS members]. Joujou is better than others… listen sheikh. Joujou has oil. It seems that Joujou had formed an armed group to resist [the regime] in Deir al-Zor, and he also used to money to other armed groups in Deir al-Zor.
Unseen man: But he is a corruptor.
Man: Alright, sheikh I am asking you, did he use to give money to other armed groups?
Unseen man: Other armed groups like whom? Other corrupt groups... They were carrying out more killings.
Man: Sheikh Ahmad, please. I just want to make a point. Joujou is better than others. There are other heads of armed groups who have many oil wells and billions [of Syrian pounds] and did not give any money to groups that are fighting against Bashar [al-Assad]-- whether Joujou is a corrupter or not. He told to name his group after a companion of the prophet but he refused. He said: I do not want to because my battalion…
Unseen man: …most of its members smoke hashish [man asking questions laughs]
Old man: To clarify any misunderstanding, I told the sheikh that Joujou, when Nusra Front arrived… by the way when we sit with the members from the Nusra Front, they say the same things that you are saying. They do not say anything different. They also want to instate God’s rule, they want… the exact same things that you said.
Unseen man: But they do not apply it.
Man: Fine, we are saying that there are other armed groups that day the same things that you are saying. I know that Nusra Front took over Joujou’s wells. Afterwards -- you have to show to people whether this is true or not – it was said that the [Islamic] State gave Joujou its banner and asked him to set up checkpoints to fight against Nusra Front. Joujou, whom you have mentioned, was given a banner by the [Islamic] State to set up checkpoints. I am asking you, is this true or not? If it was true, then you should not talk about him. If it was not, show that to people so they would not talk about you.
The other thing that I want to talk about, regarding other factions, is that Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham, or the Army of Islam; they all say the same thing. They say that they want to establish God’s rule, and spread the value “there is no God but Allah and that Mohammad is God’s messenger.” They say the same thing.
I, myself, I have debated the Nusra Front about infidels and Christians. Specifically, Michel Kilo… they talked about Bouti and Hassoun [pro-Assad clerics], which is true. But Michel Kilo was my cellmate, we were imprisoned together before you existed. He opposed Hafez al-Assad. His problem is that…
Unseen man: He is Christian…
Man: A Christian, communist, and secular, he was all that, but he was against injustice. He was with us. He was imprisoned with us, Muslims. He fought against informers who used to report us for praying. Whoever used to pray was killed. He used to point out these informers. Anyways, we agree that he was Christian. I asked the Nusra Front the same question. I said, “how do we solve our problem with him?” This man and whoever is with him, out of loyalty for him, as Muslims, should we not be loyal to them? How do we deal with them? They said the same thing that you did. And indeed, this is what Islam is. This is Islam. To pay the jizya or be killed…
Unseen man: …or embrace Islam.
Man: yes, or embracing Islam. He will not embrace Islam. We will take jizya from him. They said the same thing that you are saying. I am not against ruling according to the Islamic Sharia. I am saying that this is the same thing that you are saying… You… all of these armed groups, have the same goal and aim. Why do you not merge together?
Sheikh Daigham: First of all, about Joujou. I do not know this Joujou. I had never heard about him
Old man: I told you…he is 19 years old.
Sheikh Daigham: when there was a battle at the checkpoint, I was told Joujou was so and so… About whether we gave him a banner… we did not give him any banner…
Man: I am asking you sheikh…
Sheikh Daigham: Your words are here.
Old man: Just to avoid discord… because Nusra Front said that the Islamic State gave him its banner so that he would to fight them. If you say that you did not I accept your word.
Abu Dujana: We fought the Nusra Front in Raqqa. First there was the Free Syrian Army and then the Nusra Front, and then they fought against us. Among them there was the emir – Abu Farah?
Let us get back to Joujou. You said that he used to offer support to the armed groups in the city [of Deir al-Zor], but he did not offer support to Islamic factions at all. I was the emir of the city, and I was in a secret location, which he only he knew, other than God almighty [UNINTELLIGIBLE] the Islamic State [UNINTELLIGIBLE] the emirs appointed me emir of the city previously known as Deir al-Zor and now called Madinat al-Khair [ISIS renamed Deir al-Zor as the City of the Good]. This man offered support to the corrupt, debauched and apostate armed groups only.
Man: Sheikh, please…
Abu Dujana: Wait… you asked me something and I am answering you
Man: You, you specifically… Abu Dujana from Deir al-Zor, before you joined the [Islamic] State, you did not take money from Joujou?
Abu Dujana: I did not.
Man: That is it. That was my question.
Abu Dujana: I will answer you… he did not help Islamic groups. Even if helped any groups, he would boast before them about his services. [UNINTELLIGIBLE] this is not his money, it belongs to Muslims. You see? On the contrary, when he increased his support to battalions, they formed an Awakening and fought against Muslims.
[UNINTELLIGIBLE] after it came under pressure in Iraq, the US ambassador came and said to the Syrian national coalition: You have to sow discord in Syria in order to decrease pressure on us in Iraq. And they fulfilled that agenda indeed. You say that all factions call for enjoining what is righteous. But what who practiced that in effect? Who did… We have enough talking. It has been 40 or 50 years that mosques have been preaching “God said…” and “the prophet said…” but was there practice? Did you start a revolution under Bashar [al-Assad]?
Old man: No
Abu Dujana: every revolution was put down. Why? [Those who carried these revolutions] sought their interests and to occupy official positions. You know how politics works.
Joujou helped the battalions of apostates, which smoke hashish and have no faith…
Man: That is enough I know this, but the comparison, Abu Abdulla…
Abu Dujana: Let me continue…
Man: the comparison among Joujou and the other thieves who do not give[money to others] is secondary. This man, despite his flaws…
Abu Dujana: … he is better than others?
Old man: Yes.
Sheikh Daigham: He is better than Abu Jahal [an enemy of the prophet]? Is that right they are both [UNINTELLIGIBLE]
Man: but we should scorn this one [Jojou] less because he supported the Prophet, while the other…
Sheikh Daigham: They are both… [UNINTELLIGIBLE]
Abu Dujana: the problem started with Joujou [UNINTELLIGIBLE] Nusra Front. They claimed that – this is a lie and an injustice -- I say this to their faces, I am not embarrassed of saying it. We told them several times that they are lying to us and we debated them several times. We asked to negotiate the fate of al-Zir village, but they refused. We wanted to set an appointment, but they apologized saying they were busy. For the last debate, we met over the internet, we said let your committee and our committee, your soldiers and our soldiers meet, you say what is right and we say what is right. We ought to be one group, not two or three or four. Alright? But they apologized.
You are lying to us and being unfair to us, saying that the [Islamic] State is avoiding a debate, and say that the [Islamic] State seceded from the Nusra Front. But the exact opposite is true. The Nusra Front seceded from the [Islamic] State. I return to the story that says the [Islamic] State gave Joujou its banner. This is a lie. Yes, Joujou used this ruse. He fought against the Nusra Front, he hoisted the banner of the Islamic State, and we knew about this. There is a fatwa from the office of the emir [UNINTELLIGIBLE] that whoever speaks in the name of [Islamic] State’s in order to rob should be killed. He is a corrupter. We went to him and warned him. We told him not to use our banner and he said that he did not. The second time, he did not listen to what we said. Joujou is stubborn. He is an apostate. He does not pray or fast. He takes the blue pill. Do you know what the blue pill is? Now I am familiar with blue pill, the green pill and Afghan… he smokes hash. He cannot anyone acknowledge else. He believes he is a hero and there is no one other than him.
We sat with him [UNINTELLIGIBLE] we now have all of his weapons [UNINTELLIGIBLE] and some of them were killed and the rest of them left. We told them not to hoist the banner of the [Islamic] State. It is the banner of Islam and Muslims, but only the group of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant can hold it. Have you seen Nusra Front or Ahrar al-Sham hoisting this banner? They do not hoist this banner. This banner…
Man: [There is no difference] between this banner and that of al-Qaeda. It is the same…
Abu Dujana: I know that they have the same writing “There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is the messenger of God,” a hash smoker even holds the banner of “No God but Allah and Mohammad is the messenger of God.”
Old man: Abu Dujana, you have to respect them. Nusra Front are your brothers…
Abu Dujana: I respect Nusra Front… I am not talking about Nusra Front, I am talking about hash smokers.
Old man: One third of Syria… One third of Syria has been liberated by those with whom you were fighting.
Abu Dujana: Who are the Nusra Front? They are the Islamic State...
Man: O sheikh, Sheikh Ahmad, do you want us to comply with you and keep quiet? If you want us to clarify any ambiguity we have to talk frankly.
Abu Dujana: Now, I am talking honestly…
Man: You, Sheikh Ahmad, and Abu Abdallah [Sheikh Daigham] knows this; you only joined the Islamic State very recently. You part of the Free Syrian Army, and you were a mujahid for the sake of God, and you spent some time with the Nusra Front, and you spent… all of these are your colleagues. You know that these, before the [Islamic] State was formed… how long have you been in Syria? When the Islamic State first started.
Sheikh Daigham: Ah… the Islamic State appeared the day when the Nusra Front arrived…
Man: Excuse me?
Sheikh Daigham: The day when the Nusra Front arrived.
Man: Exactly, when the Nusra Front arrived. Was it under the name of the Islamic State or Nusra Front?
Sheikh Daigham: [UNINTELLIGIBLE] Abu Mohammad Joulani was in Iraq, we asked him not to use any name; neither Nusra Front nor anything else. This was the case for around three months, they were fighting without a name. Abu Mohmmad al-Joulani … went to Iraq in 2003. He was taken captive while trying to implant an explosive device… when he was taken prisoner, we sent one the sisters, claiming to be his mother. She kept visiting him for six years. Whatever he needed, clothes, money, or anything else, she used to get it for him.
After he get out of jail, he stayed with the governor of the north, Abu Muslim. He was a military in Iraq. He stayed there for six months. Sheikh Abu Bakr said, as he usually says, that we have sleeping cells in Syria since the time of Abu Mussab Zarqawi.
Sheikh [Baghdadi] said, “I will make you the governor of Sham [Syria]. I want someone from Sham so that the people would accept him.” We did not want to face… When Abu Mussaab Zarqawi went to Iraq people reject. They said, how could a Jordanian govern us?
They chose al-Adnani. The Sheikh said, “No I cannot give you al-Adnani. He is the official spokesperson of the State. He has to stay close to me.” Abu Muslim said, “I have a young man who has just gotten out of prison. He is a good man, so on and so forth, and he is from Sham.” Abu isaid, “I love this man.” He stayed with him for six months. He said, “I named him al-Fateh [the conqueror].”
Sheikh Abu Baker al-Baghdadi said, “Let him write me about the affairs of Sham.” Abu Muslim was an old man. He had a white beard. He loved Joulani because he was staying at home and he stayed with him at prison. Abu Muslim got Joulani some books and said to him, “write from these books.” There only some minor mistakes. Sheikh Abu Bakr liked what he wrote and said [to Abu Muslim] bring me this new emir. He sat with him and he liked him, but he had some minor remarks. They were ordinary. [Joulani] did not have a good experience in military affairs, because he stayed in Iraq for around a year. The same was the case for his of knowledge of administration. He said to him, “I will give you seven of the highest cadres in Iraq. I will send them with you. Whenever [you need them] they will be with you.” Indeed, he sent them to him and [UNINTELLIGIBLE] and they had an incursion into Idlib.
They did the first two operations using explosive-rigged cars against the headquarters of the military staff. Afterwards, they chose the name Nusra Front. I was in the Peninsula. I used to support Nusra Front since I was in the Peninsula. I know them one by one, the emir of the border… those who are with Nusra Front now. I sent the first migrant fighter to Sham. The first migrant fighters! Abu Muhammd al-Jazrawi and our brother Abu Omar, may God accept him as a martyr.
Unseen man: Abu Imad in Iraq…
Sheikh Daigham: Abu Imad was originally in Iraq… Nusra Front started achieving victories but people did not know who it was. They kept saying “it is al-Qaeda.” The brothers did not know. After about seven or eight months, Joulani decided to secede from the [Islamic] State. Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was told that Joulani wants to secede from the State.
Unseen man: Why? Did he not mention the reason?
Sheikh Daigham: There were no reasons. I hope that God does inflict this on us or on the Muslims. Leadership is difficult. The lure of leadership is one of the worst things. Sheikh Abu Bakr [appointed him] when he was in Iraq to [start] a State in Sham. This plan has been since the time of Abu Mussab Zarqawi.
To have a State in Iraq, a State in Sham [Syria] and then we would conquer Palestine. Sheikh [Abu Bakr] did not believe that Joulani has seceded.
He sent after Abu Mohammad al-Joulani. He reached the borders and entered Iraq. He sat with the Sheikh and told him that he did not want to secede and that these were rumors. He said, “I am tired in Sham [Syria] and I need people I can trust to join me in Sham [Syria]. I would like al-Adnani and I would like so and so people to be with me.” He asked for four people.
The Sheikh said, you “Adnani are the official spokesperson, go with him.” He is from Sham. He went with him. For a while, [Baghdadi] said that[Joulani] might seceded.
Unseen man: Did he swear allegiance?
Sheikh Daigham: What do you by ‘he did not swear allegiance’? He did.
Unseen man: How many times? I heard it was four times.
Sheikh Daigham: He swore allegiance more than once. He swore in Iraq, and and then [UNINTELLIGIBLE] and he swore allegiance when he came back. Sheikh Abu Bakr had to come to Sham. He told me: “The first time… when I met Joulani in the car at the border. It was the first time I shook his hand, he said to me; I will not betray you, sheikh.’” “I will not betray you.”
Unseen man: Treason was in his soul.
Sheikh Daigham: [Baghdadi said] “Sheikh Abu Mohamadm, you shall be held accountable according to what you are saying. I did not say that you are a traitor.” He said to him: “I only want you to rest assured.”
Sheikh Abu Bakr stayed here for a while, when they met, after the meeting, all the members of the Nusra Front pledged allegiance. It was after the last oath [by Joulani]. After less than 10 days, the Nusra Front council convened and said that they will imprison Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Abu Ali al-Anbari and return the Iraqis back to Iraq.
They would only correspond by letters. They brought Ahmad [UNINTELLIGIBLE] he was part of the council and he told the sheikh [UNINTELLIGIBLE]. It was then when the Sheikh announced the establishment of the Islamic State in Iraq and Sham.
He told Abu Mohammad al-Joulani, who was a soldier in the Islamic State
Until recent times, Bayt al-Mal (State Treasury) was divided into two parts, one for Syria and the other for Iraq. When Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced the establishment of the Islamic State, Bayt Al Mal became common for both countries. After al-Baghdadi announced the establishment of the State, Abu Mohammad al-Joulani said he will defect from the Islamic State, and join Sheikh Ayman [al-Zawahiri].
This is mentioned only to [UNINTELLGIBLE]…
Unseen man: Please let me ask you something...
Sheikh Daigham: Let me finish first.
Unseen man: But if might forget my question.
Sheikh Daigham: No you will not.
]The Sheikh [Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi] ordered us to ask people to swear allegiance all over again, under the name of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. All of Aleppo swore allegiance, this area too [Deir al-Zor] except for Al Sheheil; the entire Raqqa province, Tabaqa, Hama, Idlib and al Braka (al-Hasaka). All of these provinces swore allegiance.
In the past, we used to make people swear allegiance when they graduated from the military camp; they swore allegiance to al-Joulani who had sworn allegiance to al-Baghdadi. All of the military camps swore allegiance.
We only came here [to support] Nusra Front [UNINTELLIGIBLE] Nusra is nothing but a branch of the Islamic State. I swear by God almighty that I came from the peninsula based on this… migrants came here based on this. If you secede, I will not follow you.
Our brother is the emir of a particular region and he sends his troops to another nearby area where there is another emir. All the people have pledged allegiance to this man [the first], who accepted the oath on behalf of someone else if [UNINTELLIGIBLE] we will stay with our emir. This is the whole story.
I ask God almighty to safeguard us “Though shall all hold on to God’s rope and not be divided.” This schism has been the largest in Sham. By the one and only God, I received more than four or five oaths by hand in Sham.
Man: What is your relation to Sheikh Ayman [Zawahiri]?
Sheikh Daigham: Sheikh Ayman?