After the proclamation of the Islamic State / Caliphate by the Islamic State in Iraq ad as-Shām reactions by opposing al-Qaeda branches were to be expected. Here is the official reaction by al-Qaeda in the Maghreb:
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb
***The Year of Jama’ah … The Hope of the Ummah***
Praise be to Allah, who said in His Holy Book: “And do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart; and be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” (Al-Anfal, 46). Peace and prayers be upon he who was sent as a mercy upon mankind, who said: “Allah’s Hand is with the Jama’ah” (Ibn ‘Abbas), and on his pure family and his companions and those who followed them cheerfully to the Day of Judgment… And henceforth:
We begin this statement by congratulating our Muslim brothers everywhere on the holy month of Ramadan, praying to Allah to make it a victorious month for the Muslims and for this month to lessen the agonies of the Muslims and heal their wounds. We ask You O Allah to grant victory to the Mujahideen and to free the captured and imprisoned, amen.
We followed and did not overlook the recent incidents in Sham and why would we not do that since Sham is the land of the believers and the angels of the Gracious have spread their wings over it, and on its land the Muslim epics will take place.
We remained silent all this time not because of our inability to speak, nor a lack to be upfront, but we feared that our words will add fuel to the inflamed fire, as many who lie in wait for the Jihad of the Muslims in Sham have done, and many added flames to the fire of fitna, and there is no power but from Allah. We feared that the enemies of Allah would take advantage of our words and distort them against a group of the Mujahideen, as we hoped that the rift would mend and the ordeal would ease. We were not content with hope and silence, but we secretly tried to mend the situation with the help of other Jihadi groups, believing that conflict among the Mujahideen should be resolved secretly away from the eyes and ears of the lurking media enemies. Allah allowed incidents to accelerate and we were not successful as Allah commanded before and after.
Today, while standing in front of the most serious of these incidents, it became necessary to stipulate our position, record our words, and advise our Ummah and our brothers, and we seek help and steadfastness from Allah, may His glory be glorified.
We heard as the Mujahideen and Muslims have heard the words of the official spokesman of the Islamic State in Iraq and Sham announcing the restoration of the Caliphate and pledging allegiance to Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as a Caliph to the Muslims. With such an announcement, we say:
First: The establishment of the Caliphate based on the prophetic platform which governs by the law of Allah in Muslims and unifies their word and preserves their noble deeds, is the effort of every truthful Mujahid and every organizations and Jihadi group that is known for their speaking the truth and the validity of their approach, and sacrificed and continues to sacrifice the soul and blood, and spends money for that cause.
Second: It is obvious to all Muslims and Jihad organizations with a truthful approach that such an announcement (about the Caliphate) cannot come without Shura, in accordance with the command of Allah the Glorious to His believing slaves: “Those who conduct their affairs with Shura” (Ash-Shura, 38). And He said to His Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him: “and consult them in affairs” (Al-Imran, 159). We speak before everyone when we say that when the signs of fitna appeared in Sham, the brothers in the Dawla brought to our attention what happened, and we thank them for this and their trusting us.
So how today when the affliction and issues greater do they make such an announcement without the advice of the leaders of the Mujahideen, whose honesty has been proven and who have advised their Ummah and pursued the establishment of Khilafat-e-Rashida.
O our brothers in the Islamic State what is your position on the command of the Taliban and their Emir Mullah Muhammad Umar, may Allah protect him, who sacrifice his state for a group of Muhajireen, including the founder of the Islamic State in Iraq, Sheikh Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, may Allah have mercy on him? What is your position on Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri, who hardly gave a speech without commending your heroism in Iraq, even though you disagreed with him recently? What is your position on the Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus? What is your position on the leaders of al-Qaeda branches in other areas and others from the Mujahideen?
This, let alone the scholars and callers, the people of truthfulness who proved thier dedication to Islam and called for the establishment of the Caliphate, and did not settle for the tyrants who rule with positive law in loyalty to the enemies of their Ummah. Most notable are the Lion of Tawhid Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, Sheikh Abu Qatada al-Falastini, Mujahid Sheikh Abu al-Walid al-Gazzi, the renewing Sheikh Suleiman al-‘Alwan, who spent so many years in prison because of his support for Jihad in Iraq. The matter is greater than to be bounded by jurisprudential or political differences, for it is the Caliphate which all Muslims desire, the devoted and the wicked.
Fourth: In light of the new reality, we call upon those responsible ones, scholars and emirs, especially Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, Sheikh Abu al-Walid al-Gazzi, Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Mulla Muhammad Umar, Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri, Sheikh Nasir al-Wuhaishi, Sheikh Abu al-Zubair, Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Julani, among other scholars and Mujahideen commanders to agree on one statement, mend the flow inside the unified house away from media so they can achieve the purity of Islam and unity of Muslims and to prevent bloodshed.
Fifth: We clearly declare that we will be at the forefront to abide by what they decide. As we await this honorable decision, we reiterate that we still pledge allegiance to our Sheikh and Emir Ayman al-Zawahiri, as our allegiance to him is firm and we do not see a reason to disaffirm it as it is an allegiance to Jihad to liberate Muslim lands and affirm Islamic Shariah law in it and bring back the Caliphate that is based on prophetic principles.
Sixth: We put our position in front of the scholars of our Ummah, head by the leading sheikhs of the Mujahideen and their references, to state their opinion very clearly on this calamity, and to make right our position if they see it to be distorted. Truth is our demand. This is the right time to mend the rift and direct the Mujahideen.
And we cannot fail in this regard to direct the following messages:
We call upon all the Jihadi groups fighting with the Dawla, head by our brothers in Jabhat al-Nusra, to stop their incitement against it, and to commit to the orders of Sheikh Ayman, may Allah protect him, as we call on our brothers in the Islamic State to commit to them. All this is to prepare the reconciliation between them, as a truthful believer does not rejoice for the fighting among the Mujahideen, and none finds joy in it but the malevolent enemy or envious hypocrite.
We hope the Jihad groups contribute to this endeavor and refer it to the scholars in order to collect the word of the Mujahideen and make the lurking enemy miss the opportunity.
We remind all the Jihadi media outlets that any announcement or position that does not come from al-Andalus Media Foundation does not represent al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, as we point out the need to verify and investigate the credibility of the carrier.
Finally: We emphasize that the Islamic Caliphate is our demand, and we strive for that through our Jihad and our fight against the enemies of the Ummah who are conspiring night and day to prevent its establishment, and want the Caliphate based on the prophetic platform and based on Shura, and that strives to unite Muslims and preserve their blood. We also emphasize that there is still time to mend the issues in this announcement, through involving the symbols of knowledge and Jihad in this decision and taking their opinion, as they are the first to be described as the people of resolution and agreement.
O Allah! Conclude for this Ummah the righteous matter that glorifies the people who obey You and humiliates the people who disobey you!
O Allah! Unify the ranks of the Muslims and disappoint the enemies who lie in wait for them and overturn the plotting of the hypocrites and the rumor-sowers!
Our last prayer is praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.
Al-Andalus Foundation for Media Production
6 Ramadan 1435H, Corresponding: 4 July 2014M