Zindani shows interest to meet US Ambassador to Yemen Edmund Hull:Zindani accuses US of targeting Islam [Archives:2004/726/Front Page]

April 5 2004

Mohammed Al-Qadhi
Sheikh Abdulmajeed al-Zindani, head of Islah Central Committee and Rector of al-Eman University criticized the US Ambassador to Yemen Edmund Hull for the accusations that al-Eman University promotes extremism in Yemen and helps fund terrorism.
A press statement issued by al-Zindani's office, distributed on Wednesday, condemned the unnecessary US worry over the university. “We wonder whether any ambassador has the right to issue such judgments on any country's affairs?”, the statement said. It also called, in a way to show al-Zindani's interest in direct dialogue with the US, to “be honest and just in their charges against Sheikh Zindani and al-Eman University.” “If the Ambassador visited Sheikh Zindani, the doubts of the US government would be assuaged and if he asked Sheikh Zindani about Islam, he would tell him that Islam is a religion of justice, mercy and loyalty,” the statement said. The statement stressed that Zindani is ready to reply to the accusations before a Yemeni court, describing them as baseless. It pointed out that the US accusations against al-Zindani and al-Eman University fell in line with “the US Administration's policy of trying to dry up the springs of Islam” rather than terrorism.
Mr. Edmund Hull told al-Nahar independent weekly last Wednesday that “we are worried about the activities of al-Eman University; we aim to stop foreign funds to al-Zindani, so as to stop his funding for the university and the activities that promote terrorism and finance terrorism.”
Al-Zindani was put by the US Treasury Department on the list of people suspected of supporting and funding al-Qaeda and terrorist organizations. Al-Zindani denied such accusations and described them as baseless and untrue. He even appealed to the Yemeni political parties and the Muslim nation to defend him against the US charges. The US Treasury Department said he has a long history of working with Bin Laden. The US media reported in January 2003 that prisoners held in connection with the attack against the USS Cole told local authorities that al-Zindani issued a decree or fatwa ordering the strike and that the authorities did not investigate into such allegations which were denied by some leaders of the Islah party.
Al-Zindani's statement disclosed that “the US Ambassador informed Sheikh Abdullah al-Ahmar, chairman of Islah Party that a student of al-Eman University called Amer al-Shareef was being detained by Yemeni security authorities, and that he previously used to run al-Qaeda cells at the university, but that the investigations made by al-Ahmar and al-Zindani with the university administration found that the name was not enrolled at the university and did not study at it at all”. It added “al-Ahmar told the ambassador about this information,” but the ambassador replied that “he might not be a student at the university but he had contacts with its students.”
Despite the denial of al-Zindani and al-Eman University that Abed al-Kamil, murderer of the three US doctors at the Jibla Baptist Hospital on December 30, 2002 was not a student at the university, Hull said “the killer of the doctors in Jibla is a member of the al-Eman university and it has a role in promoting extremism.”
Al-Zindani's statement accused the US administration of targeting the Muslim world, its governments, clerics, and its educational and charity institutions. “The US administration after the September 11 adopted an unclear conception of terrorism and on its basis it took up policies and strategies making the Muslim countries, their governments, clerics and their educational and charity institutions a target for what it called the 'War on Terror' to the extent that some people began to think that terrorism is a synonym for Islam”. It said that on the basis of this, the US administration “practiced the policy of drying up the springs of Islam, alleging that it is drying up the springs of terrorism. It demanded the governments in Muslim countries change the Islamic education curricula of schools, institutes and universities.”