Yemen Muslim Cleric Hate


Yemeni cleric urges Islamic rule

President says US, Israel are at root of nation’s turmoil

Boston Globe
March 2, 2011

SANA, Yemen — Yemen’s president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, maintained a tenuous hold on power yesterday, blaming the United States and Israel for protests across the Arab world, while a prominent radical cleric joined the growing crowds demanding his ouster and called for an Islamic state.

US officials expressed concern about the statement of the cleric, Abdul Majid al-Zindani, a onetime mentor of Osama bin Laden, which introduced a new Islamist element to the turmoil in a country where Al Qaeda is viewed as a grave threat. The protests that toppled leaders in Tunisia and Egypt and that now threaten rulers in Libya, Bahrain, and Oman have been largely secular in nature.

Zindani spoke on an open-air stage before several thousand antigovernment protesters, guarded by 10 men carrying AK-47s and shielded from the scorching sun by two umbrellas wielded by aides.

“An Islamic state is coming,’’ he said, drawing cries of “God is great’’ from some in the crowd.

He said Saleh “came to power by force and stayed in power by force, and the only way to get rid of him is through the force of the people.’’

It was not clear how much support Zindani had among the protest movement.

As the opposition held what it called “a day of rage,’’ the progovernment camp mustered one of its biggest crowds in weeks of turmoil. Demonstrators replaced their opponents’ slogan — “the people want the regime to fall’’ — with the words “the people want Ali Abdullah Saleh.’’

Obama administration officials increasingly fear the power vacuum that they believe would follow if Saleh, whose son, nephews, and close allies in the Sanhan tribe control the military and intelligence agencies, departed. Zindani has long supported Saleh, and his defection, which followed that of tribal leaders and a refusal Monday by opposition parties to join a unity government, was a sign of how quickly the president’s patronage system is dissolving, a senior administration official said.

Saleh, for his part, sought to distance himself from Washington with comments all the more startling given the United States’ political support and military aid to his government.

“From Tunis to the sultanate of Oman,’’ Saleh said, the wave of protest is “managed by Tel Aviv and under the supervision of Washington.’’

US officials dismissed the accusation. Privately, administration officials said they believed that Saleh was posturing to hang onto his job.

Christian News and Media Agency

Yemen executes Muslim cleric


2005-11-27 -- A hardline Muslim cleric has been executed by firing squad in Yemen after being convicted of the murder three years ago of an official in the opposition socialist party.

Ali Ahmed Jarallah was executed on Sunday in the courtyard of the main Sanaa prison in the presence of his family, judges and lawyers, judicial sources said, after President Ali Abdallah Saleh upheld the death penalty against him.

Jarallah, an imam or prayer leader at a mosque in Sanaa, was convicted of the murder in 2002 of Jarallah Omar, the deputy leader of the Yemeni Socialist Party, and his sentence was upheld by an appeals court in April.

Jarallah said in a confession in July 2003 that he had acted alone in shooting Omar at a party conference in Sanaa the previous year.

He claimed that the killing was part of a jihad, or holy war, against converts to Christianity and infidels.

Six other people were jailed for between three and 10 years for belonging to a gang that the cleric allegedly created to murder socialists, Arab nationalists and converts to Christianity.

Jarallah had been a member of Yemen’s Islamist Al-Islah Party, but quit the movement shortly before the killing, complaining that it had gone soft on Westerners and minority Islamic sects.