Yakan is the founder and head of the Lebanese Islamist Front. He holds a Ph.D. in Arabic and Islamic Studies, and was secretary-general of the Lebanese Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya group until he won a parliamentary seat, which he lost in 2005.
In a visit to Iran last week, he called for a joint defense pact for Iran and Arab and Muslim countries to defend the Muslim world. He also said, "Muslims of the world are united in efforts... to counter the U.S. and Zionist regime's threats, aggressions, and plots."
The excerpts of Yakan's Al-Jazeera interview are followed by transcripts of two previous MEMRI TV clips of his interviews on Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV.
Al-Jazeera TV, March 16, 2007
TO VIEW THIS CLIP VISIT: http://www.memritv.org/search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=1408.
Fathi Yakan: "There is no doubt that Sheik Osama bin Laden has a high level of faithfulness, trustworthiness, and transparency. He is faithful to his religion and to jihad for the elevation of the word of Allah. Unfortunately, there have been many rumors that he is an American creation, and that all that is happening is the result of scenarios concocted by him and America, especially following the Russians withdrawal from Afghanistan. There were claims that these people were biased towards the Americans, and that America toyed with them, and so on. I believe this is all nonsense, and that this is totally untrue. This man has a pure, honest and believing personality. He defends all that belongs to Islam and who renounces anything that is not Islamic, and therefore, he is a man after my own heart."
Interviewer: "You met him once, didn't you?"
Fathi Yakan: "It may have been more than once, because whenever I go to Saudi Arabia, I am invited to meetings and to deliver talks, just like many other preachers and scholars from Egypt and elsewhere. So I may have met him more than once.
"From what I know of the man, he is very sincere in what he calls for. I could almost say that I would not regard anyone else the same way I regard Osama bin Laden with respect to Al-Qaeda. Every person has his own characteristics, of course. I once wrote to Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi, [warning him]: 'Oh Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi, fear Allah in the way you behave.' I said this should be determined by Islamic law. I even wrote to the Al-Qaeda leadership, saying neither Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi nor anyone else should be left to act on their own accord, because of the fate of Islam..."
Interviewer: "Just to prevent misunderstanding - are you in contact with these people?"
Fathi Yakan: "Yes. With regard to Iraq, the Association of Muslims Scholars maintains constant contact with all the forces that operate there."
Interviewer: "But there was an operation, for which Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility - the bombing of the Twin Towers in America, and what was described as terrorist attacks against the Americans. In this case, for example, are you with him or against him? Were you happy when you saw the towers collapse?"
Fathi Yakan: "If we examine the ideology of Al-Qaeda and bin Laden in depth, we see that he has become completely convinced that the only way to curb the disease that is afflicting the Islamic world... The only way to stop this octopus is to crush the serpent's head."
Interviewer: "Do you share this opinion?"
Fathi Yakan: "It's fine with me. I might have crushed the serpent's head in a different way. I might have crushed it by means of the Islamic resistance in South Lebanon, by attacking Israel. But bin Laden said: 'No, I will strike it in its own home. I will strike it in the World Trade Center, and shake its economic status.' This is his methodology, and he should bear responsibility for it, but I am not sad or depressed that this happened, and I do not condemn it. In all honesty, I have never condemned this. Just like it had negative ramifications, it had positive ones as well."
Al-Manar TV, December 12, 2006
TO VIEW THIS CLIP: http://www.memritv.org/search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=1338
Fathi Yakan: "It's not true that the [Hizbullah] ministers' resignation from the government is an attempt to thwart the international tribunal. It was a response to pressure by the opposition and an effort to foil the plan of hijacking Lebanon, in order to Americanize and Zionize it.
"Brothers, are you aware that this tribunal - and, I'm sad to say, anything that comes out of the U.N. - must first be Zionized and get the Zionist stamp of approval? Are you aware that at the head of the legal team, appointed by Kofi Annan to study the proposal for an international tribunal… Are you aware that this legal team is headed by a Jewish woman? Yes, she is a Jewish woman, in the full sense of the word. It is no secret that this Jewish woman is Dr. Daphna Shraga, who graduated with a Ph.D. from Tel Aviv University. What else can be said about this tribunal, its role, its direction, and its rulings, if it is headed by a Jewish woman of this kind?
"Brothers and sisters, it is not true that the resistance is turning the Sunnis into Shiites. What is true is that we, the Sunnis, who began the resistance, must fulfill our natural role, which is dictated to us by our shari'a law. The shari'a dictates this upon us and upon our Shiite brothers. It does not dictate this just upon them, but upon all of us Muslims.
"If the enemy occupies even an inch of the land of Islam, jihad becomes an individual duty, incumbent upon each and every Muslim man and woman. A woman can leave her husband's home, even without his permission, and a child can leave home without his father's permission. This is shari'a law if even an inch of Muslim land is occupied. Today, entire countries are occupied by the American enemy, and according to shari'a law, the response to this occupation must be through the duty of jihad. Jihad, brothers, is our path to Paradise."
Al-Manar TV, October 20, 2006
TO VIEW THIS CLIP: http://www.memritv.org/search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=1297
Fathi Yakan: "Tomorrow, Allah willing, the 'true promise' will be fulfilled in Palestine, all of Palestine - not just in Jerusalem, not just in the 1967 territories, but on all Palestinian soil, the land of the frontline. Then, brothers, the greatest victory awaits us - the promise of the world to come. These promises will be followed by other promises, and then the greatest promise will be fulfilled, through the words of the Prophet Muhammad: 'Judgment Day will only come when the Muslims fight the Jews, and kill them.' This is the promise of the world to come. Through the true promise in Lebanon and in Palestine, we proceed, Allah willing, to the final promise, when the state of Israel, this cancerous growth, will be eliminated, Allah willing.
"Every day, the Israeli enemy opens a small window, and looks out at what happened in Lebanon, confirming that the resistance andLebanon were victorious, and that defeat was the lot of Israel and this accursed Israeli people - this accursed nation, the offspring of apes and pigs. I say to you, brothers, with all honesty: I suggest that the Lebanese who feel [Israel won the war] should go see a doctor, because they may be afflicted with psychological or mental AIDS."