Saddam Hussein advised Chechen rebels who have taken hundreds hostage in Moscow they were acting "unwisely" since they could lose whatever support they have in Russia, and were also undermining Islam. He added it would only end up benefiting the United States and Israel.
It would be "unwise for Chechens to lose the sympathy of the Russian people and state," the Iraqi president said in a statement read on state television.
"The Russian people will not be interested in the reasons for this act, but the results, which means the Chechens will lose (the support) of Russians," he said in the message addressed to Muslims around the world, and especially those in Chechnya.
"This will give Zionism and America an opportunity to undermine Islam and the Muslims, because of this behavior," he conveyed."Zionism and America are the Satan of our era, not Russia, China or India. Do not push these countries to hate Islam and the Muslims and stand against them on Satan's side," he said.
"The Russians, despite being Orthodox Christians, have not proved themselves to be fanatics against Islam and the Muslims, neither in the past nor present," Saddam said. "On the contrary, the Russian state and the former Soviet Union maintained, with few exceptions, good relations with Muslim countries, notably the Arab states," he added.
A group of some 50 Chechen guerrillas have held about 700 people hostage in a Moscow theatre since they stormed the building late on Wednesday, demanding Russia pull its troops out of their homeland. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )