Taliban leader calls for days of protests by Muslims worldwide

Friday, October 26th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) _ Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammed Omar appealed Friday for three days of demonstrations supporting the Taliban cause _ calling that cause holy war, not terrorism.

Omar spoke in a recorded statement released in the Taliban's southern headquarters city of Kandahar, the Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press said.

``The Muslims of the world should see these events correctly,'' Omar said. ``America, with its powerful media, is giving the impression that holy war is terrorism, and the media is declaring freedom fighters terrorists.''

The true terrorists, Omar insisted, were the countries he called Islam's enemies _ the United States, India, Russia and Israel.

He asked for 72 hours of protests by ``those Muslims who feel that holy war is part of Islam ... to support the Taliban point of view.''

Omar gave no details of the kind of protests he sought or their timing. His request came on a day when thousands in neighboring Pakistan marched peacefully to denounce the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan.

The United States and Britain launched the campaign Oct. 7 when Omar's Islamic regime repeatedly refused to surrender Osama bin Laden, the United States' top suspect in last month's terror attacks on New York and Washington.