In a new audiotape purportedly by Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader has called on fighters in Iraq to "unite under one banner".

The following are excerpts from the recording:

"I advise myself and all the Muslims, particularly brethren in the al-Qaeda organisation everywhere, to avoid fanaticism.

"The interest of the Islamic nation surpasses that of a group. 

"The strength of faith is in the strength of the bond between Muslims and not that of a tribe or nationalism.

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"The strength of faith is not in the affiliation to the tribe, the country or the organisation.

"The interest of the group should be given priority over the interest of the individual, the interest of the Islamic state should be given priority over the interest of the group, and the interest of the Umma [Muslim community] should be given priority over the interest of the state.

"These indications must be practical realities in our life.

"I advise myself and my brethren to be pious and patient as they [these qualities] are the weapon of those who seek victory.

"My brethren, be careful of your enemies, particularly the hypocrites who penetrate into your ranks to spark strife among the mujahidin [Muslim fighters] groups. Those should be referred to trial."

* * * * *

"[Committing] mistakes is of mankind's nature. When mistakes occur, disputes emerge among people, and mistakes have occurred.

"But the ill-hearted people pursue the mistakes of the mujahidin, and they may attribute these mistakes to the ritual of jihad, under the name of violence and terrorism.

"The mujahidin are the children of this nation; they do right things and wrong things. Those who are accused of violating of God's commandments should face trial.

"Scholars, emirs of the mujahidin, and tribal leaders should make efforts to reconcile every two conflicting sects and should rule between them according to the sharia [law] of Allah. And the two conflicting sects should act in response to the scholars."

* * * * *

"Unite your ranks in one rank.

"My brethren, the emirs of the mujahidin, Muslims wait for you to unite under one banner to enforce that which is right. 

"When you perform this obedience, the nation would soon be blessed by the Jamaa year through your own efforts.

"Honest scholars should make efforts to unify the ranks of the mujahidin, and I hope that they would not feel bored of going along the path that would lead to it [unity]."

Source: Al Jazeera