In the video, the Egyptian-born al-Zawahri is seen speaking with a machine gun next to him. Al-Zawahri’s message is particularly critical of the Pakistani, Saudi Arabian and Egyptian governments.
“Driving out the invading crusader forces and Jews from our Muslim homes cannot be realised solely through demonstrations and speaking out in the streets,” he said.
“Reform and expelling the invaders from Muslim countries cannot be accomplished except by fighting for the sake of God.”
Al-Zawahri said any reform must be based on Islamic Sharia (law) and that Muslim countries should be free to govern themselves without foreign interference, or the presence of foreign troops.
“We cannot imagine any reform while our countries are occupied by crusader forces which are spreading throughout our land,” he said.
Al-Zawahri referred to protest-demonstrations in Cairo last month against the Egyptian constitutional referendum in which female protesters and several female reporters were allegedly molested by plain-clothed ruling party supporters.
“Driving out the invading crusader forces and Jews from our Muslim homes cannot be realised solely through demonstrations and speaking out in the streets”
Al-Zawahri, considered to be Osama bin Laden’s second in command, criticised what he said were violations of women’s rights during the Egyptian protests.
On the Palestinian issue, he cast doubt on the possibility of effecting change through peaceful demonstrations. He warned the Palestinians against what he called attempts to drag them into the election game in order to extract legitimacy for the Palestinian Authority.
In his previous tape – which Aljazeera aired on 20 February – al-Zawahiri warned the West it faced defeat in what he termed its new crusade against the Islamic world.
In that message, which he said was to mark the third anniversary of the internment of Muslims at the US military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, al-Zawahri had hit out at US plans for reform in the Arab and Islamic world.
The top brass of the al-Qaida, including Bin Laden and al-Zawahri, are speculated to be hiding in mountainous tribal areas between Afghanistan and Pakistan.