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'Bin Laden deputy' slams scarf ban

Zawahri, left, with bin Laden.
Al-Zawahri was shown previously by Al-Jazeera TV sitting at the right hand of Osama bin Laden.

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CNN) -- A tape recording attributed to Osama bin Laden's top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, criticized France's decision to ban Islamic headscarves in schools, and described it as "part of the West's campaign of hatred against Islam."

"The decision of the French president to issue a law to prevent Muslim girls from covering their heads in schools is another example of the Crusader and envy that the Westerners have against Muslims," said the voice in the audiotape broadcast Tuesday on the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya satellite TV channel.

"Banning the headscarves in France is in line with burning villages with its inhabitants in Afghanistan, bringing houses down on the heads of sleeping Palestinians, with killing children in Iraq and robbing their oil using false pretexts ... (and) torturing [Muslims] in the cells of Guantanamo," the tape said.

Al-Arabiya would not disclose how it acquired the tape from al Qaeda's No. 2 man.

Sources at the station said the tape -- received a few minutes before it was aired -- was not played in its entirety.

The last tape believed to have come from the Egyptian-born doctor was released in December. In it, he warned that his fighters are chasing Americans in their homeland.

-- CNN.com Arabic's Caroline Faraj contributed to this story.


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