Islamists consistently rely on examples from Islamic history and biography to draw conclusions on current day events, and to answer questions about the legitimacy of current-day behavior. Studying the biographies of "right-guided" men (especially Mohammed's "Companions," or Salafis) is a common feature on many popular Islamist forums.
On July 29, a jihadist website participant posted a commentary on Al-Zawahiri's most recent video:
[Al-Zawahiri] 'We cannot just stand idly by in humiliation while we see all these shells fall on our brothers in Gaza and Lebanon. How can we remain silent while we are the sons of Abu-Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Hamzah, Ja'far, Ali, Al-Husayn, Sa'd, Khalid, Talhah, Al-Zubayr, Ikrimah, Salah-al-Din, Yusuf Bin-Tashfin, and Muhammad al-Fatih [names of caliphs and Prophet Muhammad's companions]. We are the sons of those who fought the apostates, conquered the world, moved the people from the darkness of polytheism to the light of monotheism and from worshipping slaves to worshipping the God of slaves, put out the fire of the Magians, and conquered Constantinople. We are back to the field again, with the favor of God.'
[Commentary] When we stated our Islamic confession to the Exalted Almighty that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is His Prophet, we declared our disbelief in all forms of tyranny and all forms of legislation other than Allah's. By so doing we have moved to God's guidance and light as a form of pure submission to God's rule and wisdom. At that time we understood what Islam was and we established jihad for the sake of Allah. From us came Abu-Bakr, Omar, Osman, Hamzah, Ja'afar, Ali, Al-Husayn, Sa'ad, Khalid, Talhah, Al-Zubayr, Akramah, Salah Al-Din, Yusuf Bin-Tashfin, and Muhammad Al-Fatih. Through these ranks we have demolished the global polytheism represented in Persia and the Roman Empire, and now the Islamic nation is witnessing a rebirth, and you have to wait for names similar to the aforementioned to come soon.
Source: FBIS/Open Source Center (GMP20060815342012 )