CAIRO, Egypt – Al-Qaida‘s No. 2 leader used a racial epithet to insult Barack Obama in a message posted Wednesday, describing the president-elect in demeaning terms that imply he does the bidding of whites.
I guess we should have expected the enemy to open up a deep wedge between us and them, but not so soon after the elections. The message appeared chiefly aimed at persuading Muslims and Arabs that Obama does not represent a change in U.S. policies and Obama hasn’t even been sworn in yet and Americans aren’t even sure of what he stands for. The audacity of Al-Qaida!
Ayman al-Zawahri said in the message, which appeared on militant Web sites, that Obama is “the direct opposite of honorable black Americans” like Malcolm X, the 1960s African-American rights leader. Now it’s time for Barak’s friend Malcolm X to speak up. This is getting interesting. A war of words before the man gets to sit down in the Oval Office.
In al-Qaida’s first response to Obama’s victory, al-Zawahri also called the president-elect — along with secretaries of state Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice — “house Negroes.”
Speaking in Arabic, al-Zawahri uses the term “abeed al-beit,” which literally translates as “house slaves.” But al-Qaida supplied English subtitles of his speech that included the translation as “house Negroes.”
The message also includes old footage of speeches by Malcolm X in which he explains the term, saying black slaves who worked in their white masters’ house were more servile than those who worked in the fields. Malcolm X used the term to criticize black leaders he accused of not standing up to whites.
“Slave” hardly fits the description of an American president, black, white, or green.
In Washington, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the latest message was just “more despicable comments from a terrorist.”
The 11-minute 23-second video features the audio message by al-Zawahri, who appears only in a still image, along with other images, including one of Obama wearing a Jewish skullcap as he meets with Jewish leaders. In his speech, al-Zawahri refers to a Nov. 5 U.S. airstrike attack in Afghanistan, meaning the video was made after that date.
Al-Zawahri said Obama’s election has not changed American policies he said are aimed at oppressing Muslims and others. We shall see. . .
“America has put on a new face, but its heart full of hate, mind drowning in greed, and spirit which spreads evil, murder, repression and despotism continue to be the same as always,” the deputy of al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden said.
He said Obama’s plan to shift troops to Afghanistan is doomed to failure, because Afghans will resist.