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CAIR: Zawahari Does Not Speak for Muslims (in Calling Obama a House-Negro)


CAIR: Zawahari Does Not Speak for Muslims (in Calling Obama a House-Negro) [or for that matter anything in Islam]

I find it interesting that these murderous zealots (like Zawahari and gang) don’t have any problem using racial epithets. It is truly ironic that those who claim to sometimes be the staunchest in defending the purity of our deen are the ones who resort to using offensive race-based slurs – a violation of even the most basic teachings of manners in our religion. Where is the Islam in racism and racist terms, Dr. Doom? In fact, Islam is the cure for this disease.

Some people may argue that the words of Zawahiri are not racism, but why don’t you ask a black man that question? And even if a minority of African-Americans find it offensive, then that is sufficient to declare it unacceptable. In matters of racism, both context and the person making the statements are important. So, while it may be perfectly okay for black men to call each other the n-word, it is not okay for people outside their race to make the same comment. Some may find this hypocritical, but it is simply human psychology. Look at your own family. If someone else remarks about your kid’s bad behavior, it may rub you the wrong way, but if you do it yourself, you don’t think twice about it.

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There is also an element of the fact that a black man cannot be racist about another black man, intrinsicially speaking. So, there is no question about motive (i.e. is it a joke or is it in seriousness). While if a white, Asian, etc. man makes the same color-based offensive remark about the black man (and it can go both ways), then because the former doesn’t share the skin color, you can never know what’s in his heart. And that is why it is “more” unacceptable. Sorry for going a bit lengthy on this explanation, but its an important point some people don’t get.

Back to Zawahiri then, in some sense, I am glad that he made these comments, because it reflects on the kind of person he really is, and also reflects upon his followers. Is this the kind of Muslim we want as a spokesperson for Islam? I truly hope not. I also await the day when we’ll stop taking his words or the words of other radicals so seriously. Who cares what he thinks? Why give it any credibility?

There is also an interesting nuance here. In fact, its more than interesting, its actually quite intriguing. This term “house-negro” is becoming the ever-popular term among some groups of Muslims. In fact, MM has been referred to as such by some Muslims, due to our elections coverage and a couple of posts here and there. Seems that some of these king-pin radicals, who are trying their best to hold/increase their internet recruitment of misguided individuals, seem to be keeping an eye on the blog-world! Or perhaps it’s just a simple co-incidence?

Moving on to the final different tangent, on the surface of it all, CAIR’s press-release seems quite unneeded… the average Muslim knows that Zawahari does not speak for Muslims, and we would hope that the average non-Muslim also knows. But unfortunately many non-Muslims continue to believe that such individuals speak for us.  Thus, I think it is necessary to keep saying the same, obvious things over and over again.

You see, I am learning a lot from the Islamophobes, and the right-wingers. They say something blatantly outrageous, and then about 20 blogs cross-post that same headline. By the time you search for that term, or if a reporter is in a hurry for a story on the topic, he sees this overwhelming repetition of the same thing, and the reporter goes with it. Or some other website or blog picks it up unmaliciously.

So, it is necessary for us to cross-post positive and truthful stories and repudiate the attacks, as well as proactively make our own voices heard. Next time someone searches for Zawahari and house-negro, they will come across this post, and other posts that share the condemnation. It is all a big internet battle… and our goal should be to push truth over falsehood, and to counter Islamophobic propaganda.

Following is the press-release from CAIR:

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/19/08) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today condemned threatening rhetoric and racial slurs contained in a new video by Ayman al-Zawahri and said Al-Qaida’s second-in-command does not speak for Muslims in this country or worldwide.

SEE: Al-Qaida No. 2 Insults Obama with Racial Epithet (AP)

In a statement reacting to the new video, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said:
“As Muslims and as Americans, we will never let terrorist groups or terror leaders falsely claim to represent us or our faith. The legitimate grievances of Muslims in many areas of the world can never serve as an excuse or a justification for attacks on civilian populations. We once again repudiate Al-Qaida’s actions, rhetoric and worldview and re-state our condemnation of all forms of terrorism and religious extremism.”

SEE: CAIR’s Anti-Terrorism Campaigns

CAIR took particular offense to al-Zawahri’s use of the offensive term “house Negro” in reference to President-elect Barack Obama. “Islam rejects racism and seeks universal peace and brotherhood. We repudiate any and all use of racial slurs or insults.”

The Washington-based council recently welcomed the arrest of two teenagers who allegedly assaulted a New York Muslim of African heritage on Election Night after reportedly shouting ‘Obama’ and condemned a cross-burning on the lawn of an Obama supporter in New Jersey.
SEE: CAIR-NY Welcomes Arrests in Election Night ‘Obama’ Attack
SEE ALSO: CAIR Condemns Cross Burning on Lawn of NJ Obama Supporters

CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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Abu Reem is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Abu Reem is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").



  1. sincethestorm

    November 20, 2008 at 1:46 AM

    i didn’t really care for his video. its kinda like the cartoons of prophet saw. its purpose is just to provoke a response. in this case from people in the west. its distasteful obviously.

  2. Abu Umar

    November 20, 2008 at 2:11 AM

    The term “House Negro” comes from Malcolm X who coined the term to describe African-American figures that sought to appease the white establishment. Zawahiri isn’t the first one to use this epithet to describe Obama. Ralph Nader recently used a similar term to describe Obama, calling him an “Uncle Tom” due to that latter’s willingness to appease the political establishment in Washington. I’m not trying to be an apologist for Zawahiri, I certainly have no love lost on the man, but I highly doubt he was making the statement in a racist context and I think this is a phony issue to be outraged over. Though I think this is a perfect time to raise questions about Obama’s stated policies for Afghanistan and Pakistan and whether these policies are going to serve in the proliferation of extremism and violence in Central Asia. If Obama has been honest about his stated goals for Afghanistan and the tribal areas of Pakistan he may turn out to be the best thing that happened to Zawahiri and company since George W. Bush.

  3. Abu Umar

    November 20, 2008 at 2:16 AM

    jazakallahu khayr, the mistaken tag was fixed. -editor

  4. LearningArabic

    November 20, 2008 at 3:03 AM

    Assalamu alaikum Amad,

    I agree that Zawahiri does not speak for muslims, but I would recommend that you read this article by Imam Zaid Shakir re: usage of the n-word. It summarizes my position on that issue.

    I know that you are not advocating the use of racial slurs. But I don’t think that African Americans using the term amongst themselves makes it less harmful. In fact, it further promotes the already existing negative stereotypes that are plaguing society. Strong, intelligent, and mature African Americans never ever use that type of language even amongst themselves.

    Imagine if a muslim referred to their fellow muslim brother/sister as ‘terrorist.’ It would harm our cause and our position in society just like African Americans using the n-word harms their cause.

  5. blahger

    November 20, 2008 at 5:30 AM

    i think he was just meaning to call Obama an uncle tom…i mean, did you read the associated press article?

    we should be criticizing terrorists for their distorted understanding of islam, not calling him out on a technicality. he’s obviously not socially conscious of how this word “house negro” would be perceived in the west, as he sees malcolm x use it and thinks its okay. if he had used the words “uncle tom” he would have avoided the racist label and gotten his point across. but let’s be serious, is the fact that our terrorists aren’t PR savvy the biggest thing wrong with them!?! let’s criticize them for their insulting views on islam, not these trivialities!


    November 20, 2008 at 5:58 AM

    Aabid ul bayt = house slave. It was translated as house negro, due to Malcolm X’s (RH) infamous speech which coined that term.
    So… was Malcolm X (RH) racist then, to use the term “house negro”? It’s usually non-blacks who have a problem with such politically incorrect terms. Many black Muslims refer to Obama as a “house nigger,” not “house negro”. Shouldn’t we be more outraged over his proposed policy of increasing the troops in Afghanistan?

    Funny that CAIR is so outraged at such an expression. Perhaps it struck a nerve! Where is their concern when it comes to US Muslim prisoners such as Fahad Hashmi being abused? They are voiceless then.

  7. Amad

    November 20, 2008 at 8:15 AM

    Istiqamah, with regards to blacks calling each other racial epithets, you didn’t read my post carefully. Pls do that first.

    And what does this have to do with Fahad? Or any other prisoner? There is no need for us to qualify with a million buts and ifs. We continue to talk about the prisoners in separate posts. But we don’t have to bring everything up, every time we condemn terrorists. I remember when I brought up qaeda in my post about Palin, and people jumped on me on why I dragged qaida when we are talking about a different topic. So now, with the coin flipped, that problem no longer holds?

    And your little digg at CAIR is unnecessary/unfortunate and draws a parallel that I referred to in the post. CAIR has done a lot for Muslims in America, we should learn to appreciate the good too. Just because they haven’t jumped on everything we wanted them to, doesn’t mean they are no longer to be appreciated for the good they have done and continue to do. Yes, I have grievances against them, but I try giving them appropriate justice.

    I also agree that al-qaeda has far more serious and bigger issues than a bit of racism, intended or unintended. And that’s why I mentioned that on the surface of it, this sounds trivial and unnecessary of discussion. But then I also gave some of my reasons, including latching onto such opportunities to clearly separate muslims from radicals, and also to allow Muslims to share in a common front against perceived racism.

    More replies later ia.

  8. muwahid

    November 20, 2008 at 8:42 AM

    What a load of Hot Air.

    عبيدِ البيتِ – aabidul bayt was the word used.

    Why don’t you refute what he said rather than make things up.

    Next time do your research because you will just end up embarrassing yourself.

  9. Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

    November 20, 2008 at 8:55 AM

    Unfortunately I have learned from experience that it is impossible to engage in this discussion because trying to point out all the problems in the logic of something like CAIR’s statement makes it look like one is defending Al-Qa’ida….so we just all have to go along with these inane type of statements which have nothing to do with truth or intellectual honesty or serious discussion but are about public relations. And yet another reason why the “political Muslim” outlook bothers me.

  10. aboo

    November 20, 2008 at 10:04 AM

    Amad, maybe you should do some research before posting blogs from sources that are not trustworthy. As has been stated the doc did not use the word ‘negro’ any where. You should be just when criticizing.

  11. Amad

    November 20, 2008 at 10:30 AM

    Muwahid, “abeedulbait”… is that like slave of the house? Makes it so much better mashallah.

    Abu Umar, I think such statements, though very symbolic and much less worse than the other threats Z has made, are very inflammatory, and help empower hawks, because it increases public support for hawkish positions. So, if the goal is for foreign policy changes, then this is not the way to do it.

    LearningArabic, while I certainly appreciate Imam Zaid’s commentary, I think I’ll leave it to the African-Americans to sort this out. And the point wasn’t really about whether the use of deprecating language is appropriate inter-AA, but rather we have to go by what people find offensive, rather than what we think they should find offensive.

    Abu Noor, PR sometimes is half the battle. By the way, did you get my email akhi? I have been trying to reach you.

    jazakumallahkhair everyone for your feedback.

  12. Muslim bro

    November 20, 2008 at 10:37 AM

    Abu Umar said:

    I’m not trying to be an apologist for Zawahiri,…, but I highly doubt he was making the statement in a racist context and I think this is a phony issue to be outraged over.


    Step 1: Build straw-man.
    Step 2: ATTACK!!!

  13. muhajir

    November 20, 2008 at 10:38 AM

    I have to agree with some of the other posters in the fact that the focus of any commentary on the video should not be on ‘its racial undertones’. I think most people sort of figured it out that the video was interfering to the term Uncle Tom and the traits that go with it rather than anything racial. We should be careful not to be corralled like a herd of animals and having the direction of our discussions decided for us.


    November 20, 2008 at 10:46 AM

    “Back to Zawahiri then, in some sense, I am glad that he made these comments, because it reflects on the kind of person he really is, and also reflects upon his followers.”

    Amad, obviously you don’t research the topic before doing an inaccurate posting on it. You have written an article based on an untrue statement, namely that Ayman Z used a racist term – by your estimation – “house negro”. However, he didn’t. Perhaps as Abu Muwahid advised, you should have verified which words were actually used. You can disagree with AlQaeda’s policies, but please desist from slandering Muslims (or even non-Muslims) by calling them racist without proof. Why not deal with that matter first?

    As for your statement: “I remember when I brought up qaeda in my post about palin, and people jumped on me on why I dragged qaida when we are talking about a different topic. So now, with the coin flipped, that problem no longer holds?”, I am not familiar with which discussion that was. CAIR is supposed to be defending the rights of the American Muslim. That’s supposed to be part of their work, and that is why I mentioned Fahad. Where is their defence of his rights? Instead they waste time issuing a servile statement to explain that they are offended by this tape of Al-Qaeda, because Obama might have been called a “racist” term – when the term wasn’t even used in the first place.

    With regards to what you wrote about blacks calling each other racial epithets not being considered racism, I did read it and I kinda agree. But on the other hand, you get Pakistanis who call each other “Paki” and one will come along and say they find it an offensive term, even used by their own. So it really is subjective.

  15. Amad

    November 20, 2008 at 10:47 AM

    The most interesting aspect of the issue, for me at least, wasn’t really so much what Z said. He is irrelevant to me, though I do think we have to keep repeating that for reasons I mentioned that in the post. Rather, it was the corollary to the use of this terminology for even Muslims who engage in the political system. Anyone else found that interesting?

  16. mohammad

    November 20, 2008 at 10:48 AM

    He did not say “house negro”
    He said house slave
    So to say house negro is wrong and a lie against him.

  17. Manas Shaikh

    November 20, 2008 at 10:57 AM

    The pro-extremist comments need to be moderated carefully, IMHO.

  18. Amad

    November 20, 2008 at 10:58 AM

    Istiqamah, I already answered the issue about what Z actually said… it doesn’t make it any better sorry. Slave of house is worse than house-negro. And it is offensive to AA, regardless of what we think should be offensive to them. Muslims hate being called a variety of thing, and we keep insisting that people need to ask us what WE find offensive, not what others think should be offensive to us (remember terms such as islamofascism, etc.). So, we need to keep the same standards when dealing with all statements.

    With regards to CAIR, they have to make the best determination of how to employ resources. Issuing a press-release doesn’t tax 1 millionth of resources relative to defending alleged terrorism-supporters. They have limited resources, and we may disagree how they use them, but we cannot keep conflating everything. You want to argue about how they use their funds, that’s fine, that can be done independently of what statements they make. And it will be more fruitful if we focus on the issues separately, and tell CAIR that we don’t agree with this press release, OR we don’t agree with your lack of support for prisoners, OR, etc. But not “we don’t agree with press release BECAUSE you should have time on x, y, z”. You can make the same point with more effectiveness by not conflating.

    And I find it amazing that people go to great lengths to defend a murderous thug’s word choice. Yes, that doesn’t mean people support him, but I for one have no benefit of doubt for him. He has done enough harm to the Ummah that he only deserves our dua’ for Allah to guide him away from extremism towards the middle-path of Islam.

  19. Amad

    November 20, 2008 at 11:08 AM

    I also wonder how many people would be asking for just-criticism, even if I, for argument’s sake, “misquoted” Dick Cheney or among the Muslims, let’s say an extreme left-wing progressive?

  20. Hassan

    November 20, 2008 at 11:31 AM

    Amad (Author) said:

    I also wonder how many people would be asking for just-criticism, even if I, for argument’s sake, “misquoted” Dick Cheney or among the Muslims, let’s say an extreme left-wing progressive?

    With all condemnation due to Al Qaida and its methodologies, they are still muslims, and better than Dick Cheney.

    And I do not think the term is offensive to african americans, (regardless it was house negroe or house slave), it is term they themselves coined to describe people who betray their “ideologies”. The term may be definitely offensive to Barack Obama and American people in general.

    Definitely I think Ayman Zawahiri is most probably wrong to suggest it, as he does not know perhaps the civil rights movement here, and how much country has progressed (while still there are pockets of racists still in America).

    So just if you hate Al Qaida and its people so much, it still does not mean that you can twist what they say, nor CAIR can do so. Blind hatred is never good…

  21. Amad

    November 20, 2008 at 11:36 AM

    Hold your horses dude. And in fact, the translation/sub-title was done by Al-Qaeda, not by the Western media or CAIR. This is what THEY said, not what CAIR is saying they said. Who’s twisting words?

    And I do not think the term is offensive to african americans,

    Just like the right-wingers insist that they find nothing offensive about islamofascist (and of course I am not referring to you as a right-winger, you CANNOT be one, even if you wanted to be :) ). Who are we to make that judgment? This is what an AA brother said in a note to me, so he speaks for them more than you or I speak for him

    House SLAVE is actually worse than “House Negro”. This is a very long story.

    As you may know, “negro” was actually the acceptable term for blacks before Malcolm X and the NOI helped to bastardize it and equate it with being stupid. They were the first to use “black”. By the 1970’s, black was THE term of favor, until the early 90’s when “African-American” started to be used. Note: Malcolm was also first to use a form of that one too “Afro-American”

    What am I saying here? THEY (the video subtitles) translated abeed as negro NOT YOU or me. So to say that you misquoted Z is a strawman. THEIR choice of translation and not yours. It is still telling that they translated abeed as negro. They could have said “sood al-bayt” (blacks of the house) to more accurately reflect “house negro”. But for them…abd = black (negro)

  22. Hassan

    November 20, 2008 at 12:19 PM

    Also I looked up wikipedia for list of racial slurs, and specifically for african americans, and I could not find house negroes. I think someone should add it if it really is. Thanks.

  23. Abu Umar

    November 20, 2008 at 12:22 PM

    Abu Umar, I think such statements, though very symbolic and much less worse than the other threats Z has made, are very inflammatory, and help empower hawks, because it increases public support for hawkish positions. So, if the goal is for foreign policy changes, then this is not the way to do it.

    I actually think Zawahiri is irrelevant in the scheme of things. He releases a video every other week make the same empty threats over and over, but never backs them up. I think the only reason this particular video obtained any media attention was because it addressed Obama. Zawahiri just wants to stay in the spotlight, lest he be forgotten.

    As for his empty threats and grandiose rhetoric changing American foreign policy, of course it has no impact. I was just trying to point out that Zawahiri and friends continue to thrive because of the American foreign policy, and I don’t think Obama’s stated foreign policy objectives will do anything to change that. I think the only thing that will change American foreign policy is when the White House admits that it cannot defeat the Afghan resistance and that they cannot continue to afford spending American blood and treasure in the mountains of Afghanistan.

  24. Siraaj

    November 20, 2008 at 12:53 PM

    Correct me if I’m wrong here, but the term “house negro” doesn’t seem to be a term invented by caucasions as a means of putting down african americans (like the “n” word) – it seems to be a term invented and used by African Americans to characterize undesirable behaviors from certain African Americans.

    Am I wrong?


  25. M

    November 20, 2008 at 12:53 PM

    Allahu Musta’aan … what sad times we live in.

  26. Muslim bro

    November 20, 2008 at 12:57 PM

    Whoever suggested that they use ‘sood al bayt’ is suggesting some actual racism. It has nothing to do with the black skin color. Subhan Allah.

  27. Amad

    November 20, 2008 at 1:13 PM

    Abu Umar, good points. I too wish he would become completely irrelevant, which he is. But unfortunately, these spiteful words resonate in the media and other information channels here, and people continue to think of him as speaking for many Muslims. And to be honest, people are just not that away of the Muslim outlook on racism. So, it is an opportunity to present the message of Islam against racism, and to distance Z from mainstream Muslims. So that is why CAIR found it necessary to comment on something which is really trivial in the big picture (compared to Z’s other evils).

    I also agree that American foreign policy has helped create these monsters. May Allah put some sense into Obama and the new admin (though I think the AIPAC-tethered Congress will not allow him to move out too far in any positive direction).

  28. Yus from the Nati

    November 20, 2008 at 1:51 PM

    Subhan’Allah! Is everybody retarded or something?! Are we really talking about this? Does anybody here even hang out with black folk? We’re talking like this is some serious social-psychology experiment that’s going on here.

    Firstly, I personally don’t think calling him House Negro/Slave/whatever was racist…it was just an observation that he made and felt he had to ignorantly express.

    Lastly, I go to Howard U. and it’s a HBCU (Historically Black College or University). What did we have in our campus paper? The infamous statement of Z. What was commented about it? How racist it was? How ignorant the comment was coming from a terrorist?


    It was just a simple article DEFENDING why Obama ISN’T a HOUSE NEGRO! No one cares about Z’s statement being racist or whatever except sensationalists and idiots on tv/media.

    The author of the article inferred that, anybody next to Malcolm would be a house negro…b/c he was so raw, and basically that we as a people should give Obama time to prove himself.

    Do I speak for everybody at Howard?


    Does the article?


    But this article and feeling was reflective of my class as well, because we actually were talking about it this morning.

    Again…nobody cared about the actual term of Obama being a sell-out, people were just caring about whether or not he IS a sell-out or not.


  29. Ibnkhalil

    November 20, 2008 at 2:01 PM

    This is becoming a political blog. It seems to be that one political ideology is being shoved down the readers throats by one or two authors. This is not right. I am very disappointed. Please post good relevant stuff. Not something that will create fitnah. Wallah u alam

  30. Amad

    November 20, 2008 at 2:14 PM

    IbnKhalil, no one is shoving anything down your throat. In the last 2 weeks, since the elections, 90% of the topic has been religious. So, perhaps you are not coming regularly enough :) These are opinion pieces, you can take what you like, and leave what you like. I never asked for anyone’s pledge of allegiance, and if anyone doesn’t like what they read, they don’t have to accept it, and move on to something they like.

    Yus, very interesting and noteworthy perspectives. If you have the link to the article, that would be useful. I never claimed expertise on BAMs, so if I said something that is incorrect, then by all means, I can be corrected. But I did post a BAM’s brother comment above.


  31. Yus from the Nati

    November 20, 2008 at 2:33 PM

    @ Amad

    May Allah reward you for all the work you put in akhi.

    I didn’t mean anything to offend you personally…

    I don’t call for your resignation, as much as I hate your posts about politics (only b/c I’m retarded when it comes to politics).

    On topic: I was actually reading a blog who I will not mention (which you know of), who always seems to sensationalize crap into a “Immigrant Muslim” vs. “American Muslim” war. I was sick of it…so I said what I said.

    There will always be people with opposing view of what actually is offensive/racist,etc in America. I remember when I was grade school we talked about this actual issue of using what words to describe AA’s. Some where like, “my parents say black….my grandparents say colored…” etc. You get all kinds of stuff from everybody. Important thing is that we as Muslims that are in America NEED to get out of our houses and in the streets and integrate but not assimilate (is that an oxymoron?) to know what people are really thinking, feeling, saying, etc. We’re always stuck in one demographic and subliminally or willingly refuse to step out of it.

    About the article…
    It was in the newspaper, I tried looking for an online version of it, but I don’t think it exists. The newspaper is called “The Hilltop” you might have better success looking for it. If it’s SUPER important, I’ll type the whole thing out for you, if it’s not that deep, let me sleep!

  32. Amad

    November 20, 2008 at 2:41 PM

    FYI, related post on HuffPo:

    Akhi Yus, no offense taken bro. I respect your right to hate my political posts. Perfectly fine to disagree, and I appreciate that you still can respectfully diss my politics!

    And I know who are you are talking about. For some it is the worldwide Jewish conspiracy, for others it is a worldwide Muslim conspiracy, and for few, special folks, it is an immigrant conspiracy. Everyone has their theory, and by golly, they stick to it!

    As for the article, if you get a chance to scan it, that’ll be great too… if you just want to summarize it, it’ll be nice… I don’t want to inconvenience you about typing the whole thing out. JazakAllahkhair though.

  33. Amad

    November 20, 2008 at 2:42 PM

    By the way, there is no democracy at MM, everyone’s stuck with me… like it or not… ;)

  34. Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

    November 20, 2008 at 2:42 PM

    Amad, I understand the importance of pr but I am much more interested in truth and honest intellectual exploration. These things are often contradictory, unfortunately.

    An example of this is the way this story is handled….instead of having a discussion about the history of the term, Al-Zawahiri’s use of it, whether Al-Zawahiri’s usage is consistent or not with the historical understanding, whether as a tactic of propaganda this is effective or not, who is the intended audience of such a statement…instead the mainstream discourse is Al-Zawahiri is a racist and since he’s a bad guy we shouldn’t think anymore about it, but just say yeah he’s a racist, or even if he’s not let’s just repeat anything bad anybody says about him because that will somehow show Americans that we side with them.

    I will check my email and write you back inshAllaah.

    By the way, I won’t try to claim that I know what Malcolm X would think about Barack Obama today…Allaah knows best…but I’m pretty sure if CAIR was around in the 60s they would be issuing statements saying Malcolm X does not speak for American Muslims. Of course, he’s everyone’s hero now, because you don’t have to actually grapple with what he was saying…like thinking the culmination of MLK’s dream is to elect a Blackamerican President who promises to widen a war and increase spending on the military.

  35. Amad

    November 20, 2008 at 2:49 PM

    Good points Abu Noor. I hope you will explore some of the questions you raised, I would be very interested. In all seriousness, I am just not as smart as you akhi :)

  36. IbrahimAbdul Wahid

    November 20, 2008 at 3:13 PM

    he’s saying it in terms of political timing which he got it all right I see too much yapping and nothing happen

  37. Mujahid fee sabi lillah!

    November 20, 2008 at 3:21 PM

    The following audio of Malcom X (rahimullah):

    - and

  38. Farhan

    November 20, 2008 at 3:24 PM

    Amad i haven’t read all the comments yet, but i would just like to say not many people would be able to take such verbal abuse from so many people and still be able to keep coming back. If anything whether people agree or disagree with you, I commend your efforts to spark such strong emotions from muslims, inshallah we can all remain respectful of each other in our disagreements. At the same time, i hope somehow we can gain some type of benefit from such heated debates which i’m sure people on both sides have the right intentions, as well as some points worth being noted. I was just listening to a lecture from Sheikh Timimi last night titled “Intellectual Confusion of the Muslim Youth” in which he talks about how muslims are so eager to completely disassociate with other “groups” of muslims based on issues, which are not proper grounds to do so. So inshallah through all of our disagreements, we can still keep in mind we are all one Ummah (assuming there are no huge aqeedah differences or what not) and should love each other for the sake of Allah.

  39. Anwaar

    November 20, 2008 at 3:24 PM

    I was actually reading a blog who I will not mention (which you know of), who always seems to sensationalize crap into a “Immigrant Muslim” vs. “American Muslim” war. I was sick of it

    That guy will be humiliated when he sees that there is no such division amongst the Muslims. He is trying to CAUSE division where none exist

  40. talib

    November 20, 2008 at 4:27 PM

    is there a doubt that obama is a house negro…i guess time will tell

    the malik shabaz description is so

  41. Abu Umar

    November 20, 2008 at 5:06 PM

    From the New York Times:

    Lawrence Wright, the author of a book on Al Qaeda, “The Looming Tower,” called the tape an attempt at “spin control” as Al Qaeda struggled to assimilate an election that challenged its worldview.

    Mr. Wright said both radical and mainstream Muslim commentators had predicted that Senator John McCain would win the presidential election and that little would change.

    For more than a year, Mr. Wright said, messages from Qaeda leaders have included positive messages about Malcolm X in what he described as “a desperate and ineffective strategy” to appeal to African-American Muslims.

    Mr. Wright said that Qaeda leaders might have seen a Pew Research Center poll last year showing that African-American Muslims were the subset of American Muslims least hostile to Al Qaeda. The poll showed that 63 percent of foreign-born Muslims in this country had a “very unfavorable” view of Al Qaeda, compared with 36 percent of African-American Muslims.

  42. Amad

    November 20, 2008 at 5:17 PM

    Very interesting Abu Umar. Surprising statistic. Dr. Doom does seem to be pulling for desperate measures. Unfortunately this one fell flat, and will hurt him with BAMs. No wonder the qaeda internet soldiers are so desperate to “fix” the PR slip.

    I can’t imagine how anyone can think that Malcolm X, if alive would have anything to do with terrorists of qaeda. In effect, these radicals are sullying the reputation of a true american Muslim role-model, for their own malicious recruitment purposes.

  43. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    November 20, 2008 at 5:41 PM

    bismillah. the habit of responding to each and every comment from people who do not represent Muslim Americans is (1) a distraction that wastes much time and effort, and (2) a reinforcement of every Muslim-hater who argues that Muslims are obligated to decry the actions of every person who does anything wrong while claiming to be a Muslim.

    we already know Zawahari does not speak for American Muslims. guess what?! does the title of the article imply that he ever speaks for American Muslims? only to the rabid masses of people who want Muslims to march in the streets whenever someone claiming to practice Islam attacks anyone of any other faith under any circumstances anywhere in the world.

    what should we do when Zawahari speaks? ignore him. how would i respond to non-Muslims who ask me about Zawahari’s comments? tell them that i ignore the man because he does not speak for me nor for anyone i know. if the non-Muslim wants to know more, like what about Muslims overseas, i tell him the truth: Zawahari and people like him are only relevant to people overseas as long as our government makes him a public figure. i would not even know the man’s name but for America’s constant and public interest in him.

  44. Miako

    November 20, 2008 at 5:49 PM

    Thank you for this.
    I was amused today by Field Negro (that’s his nick) calling Zawahari a Cave Negro (no, this is not to suggest that Arabs belong in caves. just that particular man is probably in a cave right now.)
    (ehm. if you’re thinking of crossposting a link to CAIR’s thingummy, I’m sure FN won’t mind).

  45. Amad

    November 20, 2008 at 6:01 PM

    Miako, mr. “field-negro” is hilarious… thanks for the link!

  46. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    November 20, 2008 at 6:01 PM

    bismillah. here by contrast is the kind of news story that we should be spending more time on:

    Judge Orders Five Detainees Freed From Guantánamo

  47. Amad

    November 20, 2008 at 6:02 PM

    Go ahead Abuabdallah, that is a great topic… look forward to all your pieces :)

  48. mulsimah

    November 20, 2008 at 6:04 PM


    What I dont understand is how is he able to make these videos and release them, and the United States the biggest power in the world not able to catch him??????

  49. Saad

    November 20, 2008 at 7:35 PM

    No where in this article nor discussion did I see any reference to the original speech which Malcolm X delivered and to which Zawahiri was referencing, here it is:

    this speech was delivered in front of Martin Luther King Jr.’s wife and the clear reference was to her husband along with others (Jackie Robinson, black church ministers, etc.) who simply wanted to confine the struggle of African Americans in America to domestic issues rather than taking the struggle of Blacks to the UN as to internationalize it the way Malcolm X was trying to. After this speech, He was *never* invited to speak at another forum by King or any of those in the NAACP again.

    Secondly. the fact that singer Harry Belafonte referred to the SAME speech above and said *EXACTLY* the same thing about Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice in the run up to the Iraq war:

    this charge DOES clearly stick in the case of Powell and Rice (nobody in the African American community will even deny that). The larger question one *could* ask, are there other “American” Muslims to whom this charge could also stick?


  50. Abu Umar

    November 20, 2008 at 7:49 PM

    Unfortunately this one fell flat, and will hurt him with BAMs.

    Again, I think this will have absolutely no effect one way or the other. Zawahiri, like Bush, is now entirely irrelevant in what goes on in the US and indeed the world. Had Dr. Zawahiri not mentioned Obama in this tape the media would have entirely ignored it as they have every other tape he has issued over the past few years. He has zero impact outside a few fans on the internet and I suspect that the vast majority of African-Americans will ignore this tape entirely as they have much more pertinent problems to deal with. If Zawahiri’s followers pull off another serious attack (God forbid) he may become relevant again, but until then he is just one more voice trying to get 15 minutes on CNN and he has some pretty stiff competition.

    On a related note, Peter Bergen (who met bin Ladin in the 90’s) asks: Why haven’t we heard from Osama bin Laden?

    (CNN) — If the audio message purportedly from al Qaeda’s deputy leader is authentic, we have finally heard from a representative of the terror organization about the American election.

    It was wholly expected that there would be such a tape, though the content, with its references to Malcolm X might be considered somewhat surprising –although in recent tapes al Qaeda’s leaders have occasionally referenced critics of American society and foreign policy such as Noam Chomsky and Malcolm X.

    On the tape, the deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, seeks to make President-elect Barack Obama seem like an apostate for his support of Israel and the war in Afghanistan: “You were born to a Muslim father, but you chose to stand in the ranks of the enemies of the Muslims, and pray the prayer of the Jews, although you claim to be Christian, in order to climb the rungs of leadership in America.”

  51. muslim

    November 21, 2008 at 2:31 AM

    OFF TOPIC – go ahead, delete it, but read it first….

    gol·ly (gl)
    Used to express mild surprise or wonder.
    [Alteration of God.]

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2003. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

    an exclamation of mild surprise [originally a euphemism for God]

    Collins Essential English Dictionary 2nd Edition 2006 © HarperCollins Publishers 2004, 2006

    A euphemism is a substitution of an agreeable or less offensive expression in place of one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant to the listener,[1] or in the case of doublespeak, to make it less troublesome for the speaker.[citation needed] It also may be a substitution of a description of something or someone rather than the name, to avoid revealing secret, holy, or sacred names to the uninitiated, or to obscure the identity of the subject of a conversation from potential eavesdroppers. Some euphemisms are intended to be funny. – Wiki


    : the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant ; also : the expression so substituted. – Merriam-Webster Online

    ‘Surely there is in the body a small piece of flesh; if it is good, the whole body is good, and if it is corrupted, the whole body is corrupted, and that is surely the heart’.

    Related by Imam Bukhārī in his sahih

    look at ur heart akhi…..look at ur heart…..

  52. Ibn Fellah

    November 21, 2008 at 10:39 AM

    A little off topic but check it out:

    One of the most influential ideologues of SJ movement, Sayyid Imam al-Shariff exposes the Mad Surgeon (zwahiri):

    n his forthcoming book, Dr. Fadl reiterates his criticism, and reveals details regarding his relationship with his former Islamic Jihad colleague, Dr. Ayman Al Zawahri. He reveals that when both men were in Sudan in the early 90s Al Zawahri, who by then had succeeded him to the leadership of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, was still sending orders to the group to perform operations in Egypt. Dr. Fadl writes “When I accused him of working for the Sudanese intelligence in Sudan in 1993, I heard these words from his own lips. He said to me that ‘he is committed by the Sudanese to carrying out 10 operations in Egypt, and that he received one hundred thousand dollars for this purpose’. These were his words to me, and if he denies them then I will curse him again, for I swear to God that Zawahri told me these words in person, and if you disbelieve me, then may God punish the one of us who is lying’.

    As for his experience in Afghanistan, Dr. Fadl writes ‘I discovered that the attention of the Arabs taking part in this Jihad was focused on military matters, while neglecting Islamic Shariaa law. I also noticed that they were fervent and sentimental, but not observant of Islamic doctrine.



    November 21, 2008 at 11:58 AM


  54. Abu Umar

    November 21, 2008 at 6:22 PM

    Jinnzaman has a very thoughtful article on his blog today, Let Malcolm Speak for Himself:

    Definitely worth reading.

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