NEW YORK (CNN) -- Spiritual leaders of New York's African-American Muslim communities lashed out Friday at a purported al Qaeda message attacking President-elect Barack Obama and, using racist language, comparing him unfavorably to the late Malcolm X...
The al Qaeda statement, an 11-minute, 23-second audio message in Arabic with subtitles in English, appeared on the Internet on Wednesday. Its authenticity has not been confirmed.
The message said Obama represents the "direct opposite of honorable black Americans" like Malcolm X. Video Watch al Qaeda official criticize Obama »
The speaker also said Obama, former and current Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice and "your likes" fit Malcolm X's description of "house slaves."
An English translation of the message used the term "house Negroes," Malcolm X's term for blacks who were subservient to whites. The term refers to slaves who worked in white masters' houses. Malcolm X said those slaves were docile compared with those who labored in the fields...
On Friday, Imam Al-Hajj Talib 'Abdur-Rashid, recalling Malcolm X's legacy, said that he "stood for human rights and the principle of self defense ... international law. He would have rejected, and we who are Muslim African-Americans leaders reject, acts of political extremism."
The Council on American-Islamic Relations also condemned Zawahiri's comments in a statement issued Thursday.
"As Muslims and as Americans, we will never let terrorist groups or terror leaders falsely claim to represent us or our faith," the statement said. "We once again repudiate al Qaeda's actions, rhetoric and world view and re-state our condemnation of all forms of terrorism and religious extremism."
- Hussam Ayloush
- Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html