Saturday, November 22, 2008

What Did Al Qaeda's "House Negro" Message Mean?

No doubt, you have by now heard of the information in this article, which appeared in the BBC News on November 18, 2008, as well as in other news media:
A statement purporting to be from the second-in-command of Islamic militant network al-Qaeda has called on Muslims to harm "criminal" America.

In the message, Ayman al-Zawahiri is heard accusing President-elect Barack Obama of betraying his Muslim roots.

He also likens him to a "house slave" - who had chosen to align himself with the "enemies" of Islam.


Zawahiri also criticised Mr Obama - whose father is Muslim - for betraying the Islamic world.

"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," he said.

Mr Obama was not an "honourable black American" like Malcolm X, he said, but an "abeed al-beit" - a word that translates as house slave but was rendered "house negro" in the message's English subtitles....
Of course, Al Qaeda is notorius for such saber rattling, this time blatantly illustrating the low esteem in which Arab Moslems hold blacks, who have traditionally been viewed in Islam as slaves by dint of race (i.e., not Arabs). Nothing new there. Al-Zawahiri's statement also adds fuel to the question as to whether or nor Barack Hussein Obama, once a Moslem because of his father's having been born into Islam, is a Moslem by default or even a secret Moslem who is falsely claiming to be a Christian. Not that Al Qaeda isn't capable of waging a propaganda war.

Does the message have more significance?

Dr. Walid Phares, terrorism expert and the author of Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies against America, The War of Ideas, and The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad, obviously thinks so and shares his analysis al-Zawahiri's message with the following listed points, each one with elaboration here:
1. The election of Obama is a Defeat to the United States in Iraq and a Victory to the Jihadists.

2. A Warning to Obama: Don’t Send Additional Troops to Afghanistan

3. The Same U.S. Aggression Remains

4. You’re Not Real [referring to Obama]

5. The War Must Continue…

6. Until You Surrender…
The elaboration under Point 6 is particularly interesting:
Zawahiri’s response to the election seems to re-frame the results of the election, an election seen around the world as one of change. To Al Qaeda there is no altering of direction in their struggle and agenda. In their own logic, either Obama will end America’s presence altogether in the greater Middle East, or nothing will really change on the global battlefield.
Change? Not unless it's Al Qaeda's version of change, meaning that the quest for Islamic supremacism remains the same across fourteen centuries.

In the concluding portion of the essay, Dr. Phares states as follows:
...Of all the points raised by Zawahiri on the audiotape, I believe that the central message is this: Redeploy as you wish and change all the leaders you want, but know that we will continue our global fight against you....
One thing is certain: These jihadomaniacs know how to perseverate for lo these nearly fourteen centuries. Such a mindset makes them as dangerous as ever. Yet America snores on, hoping for them to change.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 11/22/2008 08:50:00 AM