An Inclusive Litany

11/9/01

At an "Emergency Town Hall Meeting" broadcast on C-SPAN on October 31, members of the New Black Panther Party—unaffiliated with the original, defunct Black Panther Party—held a rather interesting "Forum on U.S. Anti-Terrorism Efforts and Muslims" that received scant attention from the press despite the fact that it was held at the National Press Club.

Imaam Abdul Alim Musa, an ex-con and former cocaine dealer, said the 19 hijackers deserve praise for rising "to the level of martyrdom, which is the highest level in Islam." But he also declared that the United States, who supposedly "sunk their own battleship, the Maine" to start the Spanish-American War and staged the Gulf of Tonkin incident to start the Vietnam War, similarly falsified the terrorist attacks as part of a conspiracy to justify a war on Islam.

International party chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz declared that "September 11th was America reaping the results of her worldwide crimes." According to Shabazz, Muslims were being made scapegoats: "World Trade Center blows up, blame it on Osama bin Laden. Pentagon attacked, blame it on Osama bin Laden. Bush... slips on some soap in the shower, blame it on Osama bin Laden. Mr. Bush's wife won't sleep with him at night, blame it on Osama bin Laden." Shabazz identified a different set of culprits responsible for the attack: "Since Bush got in office the whole world has gone awry.... We don't blame it on bin Laden, we blame it on Bush. We blame it on Bush senior, who was a dope dealer.... We blame it on camel-breath honky from Texas Lyndon Baines Johnson.... The world needs to know George Washington was a terrorist. Thomas Jefferson was a terrorist.... I bear witness to Ho Chi Minh. I bear witness to Mao Zedong... Che Guevara... Ayatollah Khomeini... Fidel Castro... I know these names will get me in trouble."

Marilyn Killingham, a "Human Rights Activist" with the Republic of New Africa, explained the attacks as a result of people whose sufferings were ignored: "Sometimes you have to do something when people ignore your suffering, you have to use the politics of visibility... that was nine-eleven-oh-one, the politics of visibility." Amir Muhammad asked, "How long can a nation that refuses to deal with reparations... go on?"

For his part, Mohammed Asi of the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C. (which President Bush visited soon after the attacks in order to demonstrate solidarity with American Muslims) didn't blame America, but rather, the "Israeli Zionist Jews." Shabazz concurred: "Israeli agents committed sabotage and blame it on the Muslims... that's what happened in (the embassy bombing in) Kenya."

As the event neared its end, Shabazz even said there were several trecherous spies in the audience, all white: "We have the enemy in here as well, with your stone faces... sent in here... They have assassins out there... it's no joke... they even did it to one of their own: John F. Kennedy."

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