Al-Qaeda Boss Calls Obama 'House Negro'

Audio message aimed at faithful who might be weakening
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 19, 2008 9:19 AM CST
Al-Qaeda's deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri speaks in a video in this file photo.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Seeking to persuade Muslims and Arabs that Barack Obama does not represent a change in US policies, al-Qaeda's No. 2 calls the president-elect, along with Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, “house negroes” in a message on militant websites today. In the audio tape, Ayman al-Zawahri calls Obama “the direct opposite of honorable black Americans” like Malcolm X.

Speaking in Arabic, al-Zawahri uses the term “abeed al-beit,” which literally translates as “house slaves.” But al-Qaeda supplied English subtitles of his speech that included the translation as “house negroes.” The message also includes footage of 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.