Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri made a new video that appeared on September 9. It offers little that is new: 9/11 is again praised and portrayed as a product of Muslim grievances and payback for Western crimes; he vows a “thousand more” 9/11s; and warns against apostates being more dangerous than original infidels.
Only one angle stands out—again, not because it is new, but because it sheds light on a growing phenomenon: black violence against police in general, in the context of Black Lives Matter in particular. In last week’s video, Zawahiri called on American blacks to convert to Islam, asserting that they will never receive justice and will always live in “humiliation” until they convert to Islam and rebel against the “white majority.” He even showed footage of the Nation of Islam’s Malcolm X preaching.
While many conclude that al-Qaeda is opportunistically trying to exploit groups like BLM, the reality may be that BLM has from the start long been influenced by al-Qaeda’s rhetoric and propaganda (which, as usual, is quietly disseminated on the ground, not by al-Qaeda, but by its many Muslim sympathizers in America). For Zawahiri has in fact for years been calling on American blacks to turn against whites and quoting Malcolm X.
Nearly a decade ago, Zawahiri issued a similar message:
That’s why I want blacks in America, people of color, American Indians, Hispanics, and all the weak and oppressed in North and South America, in Africa and Asia, and all over the world, to know that when we wage jihad in Allah’s path, we aren’t waging jihad to lift oppression from Muslims only; we are waging jihad to lift oppression from all mankind, because Allah has ordered us never to accept oppression, whatever it may be…This is why I want every oppressed one on the face of the earth to know that our victory over America and the Crusading West — with Allah’s permission — is a victory for them, because they shall be freed from the most powerful tyrannical force in the history of mankind.
American blacks, however, were Zawahiri’s primary targets. He again praised and quoted from Malcolm X: “Anytime you beg another man to set you free, you will never be free. Freedom is something you have to do for yourself. The price of freedom is death.”
Surely it’s not a coincidence that, a decade after this theme started to be hammered out by al-Qaeda and America’s Nation of Islam—who are ever telling blacks that Christianity is the “white man’s religion,” made to keep blacks passive, whereas Islam is the religion of equality, strength and dignity—that blacks, many associated or even converted to Islam, have begun to engage in violence and murder, including in the context of Black Lives Matter, that is, in the so-called name of “social justice”?
Sounding like Malcolm X, just last year Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan spoke words that would make Zawahiri proud:
I’m looking for 10,000 in the midst of a million. Ten thousand fearless men who say death is sweeter than continued life under tyranny. Death is sweeter than continuing to live and bury our children while the white folks give our killers hamburgers. Death is sweeter than watching us slaughter each other to the joy of a 400-year-old enemy. Death is sweeter. The Quran teaches persecution is worse than slaughter. Then it says retaliation is prescribed in matters of the slain. Retaliation is a prescription from God to calm the breasts of those whose children have been slain. So if the federal government won’t intercede in our affairs, then we must rise up and kill those who kill us; stalk them and kill them and let them feel the pain of death that we are feeling!
Apparently police are meant by “those who kill us.” Unsurprisingly, then, Muslims and the Nation of Islam—even ISIS apparently—were “on the Ground [in Ferguson] and Active Since Day One.” Likewise, Gavin Eugene Long, a self-styled “social justice warrior,” who murdered three Baton Rouge police officers last July, was a member of the Nation of Islam. Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley, the original Black Lives Matter cop killer, who gunned down two NYPD officers while eating lunch in their patrol car in December 2014 posted on his Facebook an image of Koran verse 8:60, where Allah calls on Muslims to “strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah.” Edward Archer, another black convert to Islam, shot a Philadelphia police officer and later cited “following Allah” as his motive.
The aftereffects of al-Qaeda’s propaganda—which, right after September 11, 2001, was regularly disseminated by Western media far and wide—are still with us. Such propaganda always had several faces: if it was meant to make liberal Americans feel guilty and try to appease “aggrieved” Muslims, it was simultaneously always inciting blacks to violence against whites. And it worked, even if its rationale is often hidden beneath the surface.