Several American Muslim clerics and the extreme anti-Semitic and racist New Black Panther Party (NBPP) blamed Jews and Israel for the September 11 terrorist attacks during a news conference at the National Press Club. The three-hour event on October 31, 2001 was televised live on C-SPAN2 to a national audience.
Malik Zulu Shabazz, national chairman of the NBPP, which co-sponsored the meeting with an apparent ad hoc coalition of some American Muslim organizations, described as "Muslims for Truth and Justice," called the United States and Israel, "The number one and two terrorists right now on the planet."
Shabazz, who has a long record of anti-Semitism, also said "Zionism is racism, Zionism is terrorism, Zionism is colonialism, Zionism is Imperialism, and support for Zionism is the root of why so many were killed on September 11.
"We have to make it plain that Zionists control America, lock, stock and barrel," Shabazz said. "The European Jews have America under control, lock stock and barrel, the media, foreign policy."
Amir Muhammad, national assistant to the NBPP, made reference to one myth about the attacks on the World Trade Center that claims that a number of Jews were forewarned of the disaster. "There are reports that as many as 3,000 to 5,000 so-called Jews did not go to that day, and we need to take a serious look at that," Muhammad said.
Other speakers echoed Shabazz's statements on the U.S. and Israel.
Background: Shabazz and the New Black Panther Party
Malik Zulu Shabazz appears to have taken over the leadership of the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) since the February 17, 2001 death of the organization's previous leader, Khallid Muhammad, a former aide to Minister Louis Farrakhan. Shabazz was National Youth Director and Legal Counsel for the Million Youth March. He holds a law degree from Howard University, where he founded Unity Nation, a student group for supporters of Farrakhan's Nation of Islam.
In 1994, Shabazz organized a rally at Howard University in which he whipped the audience into a vicious anti-Semitic frenzy. Since then, the Anti-Defamation League has closely monitored Shabazz's appearances and rhetoric. For more information on his history of anti-Semitism, see the ADL Backgrounder, Malik Zulu Shabazz in His Own Words.
The NBPP claims to have 35 chapters nationwide. As the outspoken leader of the Black Panthers, Shabazz has appeared as many as 10 times on Fox News Channel during the past year.
Shabazz Joins with Muslim Clerics to Bash Jews and Israel
On October 31, 2001, Shabazz was joined at the National Press Club by several Muslim clerics, including Imam Mohammad al-Asi, who claims to be associated with the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C. (In fact, the Islamic Center denies any connection to al-Asi). Al-Asi echoed Shabazz's statements on the U.S. and Israel, claiming that, "The twin evils in this world are the decision makers in Washington and the decision makers in Tel Aviv."
He also accused Israel of carrying out the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center, and claimed that Israeli officials decided to launch the attack after the U.S. refused their request to put down the Palestinian intifada. "If we're not going to be secure, neither are you," was the Israelis' thinking, according to al-Asi. "Ever since you fabricated the racist state of Israel in our Holy Land, you have caused that intrusion to recruit millions of Muslims in the world against you."
Al-Asi also gave three "facts" proving Israel's "macro-managing" of the events. He asked, "Why were people on Wall Street, why were those people frantically selling airline and insurance shares in the days before September 11?" Al-Asi claimed that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon "was supposed to come to the U.S. on September 11, and he didn't make his appearance here … . Did he know something the rest of us didn't know?"
Al-Asi asked, "Where were the 4,000 to 5,000 Israeli Jews that were supposed to be in those two buildings on the 11th, and after the dust settled, why can they only confirm one dead and two injured? Did they know something we didn't know? Why didn't they go to work? Where were those 5,000 and why are you covering up these facts?"
Another Muslim Cleric, Imam Abdul Alim Musa of the Masjid al Islam, also in Washington, D.C., said that Israel is analogous to a cancer. "America placed this sword, this cancer, this Zionist state in the center of the crossroads of the world." Musa assailed the "Zionists in Hollywood, the Zionists in New York, and the Zionists in D.C." who "all collaborate" to oppress Blacks and Muslims.
Musa is a senior member of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT). The ICIT is, according to its Web site, "an international intellectual center of the global Islamic movement" consisting of individual activists, journalists and academics in all parts of the world."