Malik Zulu Shabazz, the anti-Semitic and racist leader of the New Black Panther Party (NBPP), has sought to recast himself as a serious civil rights leader in recent years by cloaking his bigotry and intolerance in religious and civil rights principles and inserting himself in high profile, racially charged issues around the country.
Shabazz’s efforts have been supported, at times, by prominent members of the African-American community, which has provided him with a measure of status as a legitimate leader. This status is also reinforced by media accounts, which increasingly ignore his divisive record.
Shabazz’s attempts to gain acceptance and respectability are tainted, however, by his long record of racism and anti-Semitism, which he continues to embrace. That record includes promoting conspiracy theories about Jewish foreknowledge of the September 11 terrorist attacks and canards that Jews control the media and were “significantly and substantially” involved in the transatlantic slave trade.
Name: Malik Zulu Shabazz (born Paris Lewis)
Born: 1968, Los Angeles, California
Residence: Washington, DC
Organization: New Black Panther Party, Black Lawyers for Justice
Education: B.A. Howard University, J.D. Howard University School of Law (1995)
Ideology: Militant Black Nationalism, Racism, Anti-Semitism
Influences: Nation of Islam (NOI), Khallid Abdul Muhammad, Original Black Panther Party
Publication: Foreword, Synagogue of Satan (published by Truth Establishment Institute)
In order to generate a less radical public profile, Shabazz increasingly is drawing attention to his legal advocacy work by organizing and sponsoring events under the banner of Black Lawyers for Justice (BLJ), the legal advocacy group he founded in 1996.
On November 3, 2007, Shabazz organized a “National March Against Hate Crimes and Racism” under the banner of BLJ for Megan Williams, a 20-year-old African-American woman from Charleston, West Virginia, who says she was raped and tortured by a group of white Logan County residents. The event, which received national media attention, attracted a few hundred people.
Prior to the Charleston rally, Shabazz expressed a desire to focus on his career as a “serious litigator” with BLJ. “For those that have taken issue with what I have said in the past,” Shabazz said, “understand that every day is a new day. What I said yesterday you may disagree with but...everybody is evolving. I can be given a fresh look.” Shabazz also indicated, however, that he is not ready to abandon his affiliation with the most anti-Semitic and racist black militant group in the U.S. “I will always be a part of the New Black Panther Party,” Shabazz continued. “I am not going to deny my family for anybody.”