(CNSNews.com) – Members of the conservative Project 21 black leadership network have condemned the remarks made about Sen. Barack Obama by al Qaeda operative Ayman al-Zawahiri, who referred to the president-elect as “the direct opposite of honorable black Americans like Malcolm X.”
“While no fan of Barack Obama, I am a proud American,” Mychal Massie, chairman of Project 21, said. “I find this terrorist’s remarks directed at our nation’s incoming leader to be highly offensive.”
In a video that surfaced on militant Islamic Web sites on Wednesday, al-Zawahiri said, “In you (Obama) and in Colin Powell, [Condoleezza] Rice and your likes, the words of Malcolm X ... concerning house negroes are confirmed.”
“These comments are indicative of the hate terrorists engender toward all Americans," Greg Parker, Project 21 member and Comal County, Texas, commissioner, said.
But the group also warned the president-elect about the ongoing threat of terrorism.
“Being president isn’t like playing senator or being a community organizer – it is about protecting the American people,” Massie said. “That cannot be done without a strong military and the backbone to make decisions that might be unpopular among his friends."
Domestic critics of Bush administration policies have in the past used similar terminology to describe black members of the administration. Singer Harry Belafonte, for example, referred to Powell and Rice as “house slaves.”
In the video, Al-Zawahiri used Obama’s past comments against him.
“You have reached the position of president, and a heavy legacy of failure and crimes awaits you,” al-Zawahiri said, “a failure in Iraq, to which you have admitted, and a failure in Afghanistan, to which the commanders of your army have admitted.”
He further said that Obama appears “to be captive to the same criminal American mentality towards the world and towards Muslims,” specifically citing Obama’s earlier campaign rhetoric about unilaterally striking targets inside of Pakistan.
“Liberals fail to grasp the reality that Muslim extremists such as al-Zawahiri hate them just as much as they hate the rest of America,” Massie said. “At the very least, his crazed diatribe should prove this very point. I hope it jolts the incoming administration into reality.”
Parker added that he hopes Obama won’t abandon all of President George Bush’s policies.
“I do believe this video proves that the forces seeking to destroy the U.S. and democracies as a whole are watching and waiting,” Parker said. “It is my hope that President-Elect Obama will continue to support our military and the counter-terrorism infrastructure that has kept us safe for the past seven years.”