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The New Black Panther Halloween Special

America's wackiest and most anti-Semitic hate group has a town hall meeting at the National Press Club. Hijinks ensue.

11:01 PM, Nov 8, 2001 • By BO CRADER
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SOME HALLOWEEN SPECIALS are funnier than others. Take, for instance, the New Black Panther Party's "Emergency Town Hall Meeting," at the National Press Club which was broadcast on C-SPAN as a "Forum on U.S. Anti-Terrorism Efforts & Muslims" on October 31.

A surreal cross between a costume party, a pep rally, and a Public Enemy video, the event initially seemed like a public-access television production. The black-clad Fruit of Islam, sporting their trademark berets and dark sunglasses, flanked each speaker, occasionally chanting "power to the people." One speaker lectured about the war on the "Afghanistan peninsula," another described how "rock cocaine" put "the chains on (his) brain," and yet another described the "double-pronged sword" of American foreign policy.

Yet, as the speakers turned to address the events of September 11, the meeting quickly deteriorated into Jew-baiting and unabashed racism. The NBPP--unaffiliated with the old Black Panther Party--described the September 11 attacks as "chickens coming home to roost," part of a plot by "Israeli Zionist Jews" to ignite a war against Islam.

Imaam Abdul Alim Musa, an ex-con and former cocaine dealer, began the meeting by pledging to get to the bottom of the "raggedy truth and dressed-up lies" of September 11. He suggested the 19 terrorist hijackers deserve praise for rising "to the level of martyrdom, which is the highest level in Islam."

Yet, moments later, he declared the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks a conspiracy by the United States. They "sunk their own battleship, the Maine," to start the Spanish-American War, staged the Gulf of Tonkin incident to start the Vietnam War, and perpetrated the September 11 attacks, Musa claimed, in order to justify a war on Islam.

Personal injury lawyer and International party chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz offered another suggestion: "September 11th was America reaping the results of her worldwide crimes."

Shabazz defended Muslim terrorists as scapegoats for the attacks: "World Trade Center blows up, blame it on Osama bin Laden. Pentagon attacked, blame it on Osama bin Laden. Bush . . . Bush . . . slips on some soap in the shower, blame it on Osama bin Laden. Bush . . . Mr. Bush's wife won't sleep with him at night, blame it on Osama bin Laden."

Shabazz, a big believer in root causes, sees a host of culprits responsible for September 11: "Since Bush got in office the whole world has gone awry. . . . We don't blame it on bin Laden, we blame it on Bush. We blame it on Bush senior, who was a dope dealer. . . . We blame it on camel-breath honky from Texas Lyndon Baines Johnson. . . . The world needs to know George Washington was a terrorist. Thomas Jefferson was a terrorist."

Then, he bore witness: "I bear witness to Ho Chi Minh. I bear witness to Mao Zedong . . . Che Guevara . . . Ayatollah Khomeini . . . Fidel Castro . . . I know these names will get me in trouble."

Others justified the 5,000-plus deaths as a legitimate political activity, just another form of protest. Marilyn Killingham of the Republic of New Africa, described as a "Human Rights Activist," euphemized the September 11 mass-murder as "the politics of visibility": "Sometimes you have to do something when people ignore your suffering, you have to use the politics of visibility . . . that was nine-eleven-oh-one, the politics of visibility."

Amir Muhammad saw different root causes for the attacks--and the impending fall of America: "How long can a nation that refuses to deal with reparations . . . go on?"

Shabazz then introduced Mohammed Asi of the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C., as a "very special guest with another perspective." As the columnist Michelle Malkin has noted, the Islamic Center where Asi is an official in the same place President Bush visited in September to proclaim that "Islam is peace." Asi didn't blame George Washington. No, Asi had a "very good, healthy understanding of who is behind all of this . . . the Israeli Zionist Jews."

Shabazz concurred: "Israeli agents committed sabotage and blame it on the Muslims . . . that's what happened in (the embassy bombing in) Kenya."

As the event concluded Shabazz called for donations. "We need some money. Make checks payable to NBPP. We need hundreds, thousands. Anyone who has not yet given put your hand up." As large Rubbermaid trashcans circulated through the audience, Shabazz announced the presence of several spies (white people) in attendance: "We have the enemy in here as well, with your stone faces . . . sent in here . . . They have assassins out there . . . it's no joke . . . they even did it to one of their own: John F. Kennedy."

Trick or treat.

Bo Crader is an editorial assistant at The Weekly Standard.