Arabs autobiography of malcolm x

The Exploitation Of Malcolm X's Pilgrimage To Mecca, His Experiences With "White" Muslims And The Sanitizing Of His Message

Saturday, November 09, 2013Mustafaa Abdul Muhammad

Brother Mustafaa Abdul Muhammad 

Min. Malcolm X Performs prayer  during Pilgrimage To Mecca

“I have eaten from the same plate, drunk from the same glass, and slept in the same bed, (or on the same rug)—while praying to the same God—with fellow Muslims, whose eyes were the bluest of blue, whose hair was the blondest of blond, and whose skin was the whitest of white.” Malcolm X: Letter From Mecca April 20, 1964

The above quote from Min. Malcolm X is often presented as the ultimate proof of his “new” view towards Caucasians in America. While these are his actual words, so we have to accept his testimony of his experience at that stage in his life. However, the context in which he said what he said and more importantly the many things he said after have not been lifted to the same degree as this one statement. This gives the unstudied-unaware persons the impression that our brother went to Mecca, Arabia and because he ate, slept and drank with “white” Muslims he was ready to come back to America in a interracial, integrationist, love all orgy with white people. 

Though he identified himself as a “Black Nationalist Freedom Fighter” mainstream society, in modern times, has chosen to re-image him as a “civil rights” leader and placed him on a stamp(meaning he is acceptable now). 

I became a Muslim on March 20th, 1996 and while I haven’t travelled to the city of Mecca for Hajj, pilgrimage- a pillar of Muslim faith, I have met many of the same “white” or “white complexioned” Muslims Malcolm X refers to in his visit to the Muslim world. I have been in their homes and they mine, I have eaten meals with them and just enjoyed brotherly conversation with my “brothers in faith”. Despite this, I was very well aware that leaving the presence of my “white” brothers in Islam I would be returning to a society that sees me as a black man, not in positive terms, a threat and as a inferior being. I further question where these “white” brothers or sisters in Islam were when the Trayvon Martin’s of the world were being murdered(and other injustices that afflict blacks) considering that Islam stands for Freedom and Justice? 

As We will see by reviewing his words after the 1964 Hajj Pilgrimage he differentiates between Mecca reality and American reality

The people who know Malcolm can be divided into two camps: Those who read the autobiography, listen to his lectures, read the transcripts and try to get into his mind and then you have those whose only point of reference for Malcolm X is a three hour movie produced by Spike Lee.

From my study of Min. Malcolm X before Mecca and after I see him expressing the same view points in regards to Caucasians. The only difference I have seen is he used much more diplomatic language to condemn the wrong in white society. As the following quote shows how he used skill to condemn “the man”. Mind you this is a full eight months after meeting Muslims whose eyes were the bluest of blue, whose skin was the whitest  of white and whose hair was the blondest of blonde. 

“When I say the man, you know what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the man that lynches, the man that segregates, the man that discriminates, oppresses and exploits, the man that won’t let you and me have quality education facilities here in Harlem. That man, whoever he is, that’s who I’m talking about. I have to talk about him like this, because if I talk about him any closer, they’ll call me a racist. And I’m not a racist. I’m not against somebody because of their race, but I’m sure against them because of what they’re doing; and if they’re doing wrong, we should stop them, and by any means necessary.” (Malcolm X: Audubon Ballroom Dec. 13, 1964)

The New Malcolm X

The revelation of Min. Malcolm being brotherly towards “white” or “white complexioned” Muslims he met in Mecca or the scene in Spike Lee’s movie depicting the same has led to the idea that Malcolm radically altered his view of white America. As the following shows he acknowledged his broadened views, yet realizes he is still a black man in America. 

“Well, there is a new one in the sense that, perhaps in approach. My travels have broadened my scope, but it hasn’t changed me from speaking my mind. I can get along with white people who can get along with me. But you don’t see me trying to get along with any white man who doesn’t want to get along with me. I don’t believe in that. Now you got to get another religion.” (Malcolm X: Claude Lewis Interview December 1964)

The Brotherhood of Islam vs Being a Black Man In America

We were truly all the same (brothers)—because their belief in one God had removed the ‘white’ from their minds, the ‘white’ from their behavior, and the ‘white’ from their attitude. I could see from this, that perhaps if white Americans could accept the Oneness of God, then perhaps, too, they could accept in reality the Oneness of Man—and cease to measure, and hinder, and harm others in terms of their differences in color.” (Malcolm X: April 20, 1964 Letter from Mecca)

Min. Malcolm after his Mecca experience used the word perhaps in stating if white people accepted Islam/became Muslims perhaps this would eradicate white supremacy from their minds and hearts. The word Perhaps, according to the dictionary, is defined as: used to express uncertainty or possibility.” He is not present to see if the perhaps became true, but we see in 2013 that whites, as a whole, have not become Muslims/accepted Islam and are actually fighting wars against that world. Malcolm wasn’t naive to not understand that what is in Mecca is not what is going on in America as the following quotes show. 

“The Muslim religion also requires one to make the pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mecca. I was fortunate enough to make it in April, and I went back again in September. Insofar as being a Muslim is concerned, I have done what one is supposed to do to be a Muslim. Despite being a Muslim, I can’t overlook the fact that I’m an Afro-American in a country which practices racism against black people. There is no religion under the sun that would make me forget the suffering that Negro people have undergone in this country. Negroes have suffered for no reason other than that their skins happen to be black. So whether I’m Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, atheist or agnostic, I would still be in the front lines with Negro people fighting against the racism, segregation, and discrimination practiced in this country at all levels” (Malcolm X: Harvard Law School Forum December 16, 1964)

I believe what Muslims believe: prayer, fasting, charity, and the pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Mecca, which I’ve been fortunate to have made four or five times. I believe in the brotherhood of man, all men, but I don’t believe in brotherhood with anybody who doesn’t want brotherhood with me. I believe in treating people right, but I’m not going to waste my time trying to treat somebody right who doesn’t know how to return that treatment. This is the only difference between you and me.” (Malcolm X: Speech To Peace Corps Workers December 12, 1964) 

“Despite the fact that I believe in the brotherhood of man as a Muslim, and in the religion of Islam, there is one fact also that I can’t overlook: I’m an Afro-American and Afro-Americans have problems that go well beyond religion.” (Malcolm X: Speech To Peace Corps Workers December 12, 1964) 

In April I was fortunate to make the Hajj to Mecca, and went back again in September, to try and carry out my religious functions and requirements, but at the same time that I believe in that religion, I have to point out that I am an American Negro. And I live in a society whose social system is based upon the castration of the black man, whose political system is based upon castration of the black man, and whose economy is based upon the castration of the black man.” (Malcolm X: Oxford Union Debate December 3, 1964)

 “So that when I saw this with my own eyes, and saw that people of all colors could practice brotherhood, it was at that point that I wrote back and pointed out that I believed in Islam as a religion of brotherhood. But this belief in brotherhood doesn’t alter the fact that I’m also an Afro-American, or American Negro as you wish, in a society which has very serious and severe race problems which no religion can blind me to.” (Malcolm X: Les Crane Interview December 2, 1964)

Despite the traditional Muslims insistence that there is no color in Islam and it’s true as the Qur’an teaches, however their actual practices have been less than the Qur’an and Sunnah. They have not made it a mission to reform the condition of black people in America. Yet we often find them in the black communities selling us liquor, wine, tobacco, pork and hitting on vulnerable black women. Min. Malcolm X points out this contradiction in the Muslim world’s Dawah program. 

“As a Black American I do feel that my first responsibility is to my twenty-two million fellow Black Americans who suffer the same indignities because of their color as I do. I don’t believe my own personal problem is ever solved until the problem is solved for all twenty-two million of us. Much to my dismay, until now, the Muslim world has seemed to ignore the problem of the Black American, and most Muslims who come here from the Muslim world have concentrated more effort in trying to convert white Americans than Black Americans.” (Al-Muslimimoon Magazine Interview Malcolm X February 20, 1965)

White America: Judging Good or Friendly White People

The following quotes are all well after Min. Malcolm’s pilgrimage and his separation from the Nation of Islam... these quotes are after his much publicized statement of meeting Muslims whose eyes were the bluest of blue, whose skin was the whitest  of white and whose hair was the blondest of blonde. 

But what I’m boiling down to say is that the few isolated white people whose individual acts are designed to eliminate this, that or or the next thing but, yet, it is never eliminated, is in no way impressive to me.” (Malcolm X: Robert Penn Warren Interview Malcolm X June 2, 1964)

“The present American “system” can never produce freedom for the black man. A chicken cannot lay a duck egg because the chicken’s “system” is not designed or equipped to produce a duck egg. The system of the chicken was produced by a chicken egg and can therefore reproduce only that which produced it. The American “system” (political, economic, and social) was produced from the enslavement of the black man, and this present “system” is capable only of perpetuating that enslavement.” (Malcolm X: Letter To The Egyptian Gazette August 25, 1964)

I am not a racist, and I do not subscribe to any of the tenets of racism. But the seed of racism has been firmly planted in the hearts of most American whites ever since the beginning of that country. This seed of racism has rooted itself so deeply in the subconsciousness of many American whites that they themselves ofttimes are not even aware of its existence, but it can be easily detected in their thoughts, their words, and in their deeds.” (Malcolm X: Letter To The Egyptian Gazette August 25, 1964)

Whatever good they did, good. But we don’t have to blow the bugle for any of them. We don’t have to blow the bugle. Some of us get too happy at an opportunity to find good white folks. Whatever good they do, good. If you want to use it as an example, good. But don’t blow the bugle over it. And any time you find white people who help you just so you can say you’re a good white man, no.” (Malcolm X: Second OAAU Rally July 5, 1964) 

Min. Malcolm X offers his prognosis for the future of America and justice being served

The Bible, in the Book of Revelations, says he that leads into captivity shall go into captivity. This is in the thirteenth chapter, the one that the preacher thought didn’t exist. It says he who leads into captivity shall go into captivity. He who kills by the sword shall be killed by the sword. This is justice. So I don’t think that any power can enslave a people and not look forward to having that justice come back upon itself.” (Malcolm X: Bernice Bass Interview December 27, 1964)

Malcolm X’s Litmus Test For White Sincerity 

As the following two quotes show Min. Malcolm wasn’t accepting whites who claimed to be good just on the basis of them saying it, a handshake or a friendly white smile. 

“I’ve even met white students who feel that way. When they
tell me that they’re liberal, I tell them, “Great, go get me one of those snake heads.” I’m sincere about this. I think that there are many whites who are sincere, especially at the student level. they just don’t know how to show their sincerity. they think that they’re showing sincerity by going down there and encouraging our people to be nonviolent. That’s not where it’s at. Since they’re white, they can get closer to whitey than we can. They can put on a sheet and walk right on into camp with the rest of them. I’m telling you how to do it: You’re a liberal; get you a sheet. And get you something up under that sheet that you know how to use, and walk right on in that camp of sheeted people with the rest of them. And show how liberal you are. I’ll come back and shake your hand all day long. I’ll walk you around Harlem and tell everybody what a good white person you are. Because you’ve proved it. But I don’t accept any nonviolent liberals. This doesn’t mean that you’ve got to be violent; but it does mean that you can’t be nonviolent.” (Malcolm X: Audubon Ballroom December 20, 1964)

I believe that there are some white people who might be sincere. But I think they should prove it. And you can’t prove it to me by singing with me. You can’t prove it to me by being nonviolent. No, you can prove it by recognizing the law of justice. And the law of justice is “as ye sow, so shall ye reap.” the law of justice is “he who kills by the sword shall be killed by the sword.” This is justice. Now if you are with us, all I say is, make the same kind of contribution with us in our struggle for freedom that all white people have always made when they were struggling for their own freedom. You were struggling for your freedom in the Revolutionary War. Your own Patrick Henry said “liberty or death,” and George Washington got the cannons out, and all the rest of them that you taught me to worship as my heroes, they were fighters, they were warriors.” (Malcolm X: Fannie Lou Hamer Speech December 20, 1964)

Thank you for reading these few words 


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