Cure for Racism

Category: Americas, World Affairs Topics: Racism Views: 5750

Following is a letter that Malcolm X wrote to his friends and family in the USA when he went to Mecca for the pilgrimage 1964: 

Never have I witnessed such sincere hospitality and overwhelming spirit of true brotherhood as is practiced by people of all colors and races here in this ancient Holy Land, the home of Abraham, Muhammad and all the other Prophets of the Holy Scriptures. For the past week, I have been utterly speechless and spellbound by the graciousness I see displayed all around me by people of all colors. 

I have been blessed to visit the Holy City of Mecca, I have made my seven circuits around the Ka'ba, led by a young Mutawaf named Muhammad, I drank water from the well of the Zam Zam. I ran seven times back and forth between the hills of Mt. Al-Safa and Al-Marwah. I have prayed in the ancient city of Mina, and I have prayed on Mt. Arafat. 

There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world. They were of all colors, from blue-eyed blonds to black-skinned Africans. But we were all participating in the same ritual, displaying a spirit of unity and brotherhood that my experiences in America had led me to believe never could exist between the white and non-white. 

America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem. Throughout my travels in the Muslim world, I have met, talked to, and even eaten with people who in America would have been considered white - but the white attitude was removed from their minds by the religion of Islam. I have never before seen sincere and true brotherhood practiced by all colors together, irrespective of their color. 

You may be shocked by these words coming from me. But on this pilgrimage, what I have seen, and experienced, has forced me to rearrange much of my thought-patterns previously held, and to toss aside some of my previous conclusions. This was not too difficult for me. Despite my firm convictions, I have always been a man who tries to face facts, and to accept the reality of life as new experience and new knowledge unfolds it. I have always kept an open mind, which is necessary to the flexibility that must go hand in hand with every form of intelligent search for truth. 

During the past eleven days here in the Muslim world, I have eaten from the same plate, drunk from the same glass, and slept 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. And in the words and in the actions and in the deeds of the white Muslims, I felt the same sincerity that I felt among the black African Muslims of Nigeria, Sudan and Ghana. 

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. 

With racism plaguing America like an incurable cancer, the so-called 'Christian' white American heart should be more receptive to a proven solution to such a destructive problem. Perhaps it could be in time to save America from imminent disaster - the same destruction brought upon Germany by racism that eventually destroyed the Germans themselves. 

Each hour here in the Holy Land enables me to have greater spiritual insights into what is happening in America between black and white. The American Negro never can be blamed for his racial animosities - he is only reacting to four hundred years of the conscious racism of the American whites. But as racism leads America up the suicide path, I do believe, from the experiences that I have had with them, that the whites of the younger generation, in the colleges and universities, will see the handwriting on the walls and many of them will turn to the spiritual path of truth - the only way left to America to ward off the disaster that racism inevitably must lead to. 

Never have I been so highly honored. Never have I been made to feel more humble and unworthy. Who would believe the blessings that have been heaped upon an American Negro? A few nights ago, a man who would be called in America a white man, a United Nations diplomat, an ambassador, a companion of kings, gave me his hotel suite, his bed. Never would I have even thought of dreaming that I would ever be a recipient of such honors - honors that in America would be bestowed upon a King - not a Negro. 

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all the Worlds. 

Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz" (Malcolm X) 

(From the "Autobiography of Malcolm X" with assistance from Alex Haley)

  Category: Americas, World Affairs
  Topics: Racism
Views: 5750

Related Suggestions

The opinions expressed herein, through this post or comments, contain positions and viewpoints that are not necessarily those of IslamiCity. These are offered as a means for IslamiCity to stimulate dialogue and discussion in our continuing mission of being an educational organization. The IslamiCity site may occasionally contain copyrighted material the use of which may not always have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. IslamiCity is making such material available in its effort to advance understanding of humanitarian, education, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, and such (and all) material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

Older Comments:
I am compelled to defend Nuraini's view, and I shall of course reply to infamous Samy's remark.

Nuraini, please refer to one article in IslamiCity, " Can Islam save the economy ". There you'll find Samy barrage of uncalled remarks and you'll find all my relies to his antics too.

To start of Samy, the right poverb is " the pot calling the kettle black, it's not the kettle who is doing the calling.. I believe there's room for improvement in your mediocre English.

Of course you may do the calling of the kettle. I don't mind. :}

I'll write more later.

If the intellect of Malcom was never in question at any point befor his trip and nothing afterwards gave signs to the contrary, I think the least Rabi'a could have done was to accept Malcom's assessment as his opinion (which is inalienable) and go ahead to intellectually prove him wrong. Without doing that, I am solidly behind my brother. Malcom

..."from the "Autobiography of Malcolm X" with assistance from Alex Haley". If you search "Alex Haley Mosque opens" you may find a touching article.

Biblical Christianity is the only true path to human kindness and respect, and an end to racism.

PS; Biblical Christianity is eternal, meaning it will never die

I feel sad to read Rabi'a's comment. I have yet to go to Mecca and hope to see good there. However, if the egalitarianism intrinsic to Islam is not seen around us, isn't it us who should make it happen - it is people who make a society, not 'them' not enforcing the laws. who is them? them is us, and in the case of racism, it is not laws that are more powerful, but people - people speaking out, teaching, meeting others. some older people in my country don't like their children to marry converts from another race - but the easiest way to sway them is to remind them of the equal stature of races in Islam. really, the choice is their prejudice, or Islam, it's as simple as that. there is no 'both'.

Bro Malcolm had a true epiphany of sorts. But he was in a cloud, there is no true brotherhood in Islam, what he saw was a snapshot, a frozen moment in time that if thawed would regain its ugly form. He thought America was horrid, in truth America had done more than any country in the ME to "fix" or at least "address" its color issues. Since you can't fix a heart you have to legislate and write laws. Some agree with things like affirmative action others don't understand why though it seems backwards, its necessary to correct horrid wrongs done at a time when there was no redress for the people who suffered. Islam has a long way to go, the basic premise and rules are there but no one obeys or enforces them. In a religion that is basically run by law thats a real shame.