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.
have been blessed to visit the Holy City of Makkah, I have made my
seven circuits around the Ka’bah, led by a young Mutawaf named Muhammad,
I drank water from the well of the Zamzam. 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.
were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world. They were
of all colors, from blue-eyed blondes 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.
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
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.
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 deeds of the white
Muslims, I felt the same sincerity that I felt among the black African
Muslims of Nigeria, Sudan and Ghana.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
(Text is from the AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MALCOLM X with assistance from Alex Haley, the author of ROOTS).