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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


World Muslim News

Muhammad Speaks

Imam W. Deen Muhammad


QUESTION: Would you describe the factors or give the reasons why Malcolm left the Nation of Islam, and why you decided to name the masjid in New York after him?
— Benton Harbor, Mich,

Part I

IMAM: First, I think I need to explain the circumstances that forced him to make the decision he made.

I wouldn't say he left the Nation of Islam. I don't believe that he ever would have left the Nation of Islam. But circumstances between Malcolm and the national staff at that time caused him to make the decision to exist outside of the Nation of Islam as an independent organization. The questioner might recall those circumstances — really friction.

I am personally aware of a lot of friction going on at one time — almost like a tug of war -- over Malcolm's handling of business in New York; of his managing public relations in New York — even the way he replied to the press when they asked him questions.

There was a time when there was a lot of criticism, and sometimes I thought the criticism was a little bit too much. And I think this irritated Malcolm until he gave in to that situation. He became maybe a little bit too sensitive to the pressures coming from the national staff here in Chicago.

At that time it was mainly John Ali, and I believe Herbert Muhammad had some influence also at that time in connection with the paper.

What I'm talking about now is the very early development of the paper (Muhammad Speaks) when Malcolm himself, I think, was like the editor. Not the editor we didn't have that name, but he was producing the paper.

So things got worse and worse and when he made the statement against the president, a statement showing disrespect to John F. Kennedy, the president of the United States at that time, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad decided that he should receive some kind of public reprimand.

I'm sure we all recall that at first he was given a suspension. It was during that suspension period that he became very, very much concerned for his continued relationship with the Nation of Islam.

He told me personally that he didn't feel that there was any intention to accept him back; that was just before he finally cut off from the Nation of Islam.
(To be continued)