(Written from Mecca in 1964)
Never have I witnessed such sincere hospitality and the 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...
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 the same spirit of unity and brotherhood that my experiences in America had led me to believe could never exist between the white and the non-white.
America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem...
During the past eleven days here in the Muslim world, 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. And in the words and in the actions and in the deeds of the "white" Muslims, I felt the 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.
...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 wall 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.
...All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all the Worlds.
El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz
quoted from Malcolm X with Alex Haley, The Autobiography of Malcolm X (New York: Grove Press, 1964), 339-342, by Philip Novak (ed.), The Worlds Wisdom (San Francisco: Harper, 1994), 331-332.