Role of Religion in the Fight Against Racism

Religion has played a central place both in fueling and combating racism in almost equal measure. Such also played a role in Malcolm’s fight against racism targeted to African-Americans. After conversion and joining the Nation of Islam while in prison, Malcolm went to meet with the movement’s leader, Elijah Mohammed in Chicago following his release in 1952 (Simon, Spellman and Gardner 27). That initial move formed a basis for more intrinsic involvement with subsequent increased engagement in Muslim activities while working at different industrial jobs in Detroit (Simon, Spellman and Gardner 27). Ultimately, Malcolm was instituted as a minister with the Nation of Islam with his charming message leading to the expansion of the religion from a small sect to a major religion with patronage of mainly urban blacks living in the northern parts of the United States of America (Simon, Spellman and Gardner 27). To Malcolm Islam helped the Negroes to appreciate their African heritage and discard western names that were a ploy that Christianity had successfully used to alienate them (Simon, Spellman and Gardner 32).

Continued engagement in the Nation of Islam saw Malcolm popularity rise which threatened the position of the group’s leader. With his open criticism of matters that were viewed non-theological, Malcolm faced great opposition even from forces within the Nation of Islam (Simon, Spellman and Gardner 28). Part of the opposition also arose from his resistance to integration in favor of a black racial independence (Hatch 29). After John F. Kennedy, the president of the United States was assassinated in 1963; Malcolm’s posture that it was a case of “chickens coming home to roost” provided the impetus for his separation from the Nation of Islam (Simon, Spellman and Gardner 28). Subsequently he formed “an independent mosque in New York and a political group, the Organization of African American Unity” (Simon, Spellman and Gardner 28). Almost at the same time, Malcolm moved around widely with his travelling to Mecca where he performed his pilgrim and got the chance to meet with Muslims from diverse national and racial backgrounds who interacted freely (Simon, Spellman and Gardner 29). Further he also travelled widely in Africa where he sought support to bring the plight of the African Americans to the attention of the international community (Simon, Spellman and Gardner 29). Through his speeches he likened the African American revolution to the intensifying African fight against colonialism thus getting the attention of the African leaders to his quest (Simon, Spellman and Gardner 28). Further he detested the use of non-violent approaches to solve the racism difficult because according to him the imperialists wanted non-violence solution in America, while at the same time they want “very violent [solution] in South Vietnam” (Simon, Spellman and Gardner 29). Go to the conclusion here.

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