in Mecca -- the ancient House of Worship built by Abraham and Ishmael.
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 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.
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.
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.
may be shocked by these words coming from me. But on this pilgrimage,
what I have seen, and experienced, has forced me to re-arrange
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 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 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.
praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all the Worlds.