US Muslim Leader Regrets Being Cause for Malcolm X Murder

Published May 12th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The leader of the Nation of Islam has admitted for the first time that his inflammatory rhetoric may have incited the murder of Malcolm X, the black civil rights leader, in 1965, the Times magazine said Friday.  

Louis Farrakhan, head of the religious and secessionist group, also apologized to Malcom X's eldest daughter, Atallah Shabazz, who saw her father shot dead in Harlem when she was six, the magazine added.  

Two months before the murder in the Audubon Ballroom, Farrakhan launched a vitriolic attack on Malcolm X, insisting, "such a man is worthy of death".  

Three men with links to the Nation of Islam were convicted and jailed for the murder.  

In an interview with the CBS television program Sixty Minutes, Farrakhan apologized Thursday for the remarks he made about his former mentor, said the magazine.  

"I may have been complicit in words that I spoke leading up to February 21 1965," Farrakhan said, addressing Ms Shabazz, who took part in the interview.  

He added "I genuinely hope that perhaps a healing can come to Ms Shabazz and her family,"  

A bitter split within the black leadership came after Malcolm X criticized Elijah Muhammad, the spiritual leader of the Nation of Islam, revealing that he violated his own teachings by impregnating several of his teenage secretaries. Mr Farrakhan condemned Malcolm X as a traitor.  

Malcolm X's widow, Betty Shabazz, accused Farrakhan of sanctioning the murder of her husband, but he has consistently denied ordering the assassination, the Times said.  

Ms Shabazz welcomed Farrakhan's remarks.  

"He's never admitted this before publicly," she said. "Until now, he's never caressed my father's children. I thank him for acknowledging his culpability and I wish him peace." She did not, however, say that she forgave him - 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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