Malcolm X’s daughter talks about her father
Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X, one of the symbols of the fight against racism in the US, gave a speech at the "Malcolm X and his World Conference" organized by the Directorate of Communications.
Noting that when her father Malcolm X was assassinated she was only two years old, Shabazz said her mother often spoke about her father, making his presence felt at home.
"My father has always been my greatest inspiration. We have always felt our father’s love for us. Although he was physically gone, my mother kept making him a part of our conversations at home. My father loved music, poetry, and art, and he was a loving person. Above all, he did it all for God." Shabazz said.
Telling about her father’s early years, Shabazz pointed to the unfair treatment against Afro-American communities and said that Malcolm X inspired everyone with his emphasis on conscience. Underlining Malcolm X’s fight against the notion of white supremacy, Shabazz said reading the diary of her father helped her understand him better.
"He dedicated himself to the welfare of the people"
Shabazz continued her speech as follows:
His movement has been appreciated not only by Americans but also by the global community. I think it is fitting that Malcolm X is regarded globally as a person ahead of his time. Upon reading those pages you can see that Malcolm X fought for everyone. Despite his incredible success being acknowledged by everyone, Malcolm remained humble. Taking the name Shabazz was also appropriate as there are many meanings to this name. One of the meanings is ‘kadir/mighty’. For some, the word kadir is used for grandeur, dominance. My father was mighty in a different kind of way. Yes, he was strong but also passionate, merciful, full of energy and sincere. Yes, he was an icon, a humanist, a person who dedicated himself to the welfare of the people.
Noting that Malcolm X made efforts in the cause of freedom for all, Shabazz added, "When my father was abolished from the community, this was often the home for Malcolm. To this day, I still cannot believe that he was not protected when he needed it, despite all the work he had done in his entire life. He continued his efforts in the cause of freedom for all. Meanwhile, leaders and the directors within agencies of the UN decided that he should be destroyed. Exactly one week before his assassination, a firebomb was thrown into the bedroom where he slept. I am grateful to him for not compromising in any way to threats from the government, declaring him an enemy of the state."
Pointing out that Malcolm X’s father was also killed when he was at a young age, Shabazz also said, "They harassed his family during his childhood. They made racist and unrealistic propaganda. When he was 5 years old, he saw his family house being burnt down by the terrorist organization Ku Klux Klan."
"As I read my father’s diaries, I got to know Malcolm better"
Shabazz said in her speech that her father always held his head high, and added the following:
He fought for equality for all. My father has become a global source of inspiration. Even former US President Barack Obama has taken Malcolm as an example in the course of investigating his own identity. 'Malcolm's repeated acts of self-creation spoke to me, the blunt poetry of his words, his unadorned insistence on respect and sheer force of will inspired me,' says Obama. As I read my father’s diaries, I have to know Malcolm better. I developed a new appreciation for his courage.
"We should be the narrator"
Shabazz answered the questions following her speech and responded to a question about Islamophobia as follows:
We should not wait for someone else to tell our identity, we should take this responsibility. My father used to say, 'We have history, there is history for everyone, and we have to check it out.' We should be the narrators. We should not accept someone else telling it and say, ‘This is Islam.’ We should take control of this narration and show the beauty in peace, love, politics, everything and everywhere. At the same time, difficulties faced by anyone, such as the difficulties in Africa, the difficulties faced by women in such issues as race, gender, etc. cannot be resolved unless we come together.
Shabazz was presented flowers and a plaque following the conference. (ILKHA)