By Md Haque Noor Alam
GOMBAK, 6 October 2017: Malcolm Little or Malcolm X was widely known for his concept of race pride and black nationalism in the early 1960s, and following assassination, the widespread distribution of his life story—”The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965)”—made him an ideological hero.
An African American leader (born May 19, 1925, Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.—died February 21, 1965, New York, New York), whose Muslim name el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, Malcom X was a prominent figure in the Nation of Islam (NOI).
With a view to spreading the teachings from his life among the new generation of youths, especially the students of IIUM, “Al-Aqsa Friends Society” organised a speaking and discussion programme titled “Malcolm X – el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz”, last night (5 October) at Moot Court, Aikol, IIUM.
“The objectives of the programme are to educate the society, especially IIUM community, about Malcolm X as an important Islamic figure, to inculcate the concept of brotherhood in human life, and to enable the participants to learn more about Malcolm X and his contributions,” said Ali Chamani Al Anshory, President of al-Aqsa Friends Society.
The speakers at the forum were Prof. Dr. Waleed Fekry Faris (Department of Mechanical Engineering), Dr. Ataullah Bogdan Kopanski (Department of History and Civilization) and Associate Prof. Dr. Mohammad Mahmudul Hasan (Department of English Language and Literature).
The programme started with a recitation of some verses from Surah al-Ambia by second year Engineering student, Abdullah Alahdel. After that, the programme coordinator, Abdullah Ali, delivered his opening speech to give some information about Malcolm X.
He also played a documentary video which was based on Malcolm X’s personal and political life. He described Malcolm X as a great leader, a great speaker and overall a great personality who inspired millions of African American black people to raise their voice against racism during early 1960s.
The first speaker, Dr. Ataullah Bogdan Kopanski, who was also a converted Muslim said, “I am from a Christian Polish family. Polish people are so proud about their colour. I was inspired by him in my early life. He taught me to hate my race. I hate my own race, I don’t want to stay with my race.”
He also shared his story behind his converting to Islam. He told the participants, “I have one good news for you all, Alhamdulillah we are Muslims and we all are equal. There is no racism and discrimination in Islam.”
The programme was crowded with participants. The venue became houseful 15 minutes before the programme started. More than 350 participants joined the programme. As there were no chairs for seating, some participants seated on the stairs to enjoy the discussions.
The second speaker Dr. Mohammad Mahmudul Hasan spoke about the reasons that made him a significant public figure. He said, “This is the first time I am seeing a huge gathering as a speaker. Before this, my students arranged programme and invited me as a speaker, I saw only 50-60 participants.
Today, this huge gathering is not for me and also not for the two other speakers. This huge gathering is because of Malcolm X.”
He also talked about the book —”The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965)”. He said, “Before reading this book I felt I was uneducated, but after reading this book I felt I am educated.”
Meanwhile, programme manager Mashita Reduan said, “We expected people who came would learn more about Malcolm X as one of the most significant world leaders and of the impacts of his activities and achievements. We definitely had more participants than we expected and it was very rewarding of our efforts.”
Dr. Waleed Fekry Faris who was the last speaker talked about why students should apply his teachings in their life. He described some of the teachings from Malcolm X’s political and personal life very clearly so that students could understand the importance of the teachings and they could implement them in their life.
At the end of the programme Dr. Mohammad Mahmudul Hasan advised the participants to read the book—”The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965)” and also to listen his speech especially the “speech of Malcolm X in Oxford Union.”
He also expressed the hope that students would benefit from his teachings in their life. ***