Hakeem Muhammad Answers The Detractor Idris Palmer



In a lecture titled “Black & Noble: A Study of Important Black Figures in Islam” Imam Khalid Griggs gave  very important insights about the relationship of the larger Muslim community about Malcolm X. Imam Khalid Griggs informs the audience that Betty Shabazz told him that she and her family were treated as though they were lepers by large segments of the Muslim community. This is the analogy that Betty Shabazz herself evoked to describe how she experienced by large segments of the Muslim community. Imam Khalid Griggs states:


If truth be told, no matter how much we talk about loving Malcolm X, when the time when Malcolm was alive, the majority of Muslims in the country would not go anywhere near him. Even after he left the Nation of Islam, even after he was assassinated in the Audubon Ballroom on February 21st, 1965, even in death the Muslims would not go anywhere near, for the most part, Malcolm X…

Why was Malcolm X laying up in a church, why was Malcolm X laying up in a funeral home it was because Muslims would not go anywhere near his body… that’s why this happened. His widow Betty Shabazz told me herself that it was shameful to her and so hurtful to her that when Malcolm X was assassinated that the Muslim community, for the most part, stayed away from her and her family like they were lepers… She said had it not been for white socialist and leftist that she and her family would have starved. This is from her mouth to my ear.”


The usage of the “leper analogy” to describe her treatment by the Muslim community should initiate serious concern because people who suffered leprosy disease in biblical, medieval, and even in certain contemporary societies are often shunned, persecuted, and indeed hated. Leprosy in the bible is associated with being subjected to a cursed.

In the article, “Leprosy is not Quite Yet a disease of the Past,” Susan Brink writes that “Leprosy is an ancient disease, a biblical curse, and even in the 21st century, a cultural shame so severe that in some countries, patients are sent to live in isolated colonies or tossed out of their own homes.”

I brought attention to the leper like treatment that Betty Shabazz says she and her husband endured by the Muslim community as part of a larger critique of how certain mentally colonized Immigrant Muslims misappropriate Malcolm X’s legacy whilst abandoning his politics.

A recent example of this is CAIR’s decision to issue a laudatory eulogy of John McCain, a man who supported policies oppressive towards Black people. Yet this very same CAIR also claims to honor Malcolm X. For my work in calling attention to the “leper like” treatment that Betty Shabazz herself says she and her family endured by members of the Muslim community, I have been subjected to a variety of criticism within the Muslim community. One of these critics is an individual named Idris Palmer.

                                                                                                                                            Answering Idris Palmer



A detractor of mine named Idris Plamer has labeled me a “fasiq” and a “boldface liar.” Idris Palmer attempted to refute me by quoting a New York Times article titled “Harlem Church Where Malcolm X was Eulogized Faces Its Final Day” by David W. Dunlap.



Who is this David Dunlap that Idris Palmer is promoting to the Muslim community as a reliable source of information about Malcolm X? David W. Dunlap worked for the New York Times as a journalist covering New York architecture and Gay & Lesbian issues. Dunlap’s interest in writing this article was because he covers New York architecture and the church where Malcolm X’s janazah was held was unfortunately torn down.



The bottom line is that Dunlap is not a historian and Dunlap acquires the historical details from both Alex Haley and Manning Marable’s book titled Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention.

There are a variety of  logical problems with Idris Palmer’s attempted refutation of me. First, the Dunlap article only mentions that several churches were called by Betty Shabazz to host the funeral of Malcolm X. The New York Times article quotes Alex Haley as saying that several churches declined to host Malcolm X’s funeral.

Malcolm X was assassinated on February 21st and buried on Feb, 27th. 1965. None of what Idris Palmer has presented has ruled out the possibility that the “leper treatment” Betty Shabazz says she experienced by large segments of the Muslim community was a contributing factor in Malcolm X’s body lying in a funeral home and then later a Church.

Even more troubling is that this New York Times article promoted by Idris Palmer relies upon and indeed cites the prominent Black socialist intellectual Manning Marable’ book titled a Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention.  This book which the New York Times article uses as the basis for its information also makes the slanderous claim that Malcolm X committed adultery and engaged in homosexual relationships, Audhu Billahi minash shaitanir rajeem.

Manning Marable’s tabloid-like book was thoroughly refuted by a publication by Jared Ball titled “A Lie of Reinvention: Correcting Manning Marable’s Malcolm X. If anyone should be labeled a “fasiq” it would be Manning Marable for his numerous slanderous accusations against Malcolm X. For whatever reason, Idris Palmer is promoting this Marable reliant New York Times article by Dunlap  as the basis for his information about Malcolm X’ janazah.

Idris Palmer while labeling me a “fasiq” sees no problem with promoting a New York Times article that relies upon Manning Marable a man who invented actual lies against Malcolm X. Surely, as someone who cautions Muslims against relying upon unverifiable news sources, Idris Palmer would exercise some due diligence before relying upon a New York Time article that relies upon Manning Marable as the basis for its information. One wonders if Idris Palmer followed the very same Qu’ranic ayaats he attempted to use to condemn me with :

“Oh, You who believe! If an unrighteous person brings you any news, investigate it fully, less you harm a people in ignorance and then you repent of what you did.” Al-Hujurat 49:6

What type of Black man views the New York Times as a reputable source about Malcolm X? When Malcolm X was alive, the New York Times vilified Malcolm X as an “irresponsible demagogue” and “embittered racist.” To this day, The New York Times has never issued a retraction for labeling Malcolm X an “embittered racist” and “irresponsible demagogue.” In light of this, Idris Palmer should answer the following questions to the Muslim community:

  • When Malcolm X was alive, the New York Times vilified Malcolm X as a “irresponsible demagogue” and “embittered racist.” The New York Times has never issued a retraction for labeling Malcolm X an “embittered racist” and “irresponsible demagogue.” Is the New York Times a righteous source of news for the Muslim community concerning Malcolm X?
  • David W. Dunlap’s information about Malcolm X’s Janazah does not present anything new. It relies upon Manning Marrable’s book titled Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. Did you bother to check your source to see where Dunlap acquired his information from? Should Muslims be promoting material that lends credibility to Manning Marable’s book Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention? Will you apologize to the Muslim community for promoting the New York Times’s Marable reliant article to the Muslim community as a reliable source of information?

Idris Palmer further writes that Hisham Jaabir searched for a church because “few NYC Masajid were large enough to accommodate the crowd.” Hisham Jaabir wrote a book titled I Buried MalcolmUnfortunately, the book is out of print and I do not have access to the book.

Yet,  the book’s description makes a statement that actually bolsters the credibility of what Betty Shabazz told Imam Khalid Griggs. The book’s description reads “By Heshaam Jaaber’s account, Muslim clergy was not exactly lining up to officiate at Malcolm X’s funeral in February 1965. Mosque leaders in the metropolitan area reportedly were warned, anonymously, not to perform rites for the onetime Nation of Islam spokesman.


Idris Palmer’s tweets conceded the fact that there were indeed few NYC masajids large enough to accommodate the crowd. If what Idris says is true, then it raises the larger question as to why wasn’t Malcolm X janazah held in one of the “few NYC Masajids” that was “large enough to accommodate the crowd.”

Some have attributed the hesitancy of the Muslim clergy to perform the janazah rites of Malcolm X to fear of NOI violence. Islamically speaking, this is not a valid excuse because Muslims are supposed to fear only Allah(swt). The fear Muslims had of the Nation of Islam is indeed shameful.

Most importantly, Idris Palmer has not ruled out “leprosy-like treatment,” Betty Shabazz said she and her husband faced by Muslim immigrants were not a factor in Malcolm X’s janazah being held at a Church.     Idris claims that “This Hakeem Muhammad is a boldfaced liar who is revising history by concocting a false scenario and attributing a fabricated statement to the late Betty Shabazz. When pressed for his evidence, he refuses to reply.”  Let’s break down the numerous logical fallacies in this statement.

First, a delay in a response is not a refusal to reply. I have  very time consuming legal work on behalf of African-American victims of police brutality and am not able to view social media on a constant basis. I actually did not even see Idris Palmer’s response to me until a couple of days after his response was made. Additionally, he claims that I “fabricated a statement to the late Betty Shabazz.” I never fabricated any statement or directly quoted Betty Shabazz. My original statement was “Betty Shabazz indicated that Arab/Asian Mosques were afraid to be associated with him.” This statement of mine is corroborated by Betty Shabazz indicating she and her family was treated largely like ” lepers”  by large segments of the Muslim community. 

Betty Shabazz saying she and her husband was treated like lepers by large segments of the Muslim community is actually stronger language than me merely saying “Betty Shabazz indicated that Arab/Asian Mosques were afraid to be associated with him.” And yes, as noted earlier,  in light of the historical record, lepers were indeed shunned, hated, and persecuted throughout numerous cultures.  So me bringing attention to the “leper like treatment” Betty Shabazz says she endured is not a fabrication at all nor does it make me a historical revisionist.


Idris Palmer’s Personal Claim

Idris Palmer made a variety of personal claims against me that are totally irrelevant in assessing the veracity of the claim I posited. For example, he says that he spoke to brothers in Chicago who told him that I have not been seen at any Eid or Jummah Prayer there.

Where in the Qu’ran or Sunnah justifies this level of fault-finding, suspicion, and backbiting required to call brothers in Chicago to prod about my attendance level at Jummah Prayer and Eid. Not that this is any of Idris Pamer’s business, but he is speaking from ignorance as I have not lived in Chicago since I have graduated high-school. I attended both undergraduate schooling and post-graduate schooling outside of the state of Illinois.   I still have “Chicago” listed as my home city on various social media outlets because the person I am today has largely been influenced by my upbringing in the Southside of Chicago. I also do research and writing concerning gang violence in Chicago. Idris Palmer should have done more to investigate the source material of David W. Dunlap’s New York Times piece instead of backbiting and slandering me.

A Message to the  Muslims

The “leper like” treatment that Dr.Betty Shabazz said she experienced by large segments of the Muslim community is shameful and one which we must work to rectify. The legacy that Malcolm X left behind when he was martyred is incredibly important. Malcolm X wanted to see the light of Islam reach Black communities in the most desolated urban inner-cities of America.  God-Willing, The Black Dawah Network is working on fulfilling this objective of calling our people to follow the Sunnah of the last messenger of Allah(swt), the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and to worship Allah(swt) as he ought to be worshipped.

On December 15th, 2019, God-willing, Black Dawah Network will be having an Islamic Outreach event in the city that gave birth to Malcolm X in Omaha, Nebraska. The Black Dawah Network will be on the “Curtis Block” of Omaha which is a stronghold for the Crips. We will be calling our people to Islam and distributing free copies of The Autobiography of Malcolm X and the Qur’an to Black youth who want to learn more about Islam.

Then on February 22, 2020, God-willing, Black Muslims will be galvanizing in Chicago, Omaha, Atlanta, Virginia, for an Islamic Outreach Event that will deliver the message of Islam to oppressed Black communities and distribute free copies of the Qur’an and Autobiography of Malcolm X to Black youth who want to learn more about Islam.

To support visit BlackDawahNetwork.com

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