The Nation of Islam make threats against Malcolm X
After leaving the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X spoke before a wide variety of audiences in the United States.
He spoke at regular meetings of Muslim Mosque, Inc., and the Organization of Afro-American Unity. He was one of the most sought-after speakers on college campuses, and one of his top aides later wrote that he "welcomed every opportunity to speak to college students."Malcolm X also spoke before political groups such as the Militant Labor Forum.
Tensions increased between Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam. As early as February 1964, a member of Temple Number Seven was given orders by the Nation of Islam to wire explosives to Malcolm X's car. On March 20, 1964, Life published a photograph of Malcolm X holding an M1 Carbine and peering out a window. The photo was intended to illustrate his determination to defend himself and his family against the death threats he was receiving.
The Nation of Islam and its leaders began making threats against Malcolm X both in private and in public. On March 23, 1964, Elijah Muhammad told Boston minister Louis X (later known as Louis Farrakhan) that hypocrites like Malcolm should have "their heads cut off."The April 10 edition of Muhammad Speaks featured a cartoon in which his severed head was shown bouncing. On July 9, John Ali, a top aide to Muhammad, answered a question about Malcolm X by saying that "anyone who opposes the Honorable Elijah Muhammad puts their life in jeopardy."The December 4 issue of Muhammad Speaks included an article by Louis X that railed against Malcolm X and said that "such a man as Malcolm is worthy of death."
Some threats were made anonymously. During the month of June 1964, FBI surveillance recorded two such threats. On June 8, a man called Malcolm X's home and told Betty Shabazz to "tell him he's as good as dead."On June 12, an FBI informant reported getting an anonymous telephone call from somebody who said "Malcolm X is going to be bumped off."
In 1965 Malcolm's increasing public criticism of Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam prompted anonymous threats against his life. In his attempts to forge relationships with established civil rights organizations such as the STUDENT NON-VIOLENT COORDINATING COMMITTEE, Malcolm was criticized severely in the Nation of Islam's official publications. In a December 1964 article in Muhammad Speaks— the official newspaper of the Nation of Islam— Louis X (now known as Louis Farrakhan) said, "[S]uch a man as Malcolm is worthy of death, and would have met with death if it had not been for Muhammad's confidence in Allah for victory over the enemies."
In January 1964, Elijah Muhammad expelled his own son Wallace Muhammad, who had also been one of Malcolm's closest friends. Wallace and Malcolm had both concluded that W.D. Fard could not have been Allah and that Elijah Muhammad had misrepresented Islam and Fard's own doctrines. Wallace had also been the one of the people to confirm his father's sexual infidelity to Malcolm. Malcolm eventually helped one of Elijah's former secretaries, a woman whom he had recommended to work for Elijah, to file a paternity suit against him. Elijah Muhammad told his followers Malcolm's days were numbered. The NOI newspaper, Muhammad Speaks, even carried a cartoon of Malcolm's severed head bouncing down a street.
Both threats and attacks were made against Malcolm and his followers. He had bodyguards accompany him everywhere and spoke often of his impending death.