Malcolm X changed considerably reading about his life and while I had previously considered him to be one of the leaders who suggested that violence is necessary to obtain political gains, after reading about him I feel that Malcolm X was quite more about creating a sense of unity rather than discord. The life that Malcolm X lived is quite stunning considering the fact that he started off as little more than a thief and ended up as one of the most famous leaders in American history (Gallen, 1992). At the same time, I could not help but compare his life to other leaders who went through trials before coming to terms with their inner thoughts and their own understanding about American society. In these terms, the development of Malcolm X as a leader is quite remarkable.

However, it becomes rather difficult to understand how those who respected and followed him when he was advocating an extremist view could not come to accept his more liberal approach to America and Islam. After he came back from his visit to the holy shrines in Mecca, Malcolm became more open towards white Muslims and other Muslims who he had thought to be lesser than black Muslims like himself. While his own vision of Islam had been changed dramatically with time and understand, those of his followers remained quite the same.

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On reflection, it seems the Nation of Islam was nothing more than a violent organisation where deviation from the rules of the party can result in ouster from the group. On the other hand, Malcolm X comes across as an open minded Muslim who becomes more accepting of all creeds and considers the differences between them to be arbitrary if they can agree on the fundamentals of what they follow (Gallen, 1992). If an individual like Malcolm X can come to understand our differences and not consider them to be a dividing line between races or genders, there is no reason why we cannot develop means by which we can solve differences today.

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