Posts Tagged ‘Malcolm X’

After 44 years in prison, the only man to have admitted his participation in the assassination of Malcolm X was released from a New York correctional facility on Tuesday. Thomas Hagan, now 69 years old, told the facility’s parole board that he is remorseful for his role in the killing of the iconic Civil Rights leader.

“I have deep regrets about my participation in that,” said Hagan, whose sentence was changed to weekends in jail in 1992 so that he could work to support his family. “I don’t think it should ever have happened.” Two others were charged with the murder of Malcolm X in 1966, but were freed in 1985 and 1987 respectively.

“I personally find it strange that for a couple decades any person convicted in the assassination of such an iconic figure would be allowed such leniency,” said Zead Ramadan, Board Chairman of the Malcolm X & Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center. “It’s really a struggle for Muslims to contemplate this issue, because our faith and our religion is full of examples where we have to exert mercy…Only God knows why this was allowed to happen.”

In March, Hagan, who was 22 at the time of X’s death, told the parole board that his anger towards Malcolm X emerged after his infamous departure from the Nation of Islam. “It stemmed from a break off and confusion in the leadership,” Hagan explained. “Malcolm X broke with the Nation of Islam, separated from the Nation of Islam, and in doing so there was controversy as to some of the statements he was making about the leader [Elijah Muhammad].”

Hagan admitted that, after much time and new information, he now believes many of the things X was trying to warn Nation of Islam members about.  Since the assassination, he has also parted with the NOI, and has begun to follow orthodox Islam. Having earned a master’s degree in sociology while incarcerated, Hagan said his main focus is to “maintain my family and to try to make things a little better for them.”

More information on Hagan’s role in the Malcolm X assassination at CNN.com.

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