In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
To the King Family, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Rev. Samuel B. Kyles, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, their families, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Nation of Islam, Final Call readers and the Black community:
In the August 19 edition of The Final Call newspaper, an article was published under the title, “SCLC returns to Memphis.” The subtitle states: “To reclaim civil rights legacy and free the future, Dr. King’s children say truth of his assassination must be made known.”
The article’s writer, Eric Ture Muhammad, covered the SCLC conference in Memphis, Tenn., the very place where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. The meeting was historic because it was the first time the SCLC had returned to Memphis for its convention.
In our coverage of the conference, The Final Call did the King Family, the SCLC and all of the above mentioned parties a disservice. For that, I apologize and accept full responsibility.
The article erroneously stated that the King family alleges that Rev. Kyles and Rev. Jackson are “complicit” in the assassination of Dr. King. And while there is evidence–and certainly a strong belief in the Black community–of a conspiracy in the murder, neither Rev. Jackson nor Rev. Kyles have been named or charged as co-conspirators. It is also a known fact that even the King family believes that the full truth of the murder of their husband and father is not known. The Final Call supports getting to the truth of what really happened to our great leader.
I apologize to the King Family, Rev. Jackson, Rev. Kyles, Min. Farrakhan and the Black community for allowing such allegations to be printed, because I know of the history of divide and conquer that has been used against Black America that has stunted Black progress. It was used to create tension between Garvey and DuBois and Malcolm and Martin.
The enemies of the rise of our people could use these allegations to create tension and dissention among the followers of Rev. Jackson and the followers of Min. Farrakhan, even as they have tried over the years to create such tensions.
Unfortunately and regretfully, I have opened the door for such mischief-making by the enemies of us all through the printing of these allegations.
The Holy Qur’an admonishes us as Muslims to look very carefully into allegations against others that are presented to us, lest we harm someone in our ignorance and then be sorry for what we did. I failed in my responsibility to look deeply into the allegations presented in this article, and it has caused distress to the families of Dr. King, Rev. Jackson, Rev. Kyles, Min. Farrakhan and untold others. While I cannot un-print what has already been printed, I can do as Min. Farrakhan has admonished his follower to do whenever we do something that does unintentional harm to others. And that is, go back to the same forum where you made the error or mistake and correct your mistake and ask the aggrieved for their forgiveness.
I cannot stress the anguish that my action has caused me, for my action in this case not only affects me, but it affects Nation of Islam, our Black community and our leaders, all of whom I love dearly. I would hate for my legacy to reflect that I did anything to hinder the progress of our great people.
For the distress I have created in this instance, I am truly sorry.
James G. Muhammad