Remembering The Murder Of Newark NOI Minister James Shabazz

Remembering The Murder Of Newark NOI Minister James Shabazz

Remembering The Murder of Legendary Newark NOI Minister James Shabazz Photo: Facebook

James Shabazz, a Nation of Islam leader, was shot to death on Sept. 4, 1973 in the driveway of his home in Newark, New Jersey, where he lived with his wife and 13 children. What made his life and death more notable is that Shabazz is believed to have played a role in the 1965 assignation of Malcolm X.

Shabazz, 52, was fired upon as he was getting out of his car, The New York Times reported in 1973. At the time, he was the leader of Mosque No. 25 in Newark.

Minister Shabazz was nicknamed “Son Of Thunder” for his speaking style and had a very close relationship with Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad. Their relationship went way back.

Muhammad and Shabazz were incarcerated together in the 1940s, and it was in prison where Muhammad introduced Shabazz to the NOI.  

Although Shabazz was sent to lead various mosques, he made his mark at the Newark mosque.

“With running a tight ship and promoting the ‘Do For Self’ philosophy, Newark became one of the top contenders in the country representing the Nation Of Islam,” according to the Facebook page The Black Muslim Cultural Renaissance. “Under Minister James’ leadership, Newark would outdo a lot of the top cities in the country in the selling of Muhammad Speaks, fundraisers…Many Muslims in Newark ran their own businesses (Steak N Takes, Unity Beef, Shabazz Restaurant and Grocery store, dry cleaners, bakeries, insurance companies, a printing press, etc)”.

But perhaps what Shabazz is remembered for most is his alleged role in the murder of Malcolm X.

Shabazz is the person suspected of selecting William X Bradley, Leon Davis, Talmadge Hayer, Albert Benjamin Thomas, and Wilbert McKinney to form the team of Newark Mosque #25 killers who murdered Malcolm X.

Malcolm X was assassinated on Feb. 21, 1965, while addressing his Organization of Afro-American Unity. Three Nation members were charged with the murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Shabazz is also suspected of appointing Mosque #25 Lieut. Agurs Linward X Cathcart (aka Abdul Karriem Muhammad) to supervise the hit squad, according to a Neromaximus blog from 2014 entitled, “The Malcolm X Killers: Minister James X Shabazz.”

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Shabazz’s own death is shrouded in mystery. It is believed he was shot by members of the New World of Islam. Minister Louis Farrakhan, NOI’s current leader, talked about the killing in a speech delivered a few days later.

Shabazz’s murder was one of three related incidents within a year involving Black Muslims during 1973. After his murder, three Black Muslims reportedly abducted an off‐duty policeman from the street near Shabazz’s home. The officer was driven around in a car, questioned about Shabazz, and then let go. The abductors were arrested later and charged with kidnapping. The next day, a Black man was abducted nearby, driven around in a car for 24 hours, questioned about the Shabazz murder, and also released.

On Oct. 18, 1973, the decapitated bodies of Black Muslims Warren Marcell and Michael A. Huff were discovered in a park four miles away from the home of Shabazz.