Mohandas Gandhi and Malcolm X were both strong activists for social rights. They led in similar yet different fashions. These men both used their beliefs in religion to create change in the world.
The well-known Mahatma Gandhi and Malcolm X left behind legacies that still have an impact on the world today. One of the essential factors that impacted these two historical figures was religion. The characteristics of Hinduism surely had an impact on Gandhi’s peaceful ways that he went about things. The Islamic faith that Malcolm X followed, led him to follow the beliefs of “using any means necessary”. This was his famous quote. Their spiritual affiliations were not solely identifying elements in their lives.
Gandhi’s belief in Hinduism and Malcolm X’s Islamic beliefs share some comparable views and multiple vastly diverse ones. Hindus believe in karma and reincarnation until you emerge as perfect.This is why all of Gandhi’s actions were based off of being pure and doing the right thing. On the other hand, Muslims believe in one life and a remaining day of judgment before their Allah or God. Malcolm shows this belief through his actions of doing everything in his power to get what he wanted done. Hinduism expresses that all religions are real pathways back to the Supreme Creator; Muslims usually have contempt for other faiths and agree with that only these of their faith are allowed into heaven, and solely sure ones whom are chosen by the Allah. The belief in that, all life is sacred and the exercise of peace, or non-injury, is a large section of the faith of Hinduism. Muslims are very opposite with their faith of the jihad. They believe in the reality that they are inclined to damage others or themselves in order to make it into their heaven. Malcolm demonstrates this belief in saying how it is okay to fight back if it is necessary. Despite their diverse beliefs, each of these religions are two of the three largest followed faiths in the world, which helped each of the figure to speak to large populations and relate to these groups in many ways.
Religion performed a massive function in each Malcolm X and Gandhi lives. It influenced their views, ideas, and whole existences. Gandhi believed in the fact that nonviolence was the sole way to reach equality. Even when Gandhi was attacked, he would not react in any violent fashion. This is demonstrated in the film, “Ghandi” multiple times. One instance was where Gandhi had all of his men protesting working at the mines, when the police force came to attack them and shut everything down, the enormous group of people protesting simply laid down on the ground. The police were charging at them on their horses, which were spooked by the obstacle and had no choice but to turn around. Another example of Gandhi’s peaceful protest was when he had been burning the immigration cards and being beaten to the ground by British officials. He continued to stand there and burn the cards without fighting back physically or verbally despite the brutal pain he was enduring. These actions speak much louder than any words could. On the contrary to what Gandhi does and says, Malcolm X believes that if someone comes towards you using violence, you should react in the same way they treated you. In his autobiography Malcolm X states, “Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery” (Malcolm).
In my personal opinion, I believe that Gandhi was a more prominent leader. I believe this because his ways of changing the world were through peace and morality. The saying “fighting fire with fire makes only a bigger fire” is relevant in many aspects of life. Gandhi’s way of fighting for equality was well respected around the world by many races and religions. His goal was for everyone to come together and to create equality for all. He brought many people together to help this cause in an incredibly powerful way.