Malcolm X’s grandson and Muslim civil activist, Malcolm Lateef Shabazz has reportedly been arrested by FBI agents, according to reports from PressTV.
Prior to the arrest, the grandson to the civil rights icon was en route to Tehran, Iran for the third annual Hollywoodism International Conference held on Sunday (February 3rd). The FBI has refused to release information regarding Shabazz’s current whereabouts and the cause for the apparent arrest. The Hollywoodism International Conference hosts filmmakers, activists and scholars from across the globe to discuss issues facing world cinema and it being used as a vehicle for nationalistic propaganda.
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Coincidentally, Shabazz’s arrest coincided with the February 2nd premiere of Lifetime original movie Betty & Coretta, which is based on the friendship between Betty Shabazz and Coretta Scott King following their respective husband’s assassination. The movie is steeped in controversy as members of both the King and Shabazz family claim they were not consulted for the film and that there are stark character inaccuracies.Ilyasah Shabazz recently told the Washington Post that her mother (played by R&B legend Mary J. Blige) was “regal, compassionate, strong, loving, beautiful, resilient and well-educated” as opposed to the timid and insecure portrayal in the movie. Even the character’s wardrobe drew the ire of Ilyasah Shabazz as she states her mother never wore a scarf around her face, as portrayed in the movie and traditional for a Muslim, as a sign of independence.
The Washington Post reported that unnamed A&E officials excluded the families from involvement in the movie prior to post-production due to limiting familial bias in the protection of their legacy. A major point of contention for the Shabazz family was the dramatization of Betty Shabazz’s death which resulted from a fire set by her grandson, Malcom Lateef Shabazz. The movie depicted Malcolm X’s dying wife as using her last moments of life to speak to Coretta Scott King, even though the Shabazz families claims she was unable to speak after suffering third-degree burns.