O most pernicious woman!
O villain, villain, smiling, damnèd villain!
My tables—meet it is I set it down
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain—
At least I am sure it may be so in Denmark.
Hamlet Act 1, scene 5, 105–109
“THE LAUGHING LIEUTENANT”: In a role eerily reminiscent of that performed by Mafia enforcer Luca Brasi in Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘The Godfather’ (where Don Corleone tasks his loyal hatchet man with visiting drug lord Virgil Sollozzo to feign disillusionment with his own Family in a cunning ruse aimed at drawing out the Don’s enemies), Nation of Islam (NOI) lieutenant Agurs Linward X Cathcart (aka Abdul Karriem Muhammad) of Muhammad’s Mosque #25 in New Jersey has implausibly claimed that his decision to attend the Malcolm X rally at the Audubon Ballroom on 21st February 1965 was driven by his ‘disaffection’ with Elijah Muhammad’s program and his new-found interest in Malcolm X’s Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU) initiative.
In reality Cathcart, like Brasi, remained loyal to ‘Don Elijah’ and was likely present at the Audubon Ballroom in order to ‘oversee’ the five Newark Mosque #25 assassins in the conduct of their murderous ‘operation’, ensure the success of the hit on Malcolm X and report back to NOI National Secretary John Ali (who was in New York at the time) and Minister Louis X Farrakhan of Boston Mosque #11 (and who just so happened to be delivering a sermon at Newark Mosque #25 that afternoon – the same NOI mosque to which the assassins were affiliated) that the mission had been accomplished.
John Ali later caught a flight to Chicago and returned to 4847 South Woodlawn Avenue to personally inform NOI leader Elijah Muhammad that the ‘hypocrite’ was dead. Elijah Muhammad then held a press conference, attended by Ali, and during which he flatly denied any involvement in the assassination of Malcolm X. In a chilling statement which he later gave to the NYPD, Cathcart likened Malcolm X to notorious American turncoat Benedict Arnold and went on to imply that Malcolm, in being murdered, essentially got what he deserved.
On page 294 of Peter Goldman’s 1979 biography ‘The Death & Life of Malcolm X’ passing reference is made to a member of the NOI’s Newark Mosque #25 who was observed either ‘smiling’ or ‘laughing’ as he gazed upon Malcolm’s bullet-ridden corpse in the immediate aftermath of the assassination:
“Life (magazine) bought up some photos one of the brothers had taken immediately after the shooting stopped. The pictures, when the police got hold of them, identified and placed still more witnesses. One of them showed a known Muslim (Cathcart), the man who had got into the hall wearing an FOI pin and was allowed to stay once he took it off. The camera caught him standing there staring at Malcolm’s body. He looked as if he were laughing…”