The discursive tradition of referring to three identities, the Arab, the African, and the Islamic, as cohesive, concentric “circles” began with Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, who invoked the trope in his 1955 revolutionary handbook. Nasser's project, which challenged Western hegemony through a politics of neutrality, inspired Malik Shabazz to understand U.S. domestic coloniality in terms of overlapping diasporas. In exploring Shabazz's invocation of this trope, I here sketch a sociohistorical and political portrait of Black, Arab, and Islamic leaders who befriended Malcolm X. Shabazz's relationships with Arab American Muslim community activists, African leaders, Arab Muslim leaders, and the African American Cairo expat community not only represent these circles but also reveal their malleability. Rejecting ossified nation-state boundaries, Shabazz created a vision of a Black Atlantic Islam.

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