America’s Greatest Muslim Sports Heroes Speak Out Against Donald Trump
On Sunday night, President Obama addressed the nation from the oval office and reminded Americans of the obvious fact that not all Muslim-Americans are terrorists. That they are, in fact, “our friends and our neighbors; our co-workers, our sports heroes.”
Well, as you probably know by now, racist troll/leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is not so sure about all those Muslims. So he responded on Twitter by asking whether there actually are any Muslim-American sports heroes.
There are, of course. In fact, two of the greatest American athletes of all time—Muhammad Ali and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar—happen to be Muslim. And now both have issued formal responses to Trump’s bigoted anti-muslim fear mongering.
Abdul-Jabbar wrote an excellent piece for Time magazine, of which the following is an excerpt:
While Trump is not slaughtering innocent people, he is exploiting such acts of violence to create terror here to coerce support… Trump’s irresponsible, inflammatory rhetoric and deliberate propagation of misinformation have created a frightened and hostile atmosphere that could embolden people to violence…
He’s the schoolyard bully rallying classmates to make fun of the skinny kid with glasses. When President Obama said that “Muslim-Americans are our friends and our neighbors; our co-workers, our sports heroes,” Trump quickly tweeted: “What sport is he talking about, and who?” The press immediately provided him with a list, as well as photos of Trump with prominent Muslim-American sports figures, including Shaquille O’Neal, Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali and, yes, me. What makes his statement even more insidious is the suggestion that, even if there were no Muslim sports heroes, Muslims would somehow be lesser people, less worthy. This cruel and dim-witted thinking is not the stuff presidents are made of.
Ali, meanwhile, has issued a formal statement denouncing violence in the name of Islam, as well as political leaders who capitalize on it:
I am a Muslim and there is nothing Islamic about killing innocent people in Paris, San Bernardino, or anywhere else in the world. True Muslims know that the ruthless violence of so called Islamic Jihadists goes against the very tenets of our religion.
We as Muslims have to stand up to those who use Islam to advance their own personal agenda. They have alienated many from learning about Islam. True Muslims know or should know that it goes against our religion to try and force Islam on anybody.
Speaking as someone who has never been accused of political correctness, I believe that our political leaders should use their position to bring understanding about the religion of Islam and clarify that these misguided murderers have perverted people’s views on what Islam really is.
Turns out our greatest Muslim sports heroes are also pretty eloquent. Who knew?
Hat Tip – [Deadspin]