A flopped-over traffic cone named Donald Trump who is uncomfortably close to controlling America’s nuclear arsenal has spent the last several days whipping up a xenophobic frenzy against Muslims, and among other things expressed bafflement at the possibility that there existed Muslim sports heroes.
Today, two of America’s greatest sports heroes—Muslim or otherwise—clapped back. In a thoughtful piece for Time, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar argued that what Trump is doing is quite literally terrorism, and explained why his quip about Muslim athletes was so heinous:
If violence can be an abstraction — and it can; that’s what a threat is — the Trump campaign meets this definition. Thus, Trump is ISIS’s greatest triumph: the perfect Manchurian Candidate who, instead of offering specific and realistic policies, preys on the fears of the public, doing ISIS’s job for them.
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.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Ali released a statement that, while not directly naming Trump, referenced “political leaders” misleading the public about Islam:
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.
Photo via AP