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Muslim-American Heroes Muhammad Ali and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Denounce Donald Trump's Islamophobia

Trump just got Trumped.

In independent statements released yesterday, boxing great Muhammad Ali and basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar denounced Donald Trump after his Islamophobic, xenophobic, everything-o-phobic campaign reached its most offensive low yet. On Tuesday, Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering the country, and just about everyone with a brain punched back. Including and especially Muslim-American heroes and athletes Ali and Abdul-Jabbar.


Ali and Abdul-Jabbar's statements came in the wake of Trump making a particularly ignorant statement pertaining to Muslims in the sporting world.

Obama said in his speech that Muslims are our sports heroes. What sport is he talking about, and who? Is Obama profiling?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2015

Though Ali, an activist and author in his own right, did not mention Trump directly by name, he did address his statement—delivered to NBC—to "Presidential Candidates Proposing to Ban Muslim Immigration to the United States." (I wonder who he means.) Here is Ali's statement in its entirety:

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.

Abdul-Jabbar, a U.S. Department of State cultural ambassador with a bibliography 11 books deep, and activist for Muslim rights in the country, addressed Trump in his Time Magazine column. The article started with, "The terrorist campaign against American ideals is winning"—perhaps a nod to one of Trump's favorite obsessions: winners and losers.

We'll leave the final word on the subject to Abdul-Jabbar in an excerpt from his column:

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.
Trump's irresponsible, inflammatory rhetoric and deliberate propagation of misinformation have created a frightened and hostile atmosphere that could embolden people to violence.
[Trump's supporters] are impervious to facts or truth because their (understandable) frustration and anger at partisan greed and incompetence have fatigued them out of critical thinking.
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 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.