Someone to be Thankful for:
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
“One world does not have to mean one religion, just one belief in living in peace.” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the greatest basketball players of all time, as most people are well aware. However, not everyone knows that he is also an intelligent, eloquent, and prolific writer who strives to enlighten and educate with his articles on race, religion, equality, and community activism. He is also a best-selling fiction writer and his Mycroft Holmes novel even led to a comic book series! He was appointed the U.S Cultural Ambassador in 2012. He is also a spokesman for his chosen religion, Islam. President Obama would probably have awarded him the Medal of Freedom just for his amazing basketball career. As a convert to Islam, he also is an ambassador for his faith.
“Part of my conversion to Islam is accepting the responsibility to teach others about my religion, not to convert them but to co-exist with them through mutual respect, support and peace"
The recent elections have created new focus on what it means to be a Muslim-American. Hate crimes, calls for bans on all Muslim immigrants, and talk of registries (Kobach had it in full view on his “to-do” list when he met with Trump) have become the center of attention.
“The acts of aggression, terrorism and inhumanity committed by those claiming to be Muslims have made the rest of the world afraid of us. Without really knowing the peaceful practices of most of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims, they see only the worst examples.”
Clearly, the time to listen to Abdul-Jabbar is now. Maybe he can be the ambassador who builds a bridge for those who have a generic fear of Muslims. His latest book, Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White explores other pressing issues that must be addressed in our country. Taking on these huge issues, Abdul-Jabbar has some big shoes to fill. But he's a big man and is up to the challenge.
Congratulations to a National Treasure. May his words touch many hearts.