Former NBA player, Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the many, who condemned the attack on the office of the French satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo”. As a result of the attack, 12 people were killed.
French media reported that the gunmen yelled, “We have avenged the Prophet” while carrying out the attack, referring to the Prophet Mohammed. Earlier, the magazine published a cartoon on the prophet.
“Most Muslims do not become Muslims to indulge in murder and mayhem,” Abdul-Jabbar told CNN’s World Sport. “It’s not what Islam is about. We try to live lives of peace and harmony within ourselves and with our neighbors.”
Previously, Jabbar said that he was looking forward to the day when “these terrorists praising the Prophet (Mohammed) or Allah’s name as they debase their actual teachings are instantly recognized as thugs disguising themselves as Muslims.”
He told CNN that poverty or lack of opportunities in education are factors in people committing such acts.
“They become radicalized by the lack of opportunity and anything in their future that has any promise,” he said. “They embrace violence. They try to use religion as something to justify that. But nothing justifies that.”
Former NBA star also feels that sports “absolutely” play a role in bringing people from different backgrounds together.
“When you spend all of your time trying to develop the talent for a sport and you see people doing the same thing from a different culture and you have the same interests, there’s common ground there,” he said. “And you can go from that to find more common ground. I think sport has gone a great way to doing that. Look at the U.S.-China relationship – ping-pong was the thing that opened the door. A sporting event.”
Abdul-Jabbar expressed hope that the media will better understand Islam.
“I’d just like to see a better understanding by the media as to what Islam is all about as opposed to what the terrorists say it’s about,” he continued. “I think that is the key issue here. Once those things get cleared up, I think we can make some progress.”
Abdul-Jabbar was a record 19-time NBA All-Star, a 15-time All-NBA selection, and an 11-time NBA All-Defensive Team member.
In 1996, he was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Abdul-Jabbar played 1560 games in the NBA, averaging 24.6 ppg, 11.2 rpg in 36.8 mpg.Follow @exnbadotcom
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