Just for trivia, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the giant who is beaten up by Bruce Lee in the film ‘Game of Death’. Start reading now:
Kareem begins with a jibe at the media’s first reaction to such incidents Another horrendous act of terrorism has taken place and people like myself who are on media speed-dial under “Celebrity Muslims” are thrust in the spotlight to angrily condemn, disavow, and explain—again—how these barbaric acts are in no way related to Islam.
He blames such violence on pecuniary motives… Violence committed in the name of religion is never about religion—it’s ultimately about money.
…supported by an argument you can’t dispute When one looks at the goal of these terrorist attacks, it’s clearly not about scaring us into changing our behavior…So the attack in Paris, as with most others…is about…more recruits and more donations to keep their organization alive…It’s just business.
He also gives logical reasons why such a business flourishes Poverty, political oppression, systemic corruption, lack of education, lack of critical thinking, and general hopelessness in these countries is the spark.
And also absolves America’s outlook We don’t always do the right thing, but we strive to. We admit our faults and make adjustments. It may be glacial, but it’s movement forward.
He tells us why Western people suffer from Islamophobia All they (Western population) see are brutal beheadings, kidnappings of young girls, bloody massacres of children at schools, and these random shootings. Naturally, they are frightened when they hear the word Muslim or see someone in traditional Muslim clothing.
He gives a solid response to those asking Muslims to explain radicalism When the Ku Klux Klan burns a cross in a black family’s yard, Christians aren’t required to explain how these aren’t really Christian acts.
He silences the intolerant few within Islam (Terrorism) is an acknowledgement that the religion and its teachings aren’t enough to convince people to follow it. Any religion that requires coercion is not about the community, but about the leaders wanting power.
And offers a workable solution I look forward to the day when an act of terrorism by self-proclaimed Muslims will be universally dismissed as nothing more than a criminal attack of a thuggish political organization wearing an ill-fitting Muslim mask. To get to that point, we will need to teach our communities what the real beliefs of Islam are.
What is religion? For me, religion—no matter which one—is ultimately about people wanting to live humble, moral lives that create a harmonious community and promote tolerance and friendship with those outside the religious community. Any religious rules should be in service of this goal.
The view of Karim Abdul-Jabbar was published in Time magazine.