“Where Is the Outrage Over Anti-Semitism in Sports and Hollywood?” ran the headline in the July 14 Hollywood Reporter. The writer is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, former Los Angeles Lakers star and NBA hall of famer.
“Recent incidents of anti-Semitic tweets and posts from sports and entertainment celebrities are a very troubling omen for the future of the Black Lives Matter movement,” according to Abdul-Jabbar, “but so too is the shocking lack of massive indignation.” The NBA great targeted Ice Cube’s tweets that “implied that Jews were responsible for the oppression of blacks.”
NFL player DeSean Jackson tweeted “several anti-Semitic messages, including a quote he incorrectly thought was from Hitler (not your go-to guy for why-can’t-we-all-get-along quotes) stating that Jews had a plan to ‘extort America’ and achieve ‘world domination.’” Such statements, Abdul-Jabbar explained, “would be laughed at by anyone with a middle-school grasp of reason,” but there was more.
Former NBA player and “self-proclaimed activist” Stephen Jackson “undid whatever progress his previous advocacy may have achieved by agreeing with DeSean Jackson on social media. Then he went on to talk about the Rothschilds owning all the banks and his support for the notorious homophobe and anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.”
As Abdul-Jabbar closed out, “If we’re going to be outraged by injustice, let’s be outraged by injustice against anyone.” In other words, all lives matter, the nation’s number-one thoughtcrime. Astonished readers might be unaware of Abdul-Jabbar’s past conflicts with notorious homophobes and anti-Semites.
As the New York Times noted, the former Lewis Alcindor is “the best‐known Hanafi,” a member of the sect led by Hamaas Abdul-Khaalis, formerly known as Ernest Timothy McGhee. He charged that the teachings of Elijah Muhammed were false and referred to the Black Muslim leader by his original name of Elijah Poole.
Abdul-Jabbar donated the $78,000 Washington D.C. mansion that served as Hanafi headquarters and came under attack in early 1973. The seven victims included five children, four of whom, ages 9 days to 10 years, were drowned in a bathtub. Another child and two young men were shot to death. Six of the seven victims were family members of Abdul-Khaalis, who was not present. His wife and daughter said the crimes were retaliation for their father’s campaign against Elijah Muhammad. No harm came to Hanafi benefactor Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, at least at the time.
He played six seasons for the Milwaukee Bucks and was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in 1975. In March of 1977, Abdul-Khaalis led a raid on the B’nai B’rith headquarters, the Islamic Center, and Washington DC City Hall. “They killed my babies and shot my women,” Khaalis yelled at B’nai B’rith headquarters. “Now they listen to us, or heads will roll.” The Hanafis told the captives it was a lie that Hitler killed six million Jews, and at one point, Abdul-Khaalis said “I don’t want to speak to any Jew bastards.” For an extensive account see Newsweek’s, “Muslim Terrorists Took 134 Hostages in the Name of Allah in a 1977 Guerrilla Raid.”
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar kept his distance and continued his career with the Lakers, winning championships in 1980 and 1982. The following year, fire destroyed Abdul-Jabbar’s Bel-Air mansion. Kareem was not present, and his girlfriend and son escaped through a window.
Faulty wiring was supposedly to blame but as one report recalled, “ironically, it was 10 years ago, in January of 1973, that seven persons, including five children ranging in age from nine days to 11 years, were murdered in a Washington, D.C. home that Abdul-Jabbar had purchased for them.” So people had cause to wonder.
In 1989, at the age of 42, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar retired and took up a career as writer. Among other books, the NBA great authored, Giant Steps in 1990 and Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII’s Forgotten Heroes in 2004. In 2015 in Al Jazeera, the author explained “Why I Converted to Islam.”
Raised a Catholic, Abdul-Jabbar saw that Papal bulls “condoned enslaving native people and stealing their lands.” Kareem was introduced to Islam as a UCLA freshman and attributes early awakening to The Autobiography of Malcolm X, a “victim of institutional racism.” Kareem found a teacher in Hammas Abdul-Khaalis, whose “version of Islam was a joyous revelation.” The conversion took place in 1971, and “in 1973, I traveled to Libya and Saudi Arabia to learn enough Arabic to study the Quran on my own. I emerged from this pilgrimage with my beliefs clarified and my faith renewed.”
The Quran does not condemn slavery, which persisted in Saudi Arabia long after it was officially eliminated in 1962. In 2011, the Atlantic outed the Islamic Republic of Mauritania as, “The Country Where Slavery Is Still Normal.” All that escapes the Muslim convert’s notice, along with the Quran passages not exactly friendly to Jews and Christian “infidels.” High-profile acts of terrorism, according to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, were “committed by those claiming to be Muslims.”
“One world does not have to mean one religion,” Abdul-Jabbar concludes, “just one belief in living in peace.” The celebrities he accused of anti-Semitism aren’t exactly at peace with the towering NBA great. As Ice Cube tweeted, “Shame on the Hollywood Reporter who obviously gave my brother Kareem 30 pieces of silver to cut us down without even a phone call.”
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