Leave it to Muhammad Ali to pull off the perfect balance between condemning radical Jihadist terrorism and standing up for the overwhelming number of regular Muslims who have nothing and want nothing to do with it. Republicans can learn a few things.
Clearly outraged by Donald Trump’s ludicrous call to ban all Muslims from coming into the United States, boxing great Muhammad Ali released a statement to NBC News titled simply “Presidential Candidates Proposing to Ban Muslim Immigration to the United States.”
Who could he mean?
The message was clear: ISIS and other radical groups have nothing to do with the kind of Islam practiced by 1.5 billion people around the world. They are monsters who cherry pick the parts of the Muslim faith that best suit their agenda. Ali writes:
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.
Ali also appears to be answering President Obama’s call for those within the Muslim community to stand up against radicalization.
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.
It’s apparent that Ali is not thrilled with the disgusting way Trump has used Muslims as a scapegoat to sow fear into the hearts of his followers and boost his poll numbers. At a time when members of ISIS want nothing more than to position their horrific violence as part of a “war with the West,” Trump’s fear mongering is doing nothing but playing into their hand.
Trump might want to listen to Ali’s words carefully. After all, it was just days ago that the Republican front-runner seemed to forget that the legendary boxer even existed when he claimed to not be able to recall a single American Muslim athlete. Now one of the greatest athletes of all time is calling him out. That’s got to sting.
In the wake of a terrorist attack in Paris and another one in San Bernardino, Republicans have melted into puddles on the floor. In the face of the violence, they decided their best reaction should be to blame the entire religion and hide. It’s embarrassing. It’s pathetic. It’s counterproductive. And yet here we are.
Feature image via NBC News