Who better to promote America than a former basketball star and still Muslim? via Secretary Clinton Announces Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as Cultural Ambassador.
On Wednesday, January 18, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with Hall-of-Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s All-Time Leading Scorer and a New York Times’ best-selling author, to discuss his new role as a global Cultural Ambassador. During the meeting, Secretary Clinton reiterated the United States’ strong commitment to engaging young people worldwide and to using people-to-people diplomacy as a means to create opportunities for greater understanding.
Secretary Clinton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar discussed his upcoming trip to Brazil as a Cultural Ambassador and the strong relationship between the people of the United States and Brazil.
“I am excited and honored to serve my country as a Cultural Ambassador for the U.S. Department of State,” said Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who has focused his efforts after his NBA career on engaging youth through socially-minded projects and education. “I look forward to meeting with young people all over the world and discussing ways in which we can strengthen our understanding of one another through education, through sports, and through greater cultural tolerance.”
From January 22-28, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will travel to Brazil to meet with underserved youth in Salvador and Rio de Janeiro. As a Cultural Ambassador, Abdul-Jabbar will lead conversations with young people on the importance of education, social and racial tolerance, cultural understanding, and using sports as a means of empowerment. In addition, he will participate in basketball clinics with young people in both cities.
Just a little cultural background on the former Lew Alcindor, via Jailhouse Islam:
Mosque No. 12’s most famous crime unfolded a couple of years later, at one of basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s homes in the Washington, D.C., area. An orthodox Muslim leader there had done an audacious thing: Hamaas Khaalis had written a letter to several Nation of Islam mosques, accusing them of misappropriating Islam and using it as a cover for criminal action. So a team of Muslim Mob hit men traveled to D.C. and found Abdul-Jabbar’s home, which he had lent to the local religious leader. Khaalis wasn’t home, but his family was. So the Philadelphia men exacted the worst sort of revenge, killing two adults and five children, including an infant nine days old. It was the worst mass murder in D.C.’s history.
And a little more cultural reference from DawaNet:
1968 “Hamas Abdul Khaalis” founds the “Hanfi Movement” in New York and builds the “Hanafi-Hab Center” there, but latter on moves to Washington DC His movement had a membership of more than 1000 and one of the first Muslims who first came into contact with Islam through this movement is “Kareem AbdulJabbar” the famous Lakers basketball player. But in 1977, Khaalis and some of his followers seized control of 3 buildings in D. C., holding hostages for more than 30 hours, one man was killed. Khaalis is now incarcerated in Washington DC and is serving a sentence of 41 to 120 years, marking a challenging period in American Muslim history.
Read more about the Hanafi Seige in Washington, DC in this post:
More than 100 people were held hostage by 12 Hanafi Muslims. Killed in the takeover, a young radio reporter and a security guard. Wounded, with a bullet in his chest, then council member Marion Barry.
The siege was an attempt to avenge the 1973 deaths of 7 members of Hanafi leader Hamas Abdul Khalis’s family. This occurred at Khalis’s home, the Hanafi Muslim Center, on 16th Street, Northwest.
What culture is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar going to promote?