Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Claiming Isis represents Islam is like claiming to the Ku Klux Klan represents Christianity

The retired NBA star, who converted from Roman Catholicism to Islam at university, appeared on US V show Morning Joe

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has likened comparisons of Isis representing Islam as no different to describing the Ku Klux Klan as “Christian knights”.

The retired NBA star, who converted from Roman Catholicism to Islam at university, appeared on US V show Morning Joe on Monday.

Asked by host Mika Brzezinski what he thought really drove the militant group, he said: “It’s a play for money and power, and these people try to impose their will on people so people will listen to them, and they can be in charge. That’s all it’s about. They’ve taken on a fascist attitude and a fascist approach to everything. You do what we say or you die.”

 “You can make parallels to things that have happened here in America. Like the Ku Klux Klan saying they are the Christian knights,” he added. “And they do not practice Christianity.”

Using the First Crusade of 1095 as an example, he said that religion has always been used “as an excuse” to gain status and commit harrowing acts of violence, like beheadings and execution by burning.

“It’s not an excuse, it’s no excuse and oppressing one group means that we have to look out, all groups have to get together to fight that type of oppression, because we all should be free,” he said.

 

His appearance on the show came after a piece he wrote for Time magazine following the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris last month. In it, he condemned the US media’s need to wheel out “Celebrity Muslims” to disassociate the connection between Isis and Islam.

 “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 wrote.

Comments