If you know me, you know Nazr Mohammed’s one of my favorite Kentucky players of all time. Not only did Nazr end up having one of the longest and most surprising NBA careers in UK history, he’s a thoughtful, passionate guy who isn’t afraid to speak his mind. This week, Mohammed — who was born in Chicago, but is the son of immigrants from Ghana — refused to stick to sports and spoke out against President Trump’s executive order banning entry to the United States by refugees, migrants and foreign nationals from seven mostly-Muslim countries. It all started with this tweet:
It's a tough day when u find out that so many ppl that u thought were fans or friends really hate u and everything u believe in.
— Nazr Mohammed (@NazrMohammed) January 28, 2017
Nazr received so much backlash from that tweet that he penned an article on his blog to clarify his thoughts on the matter. In the piece, Mohammed attempts to explain his Muslim faith, which he says is more often than not misunderstood.
My name is Nazr Tahiru Mohammed. I am a 1st generation AMERICAN born in Chicago to 2 Muslim Ghanaian immigrants. That means I am an African (no Hyphen) American (born in Chicago) Muslim (practicing Islam with no affiliation with the Nation of Islam but I do consider them brothers and sisters) Black Man (English is the only language I speak). I was told by so many people thru social media the last few days to “Go back to your country” that I feel that I needed to clear things up (smh). Home for me usually means Chicago with Kentucky being my 2nd home. Though visiting Ghana for the second time in my life is also in the plans but it’s still hard for me to call that home. Being a part of these different communities has shaped me and molded me into the person I am today. It’s made me focus on the similarities of various religions instead of their differences. Islam has taught me the importance of faith, prayer, charity, discipline and diversity. And these pillars can be found in most if not all religions.
Nazr goes on to explain his concerns with the immigrant ban and the hatred spewing across social media over politics in recent months.
I’m an optimist by nature and I will keep President Trump and those of you who disagree with my religion and political views in my prayers. I still believe in the power and respect that the Presidential Office deserves, even during this presidency. So I will continue my practice of not publicly insulting it but I do plan to voice my opinions of any unfair- current or future policies. I hate that for the first time in my life I began to understand the sentiments of a person who says “You’re either with me or against me” type of person. I have always been a person who could handle people having different points of views than me and I’m trying to get back to that. But I can’t sit quietly as I have in the past without expressing my disappointment, sadness or anger.
Regardless of what side you’re on, this is an interesting, thought-provoking essay from a former Cat that deserves some of your time (and understanding) today.