(CNN) After the deadly shooting at Charlie Hebdo, the message from one of the most decorated athletes in U.S. sports history — who is Muslim — was clear.
“Most Muslims do not become Muslims to indulge in murder and mayhem,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the leading point scorer in NBA history, told CNN’s World Sport on Wednesday. “It’s not what Islam is about.
“We try to live lives of peace and harmony within ourselves and with our neighbors.”
[pullquote type=”left”]”Most Muslims do not become Muslims to indulge in murder and mayhem, it’s not what Islam is about.”[/pullquote]
Abdul-Jabbar — also a best-selling author who was in London promoting a pair of new books including a fictional work about Sherlock Holmes’ brother — was speaking a week after brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi killed 12 people at the French satirical magazine.
French media reported that the gunmen yelled, “We have avenged the Prophet” while carrying out the attack, referring to the Prophet Mohammed.
Amedy Coulibaly, who reportedly had ties to the brothers, killed four hostages at a kosher grocery store two days later.
Abdul-Jabbar, in a column for the website of Time magazine last week, said he was looking forward to the day when “these terrorists praising the Prophet (Mohammed) or Allah’s name as they debase their actual teachings are instantly recognized as thugs disguising themselves as Muslims.”
He added to CNN that poverty or lack of opportunities in education are factors in people committing such acts…