US basketball player showed too much devotion for Imam Khomeini

US basketball player showed too much devotion for Imam Khomeini

Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf is a former American professional basketball player who has been a great devotee of Imam Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic.

Abdul-Rauf converted to Islam and changed his name from Chris Jackson to his current one in 1993.

He has shown great interests in Imam Khomeini’s ideals and also devotion for the Iranian people and history.

The internationally-reputed player has been known for promoting Imam’s dynamic ideals and read with deep thinking many of Imam’s theological works including Imam's lectures on “the Islamic governance".

Islamic Government is probably one of the best known of Imam Khomeini's works, the book Islamic Government originated in a series of lectures delivered by Imam during his stay in holy city of at Najaf. It attracted a wide-range of audience from across the world and provided foundations for the Islamic-Republic system.

The victory of Islamic Revolution under Imam Khomeini’s leadership in 1979 turned Iran into one of the most progressive nation in contemporary history. 

It is worthy to mention that Imam Khomeini had stood against aggressive policies of colonial powers and raised wariness among oppressed people at the sensitive juncture of history. 

Abdul-Rauf has time and again been seen posting special notes on his social networking website such as Facebook about Imam’s dynamic thought and his stance on a range of topics.

Abdul-Rauf is perhaps best known for the event created when he refused to stand for "The Star-Spangled Banner" before games, stating that the flag was a symbol of oppression and that the United States had a long history of tyranny.

 He said that standing to the national anthem would, therefore, conflict with his Islamic beliefs.

 On March 12, 1996, the National Basketball Association (NBA) suspended Abdul-Rauf for his refusal to stand, costing Abdul-Rauf $31,707 per missed game.

 Two days later, he worked out a compromise with the league, whereby he would stand during the playing of the national anthem but could close his eyes and look downward.

He usually silently recited Islamic prayer during this time for those who are suffering from all works of life and ethnic backgrounds.

 The few who remember Abdul-Rauf's career compare him to present-day stars like Stephen Curry or Kyrie Irving.

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