Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf Takes His Stand

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf Takes His Stand

Article excerpt

The strange conjunction of sports, religion and patriotism highlighted by Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf's refusal to stand during the national anthem has been resolved, in a straightforward and satisfactory way. While the rest of the arena stands in respect, the Denver Nuggets star says he will stand in prayer. Less clear, however, is why the controversy ever occurred at all.

Mr. Abdul-Rauf had said that as a Muslim, he would not stand because the Koran forbids nationalistic ritualism and he considers the anthem a symbol of oppression and tyranny, not to mention the tyranny and oppression he sees in the flag. When the National Basketball Association suspended him - at a personal cost of $31,707 a game - he backed off his earlier hard-line statements, saying that he did not mean any disrespect to anyone who considers the anthem "a sacred ceremony."

Last week, as the furor around his position grew, the player formerly known as Chris Jackson announced his solution: While the anthem is played, he will stand in prayer, a stance that presumably would fulfill the NBA rule that requires "a dignified posture" by players. …

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