Skip to main content

Tim Tebow* and 'All-American Muslim'

Defenders of Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow have responded to critics of his faith exhibitions with one consistent response: "What if he was Muslim?" The idea being that Christian-hating politically correct liberals would probably celebrate if Tebow was praying to Mecca in the end zone.

We do, of course, have examples of high-profile Muslim athletes to consider. Muhammad Ali and Kareem Abdul Jabbar both came in for intense criticism for their conversions to the faith—really intense criticism, which makes the "controversy" surrounding Tebow look like teatime debate by comparison. More recently—but before 9/11—Mahmoud Abdul Rauf (an NBA player) was regularly booed during the 1990s after he decided the Star Spangled Banner was an expression of "nationalistic worship" incompatible with his faith. (Some Christians think the same thing, incidentally.)

Beyond sports, though, there's been a recent example of American Muslims trying to publicly demonstrate how they intertwine their faith and lives: The TV show "All-American Muslim." And it's a useful example. Lowe's and other businesses have pulled advertising from the show under pressure from the Florida Family Association—which doesn't like the show because it depicts residents of Dearborn, Michigan as regular folks. The FFA would prefer—demands—that Muslims be shown as jihadist killers and oppressors.

And of course, we all remember the outrage that greeted the "Ground Zero Mosque" last year.

So: When Tim Tebow expresses his faith, he becomes the subject of discussion on talk shows and op-ed pages, all while making big money to promote brands like Nike. American Muslims who express their faith are lumped in with killers and concerted efforts are made not just to criticize them, but to drive them entirely from the public square.

What if Tim Tebow was Muslim? He's lucky he isn't.

* I expect this to be the last time I refer to Tebow for quite some time. For all our sakes.


Popular posts from this blog


I've been making some life changes lately — trying to use the time I have, now that I'm back in Kansas, to improve my health and lifestyle. Among the changes: More exercise. 30 minutes a day on the treadmill. Doesn't sound like a lot, but some is more than none, and I know from experience that getting overambitious early leads to failure. So. Thirty minutes a day.

One other thing: Yoga, a couple of times a week. It's nothing huge — a 15-minute flexibility routine downloaded from an iPhone app. But I've noticed that I'm increasingly limber.

Tonight, friends, I noticed a piece of trash on the floor. I bent over at the waist and picked it up, and threw it away.

Then I wept. I literally could not remember the last time I'd tried to pick something off the floor without grunting and bracing myself. I just did it.

Small victories, people. Small victories.

Liberals: We're overthinking this. Hillary didn't lose. This is what it should mean.

Nate Cohn of the New York Times estimates that when every vote is tallied, some 63.4 million Americans will have voted for Clinton and 61.2 million for Trump. That means Clinton will have turned out more supporters than any presidential candidate in history except for Obama in 2008 and 2012. And as David Wasserman of Cook Political Report notes, the total vote count—including third party votes—has already crossed 127 million, and will “easily beat” the 129 million total from 2012. The idea that voters stayed home in 2016 because they hated Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is a myth. We already know the Electoral College can produce undemocratic results, but what we don't know is why — aside from how it serves entrenched interests — it benefits the American people to have their preference for national executive overturned because of archaic rules designed, in part, to protect the institution of slavery. 

A form of choosing the national leader that — as has happened in …

I'm not cutting off my pro-Trump friends

Here and there on Facebook, I've seen a few of my friends declare they no longer wish the friendship of Trump supporters — and vowing to cut them out of their social media lives entirely.

I'm not going to do that.

To cut ourselves off from people who have made what we think was a grievous error in their vote is to give up on persuading them, to give up on understanding why they voted, to give up on understanding them in any but the most cartoonish stereotypes.

As a matter of idealism, cutting off your pro-Trump friends is to give up on democracy. As a matter of tactics, cutting off your pro-Trump friends is to give up on ever again winning in a democratic process.

And as a long-term issues, confining ourselves to echo chambers is part of our national problem.

Don't get me wrong: I expect a Trumpian presidency is a disaster, particularly for people of color. And in total honesty: My own relationships have been tested by this campaign season. There's probably some damage…