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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, National Basketball Association all-time leading scorer and social justice advocate, penned an Al Jazeera op-ed in 2015 titled, “Why I converted to Islam,” writing it’s not easy being Muslim, “but my choice was a spiritual one.” Here, the basketball legend is honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.
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Renowned recording artist Mos Def, a Brooklyn native, is a vocal Muslim. “You’re not gonna get through life without being worshipful or devoted to something,” he told Beliefnet in 2001. “You’re either devoted to your job, or to your desires. So the best way to spend your life is to try to be devoted to prayer, to Allah.”