Correction to Warren Jabali ArticleWarren Jabali has brought it to my attention that he is not a Muslim. My Hoopshype article about him has been changed accordingly. I am mentioning this here at 20 Second Timeout for the benefit of readers who may not have seen the corrected version of the article.
Since it has been reported for quite some time that Jabali is a Muslim (including several references to this in the book Loose Balls), I thought he should explain in his own words why he changed his name:
"During my college days at Wichita, I met a lifelong friend Mfuasi (Len Trower) who had a brother Subira (George Trower) who was a member of US. US is an organization founded in Los Angeles by Maulana Ron Karenga. Karenga is also the founder of the African American holiday Kwanza. We in the US movement believed and believe that the struggle of the "Negro" must be a "cultural" struggle wherein black people must give definition to their own struggle. Karenga created a cultural doctrine called Kawaida which at its root promoted the idea that black folks must name themselves, define themselves and speak for themselves instead of having these things done by others.
The African language of Swahili became the source of our African expression and we "named" ourselves with African names and jettisoned the European names. There was no religious connotation to our thinking although Karenga pointed out that mythology (including religion) was in fact one of seven criteria for having a culture. The philosophical foundation of the organization and our belief system was the Seven Principles, which are the exact same principles which are practiced during the Kwanza celebration."
As for the meaning of his new name, he explains, "Jabali as I said derives from Swahili. Swahili derives from an indigenous Bantu language which was combined with Arabic after the Arabs subjugated Africans in East and Central Africa.
Jabali does mean the rock (a large conspicuous rock)."
posted by David Friedman @ 5:45 AM