Steve Cotler

Steve Cotler

“Muslim” March Madness

Ali Farokhmanesh
Ali Farokhmanesh
Omar Samhan
Omar Samhan
What is the overlap between the set of all rabid NCAA Basketball Tournament fans and the set of all knee-jerk despisers of anything Islamic? I suspect the intersection is large.

If so, then the first two rounds of March Madness may promote more US-Islamic tolerance than all the State Department visits Hillary Clinton can schedule.

Two young men, Ali Farokhmanesh of University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls, IA) and Omar Samhan of St. Mary’s College (Moraga, CA), excited the nation’s sports fans over the past weekend with their confident, inspired play. Against the odds, #9-seeded Northern Iowa cancelled #1-seeded Kansas’s ticket to the dance, and #10-seeded St. Mary’s took #2-seeded Villanova out of the chase, with Farokhmanesh and Samhan playing leading roles.

Ali’s father’s first name is Mashallah. Omar’s dad comes from Egypt. Obama’s middle name is Hussein.

Are they Muslims?

Doesn’t matter. They shoot hoops, don’t they? And here in America, sports trumps politics.

3 Comments

  1. Emily says:

    Doesn’t matter. Shouldn’t matter. Hopefully won’t matter.

  2. Kerry says:

    I don’t know that I accept your premise that NCAA fans are any more closed-minded than the general population. As Jason pointed out, it’s not like it’s NASCAR.

    • Steve Cotler says:

      I make no assumption that NCAA fans are more close-minded. Simply to be equally close-minded would support my thesis. (I have little confidence in the intellect and insight of the general population.) NASCAR overlap would probably, as you suggest, be higher.

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