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Muslim NFL players respond to Trump: ‘We can’t have this ignorance in office’

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Detroit Lions safety Isa Abdul-Quddus and running back Ameer Abdullah have joined the chorus of criticism against Donald Trump in the wake of the Republican frontrunner’s incendiary proposal to bar all Muslims from entering the US.

Trump’s plan for a “total and complete shutdown” of the country’s borders to Muslims prompted immediate condemnation from across the political spectrum, with fellow presidential contender Jeb Bush denouncing Trump’s comments as “unhinged”. The Lions pair, who are Muslim, spoke eloquently on Wednesday on how Trump “says a lot of things for shock value” but admitted his remarks were “pretty ignorant” and “kind of disappointing”.

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Related: Muhammad Ali defends Muslims in response to Donald Trump’s ban plan

Abdul-Quddus said he believes that the percentage of Americans who believe Islam is “evil” is small, and not reflected by Trump’s statements this week. “It was one of those things that … I kind of look at the person before I look at the comment,” Abdul-Quddus said. “Because Trump says a lot of things for shock value to get people to hear him and listen to him, and just to put his face in public.

“I don’t really feel much disrespect when he said that, because he already said he wanted to label us. He wanted to have every [Muslim] have an ID and everything, so I just kind of chalk it up as a guy that’s pretty ignorant.”

But Abdul-Quddus said he is concerned that Trump’s words might fan anti-Muslim sentiment, particularly if his popularity in the polls continues. “That’s the scary part,” Abdul-Quddus said. “I’m just hoping that either he can change his mindset to be a bit more open-minded, or people just realize we can’t have this ignorance in office.”

Trump has brushed off the horrified reaction to his proposal and remained unrepentant. He told a raucous crowd aboard the USS Yorkstown on Tuesday: “We need a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States while we figure out what the hell is going on.” He acknowleged his words were “probably not politically correct – But. I. Don’t. Care.”

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Related: Trump ignores UK critics and claims country has ‘a massive Muslim problem’

Abdullah said of Tump: “He’ll say some things, and the large following that he has – he has a very large following – is kind of disappointing, from my perspective.”

Abdullah, in his first season with the Lions, and Abdul-Quddus, in his second, said they’ve been treated well by people in Detroit, and have not experienced religious bigotry since coming to the NFL. Abdullah, however, said he was called derogatory names growing up in Alabama.

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Abdullah said. “All I do is encourage people to educate themselves before taking a stance, before just listening to someone, before making a judgment or decision on how you should treat a person or talk to a person.

“You can’t control everyone. All you can do is pray for them and hope that one day they’ll realize that everyone’s just people. You got to love everyone, you got to respect everyone and understand that people who make [bad] decisions are their own type of people. It’s a huge difference.”

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Abdullah also said he’s more worried about this Sunday’s game against the St Louis Rams than anything Trump has to say.

“I thought it was something that a lot of people wouldn’t really follow or agree with, so I didn’t really give it much attention initially,” he said. “But just looking at it, I know Donald Trump actually has a pretty large following, so it is what it is.”

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2015

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Scientists fight online coronavirus misinformation war

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With cat photos and sometimes scathing irony, Mathieu Rebeaud, a Swiss-based researcher in biochemistry, has nearly tripled his Twitter following since the coronavirus pandemic began.

With 14,000 followers, he posts almost daily, giving explanations on the latest scientific research and, in particular, aims to fight misinformation that spreads as fast as the virus itself.

He is among a growing number of doctors, academics and institutions who in recent weeks have adapted and amplified their scientific messaging in hopes of countering what has been termed an infodemic -- a deluge of information, including widespread false claims, which experts say can pose a serious threat to public health.

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Ted Cruz doesn’t want people shamed with body bags for going to beach: ‘Please stop the hate’

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In early May, Florida attorney Daniel Uhlfelder made news by dressing up as the Grim Reaper in an attempt to scare people from crowding beaches during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Days later, he escalated by laying out body bags on the steps of the Florida capitol building in Tallahassee.

He escalated further on Saturday by announcing he would be handing out body bags to Florida beachgoers and started a fundraiser with the funds going to two progressive Political Action Committees.

https://twitter.com/DWUhlfelderLaw/status/1264412394794647552

The effort caught the eye of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

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Poultry workers denied service over COVID-19 fears as businesses reopen: report

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On Monday, the Huffington Post explored how poultry workers in North Carolina are being denied service even as businesses reopen from COVID-19 lockdowns.

"The hair salon SmartCuts reopened its doors in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, on Memorial Day weekend after a long closure due to the coronavirus. But not every customer was welcome to hop in a chair like old times," reported Dave Jamieson. "A sign posted on the shop window explained: 'Due to the number of Tyson employees who have tested positive for Covid19, and given the close contact experienced during our services, we are unable to serve Tyson employees. We sincerely apologize for this decision, and we ask for your understanding.'"

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