An Islamic center in Long Island, New York, canceled NBA star Enes Kanter’s charity summer basketball camp for kids after receiving complaints from the Turkish Consulate General, the Boston Celtics player said in a statement on Wednesday.
“I do these camps as part of charity and giving back to all communities, whether they are Jewish, Muslim, Christian or have no faith at all,” Kanter said. “Which is why I am so hurt that the Islamic Center of Long Island has decided to cancel the camp after the Turkish Consulate in NYC threatened the mosque, sent out their goons and encouraged people in Turkey to call the mosque and leave threatening messages.
“I am even more disappointed in the Mosque for not calling the police on these thugs. Instead bowing down before this dictator and his regime, the mosque chose to cancel something positive for the kids.”
Two years ago, Kanter went through a frightening four-day stretch when he escaped from Indonesia after his Turkish passport was canceled while abroad, according to the New York Post. He also was detained in Romania and feared deportation to Turkey — where he said his life would have been in jeopardy. Kanter said he probably would be dead if not for Homeland Security.
Turkey considers Kanter a terrorist due to his public support for US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, who is accused of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt in Turkey. Gülen and his followers strongly denies any involvement.