The famous athlete Muhammad Ali was converted to Islam in 1964 following the win of heavyweight title against Sonny Liston, and now, after several decades later, he has come forward to save his religious fellowmen from ban in entering America.
Before the conversion Muhammad Ali was named Cassius Clay.
He returned to public spotlight with a statement on Wednesday night that leaders of United States must foster understanding about his religion.
Ali was referring to the recent comments of leading Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump who stoked anti-Muslim sentiment in the US by saying policy need to be made to restrict entry of Muslims in the country.
Trump’s tough words were linked to the increasing terrorism acts across the world and following the recent San Bernardino attacks in California by a Muslim couple that killed 14 innocent people and prior to it the multiple deadly attacks in French capital Paris by Islamic State militants that killed 129 and injured more than 300 people.
Trump suggested in one of his campaigns the foreign Muslims be barred from traveling to the US.
Ali didn’t speak about the Republican front runner directly while delivering statement to NBC but his message was clear to “Presidential Candidates Proposing to Ban Muslim Immigration to the United States.”
He said all the Muslims need to stand together against those leaders who are using Islam to advance their own personal agenda.
Talking to the reporter the boxer said he go to Muslim meetings and find no smoking, no drinking and also women dressed up top to bottom. If people want him not to attend such gatherings, there must be something out on the street or other places that would instigate him not to attend the meetings.
Ali has been frequently in controversies after his conversion to Islam. In 1967 he refused to serve in the Army due to Muslim beliefs. He refused to take Army induction oath in April.
For the reason the World Boxing Association and the New York Athletic Commission stripped his world heavyweight title and also his boxing license too. The journey of tough roads didn’t end here. He was also sentenced to five years in jail and fined $10,000 (maximum penalty for the offense) in Draft case – violating the United States Selective Service laws by refusing to be drafted.
Supreme Court later, in 1971, reversed Ali’s conviction and agreed he should be getting the status he use to enjoy before the draft case. After about three years the boxing man returned to fighting and thereafter he also regained his title.
After decades, and from the comments of Trump, one of America’s most popular sporting heroes are back in line to defend his religion, his fellowmen and stand tall against all odds that says Muslims are terrorists and should be barred from entering the country.
With his statement the leaders will probably be responsible enough to what they are commenting in terms of religion, and particularly about Islam. A new mind-set is needed among all ahead of the presidential election and to vow to bring to end terrorism and not Islam in the United States.