Son of boxer Muhammad Ali detained at Florida airport

Muhammad Ali Jr was detained because of his Arabic-sounding name


Afp February 25, 2017
They let Muhammad Ali’s wife go after she showed them a photo of herself with her ex-husband. PHOTO: USA TODAY/FILE

LOUISVILLE, KY: A son of boxing legend Muhammad Ali was held for questioning for two hours at a Florida airport upon returning from Jamaica because of his Arabic-sounding name, US media reported late on Friday.

Muhammad Ali Jr, 44, who was born in Philadelphia and has a US passport, was travelling with his mother Khalilah Camacho-Ali, the late sports icon's second wife, friend and lawyer Chris Mancini told the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Mancini told the newspaper that both were held for questioning on the Fort Lauderdale International Airport on February 7th because of their Arabic-sounding names.

Camacho-Ali however was released after she showed US Customs agents a photo of herself with her ex-husband.

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali dies at 74

Ali Jr however, had no such photo - and according to Mancini was held for nearly two hours and repeatedly asked "Where did you get your name from?" and "Are you Muslim?"

When he said that he - like his father - was a Muslim, the agents asked further probing questions.

"To the Ali family, it's crystal clear that this is directly linked to Mr. Trump's efforts to ban Muslims from the United States," Mancini said, a reference to President Donald Trump's late January executive order imposing a 90-day entry ban for citizens of seven Muslim majority countries.

The travel ban has since been halted by a US federal court.

Mancini said that he and the Ali family are trying to find out how many other people were stopped for similar questioning, and are considering a federal lawsuit.

Airport and Customs officials did not answer queries from the newspaper about the case.

Muhammad Ali, one of the iconic 20th-century sports heroes, died after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease on June 3. He was 74.

Ali was celebrated as much for his three world heavyweight titles as for his civil rights battles outside the ring.

In 1964 Ali dropped his birth name of Cassius Clay when he converted to Islam.

The Louisville, Kentucky native was married four times he was survived by seven daughters and two sons.

 

Our Publications

COMMENTS (4)

Usman | 4 years ago | Reply If his background checked out, then there is no reason to detain him. If the policy was evidence based, they should have detained people who have weapons. Gun shooting kills more than 35000 Americans each year.
Billa | 4 years ago | Reply Yes Bhaijaan, I can clearly see that when an Indian engineer was shot dead and another injured recently in a bar in [email protected]:
VIEW MORE COMMENTS
Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ