Son of boxer Muhammad Ali detained at Florida airport

Published: February 25, 2017

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.


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Reader Comments (4)

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Feb 25, 2017 - 1:16PM

    Whats wrong in being interrogated. its for our security and safety . If I have nothing to hide then why resist . Recommend

  • Bhaijaan
    Feb 25, 2017 - 6:20PM

    That is the beauty of the American Democracy. It doesn’t give a damn about whose son you are.Recommend

  • Billa
    Feb 26, 2017 - 1:58AM

    Yes Bhaijaan, I can clearly see that when an Indian engineer was shot dead and another injured recently in a bar in America.@Bhaijaan: Recommend

  • Usman
    Feb 26, 2017 - 2:21AM

    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. Recommend

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