INTERNATIONAL ICON and boxing legend Muhammad Ali has come out with a statement heavily criticising Islamic violence and Donald Trump’s plan to bar Muslims from America.
The 73 year-old, three-time world heavyweight champion, released a 132 word statement on December 9, denouncing violence and calling upon political leaders to use their positions wisely:
“I am a Muslim and there is nothing Islamic about killing innocent people in Paris, San Bernardino, or anywhere else in the world,” True Muslims know or should know that it goes against our religion to try and force Islam on anybody.” he continued.
“Speaking as someone who has never been accused of political correctness, I believe that our political leaders should use their position to bring understanding about the religion of Islam and clarify that these misguided murderers have perverted people’s views on what Islam really is,” he said in a thinly-veiled allusion to Trump’s headline grabbing plan and other statements issued by candidates.
Trump was mocked on social media for his response to President Obama’s speech, after which he tweeted, “Obama said in his speech that Muslims are our sports heroes. What sport is he talking about, and who?”
Observers were quick to point out that ‘The Greatest’ and ‘The Donald’ had crossed one another’s paths often, with Trump referring to the former Olympic Gold Medallist as ‘my friend’.
Despite suffering from advanced Parkinsons disease, Ali has continued to lend his support to a variety of humanitarian causes, and has called on the Iranian leadership to release imprisoned journalist Jason Rezaian.