Muhammad Ali to Trump: You don’t know Islam

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Boxing legend Muhammad Ali (2011).

http://flic.kr/p/9MBoLY

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali (2011).

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali (2011).

Photo courtesy of Pablo Raw via Flickr

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali (2011)

Muhammad Ali aimed a powerful and impassioned message at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday, saying that the recent global terrorism crisis has “perverted people’s views on what Islam really is.”

Ali became a Muslim and changed his name from Cassius Clay during the height of his career as one of the greatest boxers in history. His message came in a statement after a week in which Trump cast doubt on President Obama’s assertion that several American “sporting heroes” practiced Islam.


READ: 5 faith facts about Donald Trump: a Presbyterian who collects Bibles


“I am a Muslim, and there is nothing Islamic about killing innocent people in Paris, San Bernardino or anywhere else in the world,” Ali said. “True Muslims know the ruthless violence of so-called Islamic Jihadists goes against the very tenets of our religion.

“We, as Muslims, have to stand up to those who use Islam to advance their own personal agenda. They have alienated many from learning about Islam. True Muslims know or should know that it goes against our religion to try and force Islam on anybody.”

One of the main principles of Trump’s campaign has been taking a hard line on immigration. In the wake of the San Bernardino mass shooting that killed 14 people last week, Trump called for the establishment of a national Muslim database and for restrictions on Muslims wishing to travel to the United States.


READ: Americans fear terrorism, mass shootings — and often Muslims as well


Ali’s political views did not endear him to the establishment in the 1960s, and his affiliation with the Nation of Islam ignited controversy during his reign as world heavyweight champion.

“Speaking as someone who has never been accused of political correctness,” Ali said, “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.”

(Martin Rogers reports for USA Today sports)

  • Be Brave

    Ali said, “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.”

    In which “Islamic country” in the world TODAY, is anyone but a Muslim free to spread their religious, social, moral or political views freely? Where is there anyone allowed to reject Islam?

    No matter how hard any Muslim tries to pitch the positives of Islam, the proof is that tyranny and totalitarianism is the fruit of an Islamic dominance. That is not bigotry, hate or intolerance speaking, it is just fact. When Muslims and “Islamic Countries” allow the free exchange of ideas and allow the rejection of allah and his prophets demands, then and only then can Ali or any other Muslim be speaking an acceptable message to the world’s non-Muslims.

  • Jack

    Let’s all keep in mind that when Ali was still in the cultic Nation of Islam, he gave an interview with Playboy magazine in which he stated that all interracial couples should be hunted down and killed.
    He never retracted that vile statement of hate, and he continued to go on talk shows throughout the 70’s preaching contempt for religions other than Islam (as well as white people in general).
    When Ed Bradley interviewed him on ’60 Minutes’ immediately after the start of the Iraq invasion, Ali made it clear that he thought George W. Bush was waging a ‘war on Islam’.
    Let’s face the facts – Ali’s disease has made him more palatable in the past two decades simply because it prevented him from opening his bigoted, Islamic supremacist mouth and revealing his true character.

  • benross

    Dear People of the word,
    People of the world…..
    Do you know the truth about….. Islam?
    Or do you think it’s about
    Bombing planes and killing innocent people…..?
    Forget about the lies…..
    I’ am here to tell you how it really is…..
    You deserve to know the truth
    About this beautiful way of life…..
    People of the world
    Islam is all about peace
    Terrorism it doesn’t teach
    Its all about love and family and charity
    And praying to one God
    This is Islam
    It’s something you should know…..
    I know it’s really helped me grow
    It does away with greed, filth, arrogance
    And teaches us morality
    A perfect way to live…..
    So don’t believe all you see and hear
    Too many people wear a title of a Muslim…..
    But they don’t practice Islam…..
    People of the world
    Islam is all about peace
    Terrorism it doesn’t teach
    Its all about love and family and charity
    And praying to one God
    This is Islam
    And it teaches us the creator’s made this life for us a test…..
    And…

  • benross

    And it teaches us the creator’s made this life for us a test…..
    And if we follow truth and do good deeds, He’ll reward us in the Next…..
    If we remember God & teach each other the truth and patience in His way
    Together we can live…..in peace…..
    This is Islam
    Please Google Islamic research foundation and visit the FAQ section for answers to questions you may have about Islam.
    I am sure that you will find that Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance, justice, kindness, charity, love and worshiping one God.
    Best regards.

  • Waller

    True dat Jack and Ali’s mental health situation hasn’t exactly improved his reasoning.

  • Sabelotodo2

    Ali is making a valiant attempt to defend his brand of Islam but the ISIS/ISSL folks see that whole package as being revisionist and apostate, a huge departure from the writings of Mohammet who definitely used violence and the fear of violence and death, to motivate “new inquirers” to join the faith.

    It’s easy for Ali to come alive and direct his message to Trump. He needed to be speaking out publicly to the jihadis long ago.

  • Ben in oakland

    Turkey.

  • Ben in oakland

    Ummmm….

    tell that to the gay men murdered by isis, arrested and imprisoned in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and morocco, executed in Iran and Saudi arabia, deprived of rights of speech and assembly in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhistan,

  • Richard Rush

    benross,

    “I am sure that you will find that Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance, justice, kindness, charity, love and worshiping one God.”

    If you* are truly sure of your assertions, you should not have a problem with conducting this test: Travel to one of the Middle Eastern Islamic countries, and then publicly announce that you have decided to reject Islamic beliefs. And then wait a few seconds to see how many people are showing you their “tolerance, justice, kindness, charity, love,” compared to how many are competing for the chance to kill you.

    *Based on your comments, I’m assuming you are a Muslim. But, if I’m wrong, simply find a Muslim who would have no problem conducting the test.

  • Larry

    Bosnia and Albania too.

    Plus the US does not take its cues as to how to act from autocratic hellholes. We are better than that. We are the example of freedom to show to the world. Not down in the mud denying civil liberties to others out of spite.

    Its a shame BB, you don’t love or appreciate our nation and what it stands for to be willing to defend one of its most cherished freedoms.

    Religious freedom is not defending the rights of the majority faith or even well liked/popular ones. It is defending the right of people of all faiths. Especially the ones disliked by the masses/majority. If we cannot defend them, we cannot defend the rights of anyone.

    That being said, moderate Muslims in this country are a lot like moderate Christians. Its rare that they say very much to castigate the extremists in their own faith, except when prompted by outsiders. NALT arguments although largely true, get tiresome.

  • Be Brave

    Ben in Oakland:

    Bacha Bazi

    Not all that glitters is gold huh.

  • Rizzah

    Waller, verses in the Quran that seem to promote hate are not intended that way. You are misunderstanding how the Quran works and I admit many people who call themselves muslims are committing the same mistake.

    The Quran is not in a chronological order and written in an old language that sounds like arab but that nobody, not even the Arabs, speak anymore.

    Second, the Quran lists stories which depict how certain groups of early muslims handled specific situation during the time of the Prophet Muhammed around 700 AC. These stories do not provide generalisations such as “thou shalt kill all infidels”, that is an utterly wrong interpretation.

    Admittedly, the Quran (like many other religious books) can however easily be abused for political or devious other means by ill people.

    And it is they that cause me the sadness that I feel when I have to explain the above to you. Sadness since I normally do not like to explain myself, I’d rather let everyone be.

    Regards,

    Riz

  • Ben in oakland

    Better still, go to any Islamic country except Turkey– and even there, you are taking a big chance– and just causally announce you are gay and you think the Quran, and every other religious text that allegedly Condemns gay people is wrong.

    Just make sure you hav your jet pack strapped on.

  • larry

    This is different from the doctrine that those who do not accept the spirit of Jesus in their hearts can expect eternal damnation, in what way?

    Right, Christians don’t really do introspection or irony.

  • Nate the Great

    Unfortunately, Islam is most certainly not the religion of peace. Not recounting the millions of Islamic victims of yesteryear in India, Malaysia/Indonesia, the Philippines, Eastern Europe, etceteras, even in modern times there are innumerable atrocities committed by Islam.

    The Bangladesh Genocide of 1971-1972 caused the deaths of 1M-3M Hindus and the rape of 500,000 Hindu women (not a myth–remember the Beatles Concert for Bangladesh?). The International Court at The Hague has indicted President Al-Bashir of Sudan for crimes against humanity and genocide for his murder of 400,00 black Sudanese Christians and animists from 1080-present. What of the thousands of Coptic, Maronite and Chaldean Christians in the periodic pogroms against them over the past decades? So, The Religion or Peace? I don’t thinks so.