According to a source close to the family, Muhammad Ali, Jr. was detained at a Florida airport earlier this month. If you’re thinking “hey, that name sounds familiar,” you’re totally on the right path. Ali is the son of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, whom he had with his second wife, Khalilah Camacho-Ali. He is a U.S. citizen born in Philadelphia, and, perhaps importantly in this case, a Muslim.
Ali has since been let go, but the source says that it all went down February 7 while returning from a trip to Jamaica with his mother.
Evidently, the immigration officers released Camacho-Ali after she showed them a picture of her with the boxing legend. But, Ali was allegedly held for further questioning because of his “Arabic-sounding name.”
According to sources, Ali was detained for nearly two hours and asked questions about his religion.
Officers allegedly asked Ali questions like “where did you get your name from?” and “are you Muslim?” repeatedly for hours. And, once he answered “yes” to the latter, more questions about the religion followed.
Yeah, we’re just as disturbed as you are right now.
News sources reached out to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for a comment, but they refused to divulge any information regarding to the allegations.
The family’s attorney, Chris Mancini, believes that Ali being detained had everything to do with the current administration’s immigration crackdown, telling the Courier-Journal:
“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.”
According to Mancini, they are considering filing a federal lawsuit on the basis of profiling because of the incident. It’s important to note that, under current US law, there is no provision restricting entry to the country based on religion.
It’s always heartbreaking to hear about cases like this. But, we’re so happy the family is OK, and wish them well in their future endeavors.