The adult son of Muhammad Ali, the late Muslim-American boxing star and civil rights hero, was detained for hours at a Florida airport by U.S. immigration officials, the Courier-Journal reports.
“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,” said a Chris Mancini, identified as a “friend and lawyer” of the Ali family.
Muhammad Ali Jr (l.), pictured with his father Muhammad Ali
Danielle Lerner reports in the Courier-Journal:
Muhammad Ali Jr., 44, and his mother Khalilah Camacho-Ali, the first wife of Muhammad Ali, were arriving at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Feb. 7 after returning from speaking at a Black History Month event in Montego Bay, Jamaica. They were pulled aside while going through customs because of their Arabic-sounding names, according to family friend and lawyer Chris Mancini.
Immigration officials let Camacho-Ali go after she showed them a photo of herself with her ex-husband, but her son did not have such a photo and wasn't as lucky. Mancini said officials held and questioned Ali Jr. for nearly two hours, repeatedly asking him, "Where did you get your name from?" and "Are you Muslim?"
When Ali Jr. responded that yes, he is a Muslim, the officers kept questioning him about his religion and where he was born. Ali Jr. was born in Philadelphia in 1972 and holds a U.S. passport.
From coverage in the Miami New Times:
The incident is the second strange detention of a person of color at FLL since Trump's crackdown on Muslim travel was announced in January. On February 1, a prominent ex-BuzzFeed reporter, Stacy-Marie Ishmael, said her Trinidadian husband was detained for three hours at the airport and was asked where "he got his name." Ishmael declined to speak to New Times about the ordeal.
[via @palafo + @williamjordann]
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