Muhammad Ali‘s son is speaking out!
The late legendary boxer’s flesh-and-blood, named Muhammad Ali Jr, is refusing to stay silent after he was allegedly detained for almost two hours at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport earlier this month. The famous athlete’s son stopped by CBS News with his mother, who was traveling with him at the time, and revealed that he was asked repeatedly by immigration officials if he is Muslim.
Mr. Ali was returning to the U.S., after participating in a speaking engagement in Jamaica, when he was separated from his mother, Khalilah Camacho-Ali, and was subjected to extensive questioning. Oh man.
In regards to the incident in question, Muhammad recalled:
“Immigration came up to me and pulled me aside and asked me my name first and I said, ├óΓé¼╦£Muhammad Ali.’ He said, ├óΓé¼╦£What religion are you?’ and I said, ├óΓé¼╦£Muslim.’ He said, ├óΓé¼╦£Come with me.'”
Apparently, once inside a separate room, the sports scion’s son was asked to repeat his name and religion again. The 44-year-old noted:
“It’s like he didn’t believe me.”
Obviously, this unnecessary vetting left the twosome feeling shaken as Miz Camacho-Ali added:
“I was scared.”
We bet. However, the Florida division of U.S. Customs and Border Protection have since refused to comment on the subject. Instead a spokesman, named Keith E. Smith, explained in a statement:
“Due to the restrictions of the Privacy Act, U.S. Customs and Border Protection cannot discuss individual travelers; however, all international travelers arriving in the U.S. are subject to CBP inspection.”
Hmmm, we’re not sure this sort of thing would’ve happened during Barack Obama‘s administration. In fact, the Ali family lawyer is accusing customs of pulling his clients aside because of their “Arabic-sounding names.” He defended:
“This is an outrage. I don’t know what is going on with Mr. Trump‘s claim that his ban is not religion-based. We do not discriminate in this country based on religion.”
To make matters worse, Khalilah wasn’t detained as she was able to provide a photo of herself with her famous ex. Since Jr. only had his passport, he had to deal with being questioned. Tsk, tsk!
Be sure to ch-ch-check out a highlight of their conversation about what happened for yourself (below).
Muhammad Ali Jr. says that he was questioned for about “an hour and 45 minutes” after immigration officials asked him if he was Muslim pic.twitter.com/xIPmQO8l0Y
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ CBS News (@CBSNews) February 27, 2017
[Image via CBS.]