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Muhammad Ali Jr. Says He Was Detained, Asked About His Religion at Airport

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali salutes the crowd before the start of the Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Shane Mosley welterweight fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 1, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS        (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
GABRIEL BOUYS/Getty Images
Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2017

Muhammad Ali Jr., the son of the late boxer Muhammad Ali, was detained for two hours and questioned multiple times about his religion at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Feb. 7, Chuck Strouse and Jerry Iannelli of the Miami New Times reported Friday.

Ali Jr., who is Muslim, was returning from Jamaica with his mother and Ali's first wife, Khalilah. Strouse and Iannelli noted Khalilah showed immigration officers a picture of herself with her ex-husband and was not detained, but her son didn't have a similar picture.

President Donald Trump issued an executive order in January banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, but it was overturned by a trial court, and an appeals court elected not to reinstate it.

Ali family friend and former federal prosecutor Chris Mancini said the order is still being enforced and pointed to this as an example, per Strouse and Iannelli.

"This is an outrage," Mancini said. "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."

Mancini also clarified that Ali Jr. had a United States passport and doesn't have a criminal record.

According to TMZ Sports, Ali Jr. is exploring the option of suing the United States Treasury and Homeland Security as a result.

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