Muhammad Ali's Son Wonders Why Airport Security Detained Him and 'Asked Me About My Religion'

Muhammad Ali Jr.

Muhammad Ali's Son Wonders Why Airport Security Detained Him and 'Asked Me About My Religion'

Muhammad Ali Jr. and his mom spoke about the incident on "CBS This Morning."

Published February 27, 2017

Muhammad Ali's son is shedding light over being detained at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport recently, and the details are even more disturbing than the initial report.

Joined by his mother, Khalilah Camacho Ali, on CBS This Morning today, Muhammad Ali Jr., 44, explained the trying February 7 ordeal while still wondering what spawned his detainment.

"I was kind of wondering why he asked me about my religion," Ali Jr. said on the show, referring to the immigration agent questioning him during the incident earlier this month. "I was like, 'What does that matter?'"

Ali Jr. and his mom had arrived in Florida following a trip to Montego Bay, Jamaica, when things took a turn.

"Immigration came up to me and pulled me aside and asked me my name at first," Ali Jr. said. "I said, 'Muhammad Ali' and he said, 'What religion are you?' I said, 'Muslim' and he said come with me."

The son of the late, beloved global sports icon added that he was asked his name and religion for a second time, paving the way for an airport detainment, which lasted an "hour and 45 minutes."

When CBS This Morning reached out to U.S. Customs and Border Protection about the incident, the agency said it's against their privacy policy to comment, but did offer that, "CBP does not discriminate based on religion, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation."

To that, Ali Jr. retorted, "Why would you ask me [what my religion is]?"

He added that he's a U.S. citizen, born in Philadelphia and doesn't have a criminal record.

He also revealed that agents didn't bother apologizing to him and his mother upon their release.

If he had to guess why they were detained in the first place, Ali Jr. thinks it's simple . "I believe because I'm a Muslim and my name."

He added that the experience made him feel like he was attending his dad's funeral.

The family's lawyer, Chris Mancini, told the Los Angeles Times that Ali Jr. is considering legal action.

Although Khalilah Ali isn't blaming Donald Trump's proposed Muslim travel ban on their ordeal, she did offer the 45th president a copy of the Quran so that he understands that Muslims are "people of peace."

Watch their whole interview below.

BET Sports News — Get the latest news and information about African-Americans in sports, including weekly recaps, celebrity news and photos of your favorite Black athletes.

Written by BET Staff

(Photo: CBS News)


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