Muhammad Ali Jr. and his mother, Khalilah Camacho-Ali, were stopped at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood airport and detained for hours on February 7th, 2017 after returning from a Black History Month Event in Jamaica. Although Ali had a U.S. Passport the immigrant officials at the airport decided to detain Ali and his mother where he was questioned twice about his religion.
Family friend and lawyer Chris Mancini informed the Courier-Journal that Ali and his mother were stopped while going through customs due to their “Arabic-sounding names”. Camacho-Ali was left alone by the immigration officials only after she showed a picture of her and her late ex-husband, Muhammad Ali. Since Muhammad Ali Jr. didn’t have a picture of him and his father the immigration officials decided to question Ali Jr. for nearly two hours. Mancini told the Courier -Journal that they asked Ali Jr. questions such as “Where did you get your name from?” and “Are you Muslim?”. When Ali told the officials that he was Muslim they continued the harassment and began asking him about his religion.
“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 Mancini to the Courier-Journal regarding this incident.
Mancini is referring to the executive order that President Donald Trump signed last month, the executive order called for a temporary travel ban on citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and Africa. Although this executive order has been rejected by a federal appeals court and overturned it still doesn’t stop immigration officials from discriminating against individuals based on their religion. Muhammad Ali Jr. and his mother are just a small example of the injustice and unfair behavior many Muslims have to deal with daily because of their religion. No one should be detained at an airport for their religion. No one should be detained at an airport because they have “Arabic-sounding names”. This is way out of line.