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The right wing loves to appropriate revolutionary icons. Muhammed (sic) Ali is very much one of those icons. Since his passing on Friday, the boxing champion and political agitator’s legacy has been praised by those who have agendas that are antithetical to the The Champ’s views on the world. This is probably best exemplified by the message that he sent to Donald Trump (though Trump was not named explicitly) and anyone else who wants to take Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States seriously.
Muhammad Ali is dead at 74! A truly great champion and a wonderful guy. He will be missed by all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2016
That tweet stands out in stark contrast to the disgusting one that Trump sent out about Muslim athletes just a few months prior to Ali’s passing.
Obama said in his speech that Muslims are our sports heroes. What sport is he talking about, and who? Is Obama profiling?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2015
While Trump and Ali had a friendly relationship prior to Trump’s political campaign, Ali sent Trump a letter denouncing the idea that Muslims should be banned from entering the United States.
“I am a Muslim and there is nothing Islamic about killing innocent people in Paris, San Bernardino, or anywhere else in the world. True Muslims know that the ruthless violence of so called Islamic Jihadists goes against the very tenets of our religion.
We as Muslims have to stand up to those who use Islam to advance their own personal agenda. They have alienated many from learning about Islam. True Muslims know or should know that it goes against our religion to try and force Islam on anybody.
Speaking as someone who has never been accused of political correctness, I believe that our political leaders should use their position to bring understanding about the religion of Islam and clarify that these misguided murderers have perverted people’s views on what Islam really is.”
As we all know, Trump has not heeded that message. Trump’s entire campaign stands in opposition to what Ali preached.
Like the great man himself, Ali’s powerful message floats with the grace of a butterfly, yet should sting those who they are addressed to like a bee.
By Joe Fletcher