Muhammad Ali’s son was detained by immigration officials at an American airport who quizzed him about his name and whether he is Muslim, according to a lawyer.
Muhammad Ali Jr, the 44-year-old son of the world-renowned boxer, was kept back at an airport in Florida earlier this month, family friend and lawyer Chris Mancini told the Courier-Journal, a Kentucky newspaper.
According to the newspaper, officials questioned Ali for nearly two hours, repeatedly asking him “Where did you get your name from?” and “Are you Muslim?”.
Ali was reportedly travelling from Jamaica with his mother Khalilah Camacho-Ali, Muhammad Ali’s second wife, when he was detained at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on February 7.
Officials continued to question Ali after acknowledging he was Muslim, Mancini told the newspaper. Ali was born in Philadelphia and holds an American passport.
“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,” Mancini told the newspaper, referring to Donald Trump’s executive order banning citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries from travelling to America.
American Customs and Border Protection officials said they “cannot discuss individual travellers. However, all international travellers arriving in the US are subject to CBP [customs and border protection] inspection.”