Former heavyweight champion of the world Muhammad Ali defended Muslims in a Wednesday statement apparently targeted at Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.
“I am a Muslim and there is nothing Islamic about killing innocent people in Paris, San Bernardino, or anywhere else in the world,” the 73-year-old told NBC News. “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.”
Born Cassius Clay, Ali converted to the Nation Islam in 1964 and became a practicing Sunni Muslim in 1975.