Muhammad Ali's Son Claims Security Asked If He Was Muslim as He Was Detained at Airport
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said they do not comment on specific cases.
The son of late boxing icon Muhammad Ali is claiming that he was recently detained at a Florida airport for two hours because of his religion.
The 44-year-old namesake of the former heavyweight champion of the world said he was stopped and questioned twice about his religion on February 7 as he returned home to Florida after a vacation in Jamaica with his mother Khalilah, the boxer’s first wife.
Ali Jr. was born in Philadelphia and carries a U.S. passport. The oldest son of the civil rights icon says he was separated from his mother during the incident while questioned in a room at the airport.
“He was detained," his lawyer, Chris Mancini, told InsideEdition.com. "The fact that he was Ali’s son had no impact.”
Mancini added: "They knew he was born in Philadelphia. All they cared about was that he was a Muslim and had an Arabic name."
Mancini believes Ali Jr.’s detention was based on President Trump’s proposed travel ban.
He called the ordeal "a profiling effort by the government and Customs and Border Patrol."
The agency said it "cannot comment on specific cases."
"Due to the restrictions of the Privacy Act, U.S. Customs and Border Protection cannot discuss individual travelers," Norma Morfa, a spokesperson for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said in a statement. "However, all international travelers arriving in the U.S. are subject to CBP inspection."
Reports indicate Ali is considering legal action and Mancini says he will explore other cases of religious discrimination before filing a lawsuit.
"A large number of religious people claim to be detained the same way and we will take it step-by-step for a case against the government," he said.
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