For the second time in just over a month, Muhammad Ali Jr. was detained and harassed at the airport for having an Islamic sounding name.
The son of the former heavyweight champion was stopped and questioned at a Washington airport on Friday before being allowed to board his flight to Fort Lauderdale, a lawyer for Ali. Jr. said according to Fox 25 Boston.
Ali had traveled to Washington on Wednesday, without incident, to speak with members of a congressional subcommittee on border security about a previous detention, Fox reported.
Ali and his mother, Khalilah Camacho Ali, had been detained at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport after returning from Jamaica on Feb. 7.
Attorney Chris Mancini said Ali was detained for 20 minutes at Reagan National Airport after attempting to board a JetBlue Airways flight to Florida on Friday. Mancini said Ali spoke to Department of Homeland Security officials by telephone and showed his driver’s license and passport before being allowed to board.
Ali was questioned by DHS officials, and after answering the questions, he was told that his Illinois-issued identification card, was invalid for flying, even though it was considered valid on his way to Washington.
“The same state ID from Illinois that he traveled to Washington on was rejected,” Mancini said in an interview with the Times on Friday night. Ali then produced his United States passport, which was accepted, and went through security and boarded the flight with his mother and Mancini.
“None of this was happening Wednesday,” Mancini said in a telephone interview with Fox News. “Going to Washington obviously opened up a can of worms at DHS.”
Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was on the same flight as Ali. Schultz tweeted a photo with Ali, saying that “religiously profiling son of ‘The Greatest’ will not make us safe.”
— D Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets) March 10, 2017
Harassing Muslims or people with “non-American” sounding names is not the way to make America great.
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)