The Greatest – Mohammad Ali Dead at 74

Mohammad Ali
Mohammad Ali
Mohammad Ali
Mohammad Ali

THUNDER BAY – Mohammad Ali has died. The humanitarian, Muslim evangelist, and boxer died of respiratory complications at a hospital in Phoenix Arizona according to a statement released by his family. “After a 32 year battle with Parkinson’s disease, Muhammad Ali at the age of 74. The three-time World Heavyweight Champion boxer died this evening.”

From his humble beginnings in the Southern United States, Mohammad Ali grew to a world-wide recognized hero to millions of his fans and supporters.

His boxing career was one where his speed in the ring was only matched by his verbal assaults on his opponents. He was brash, outspoken, and did what he needed to do to raise the profile of boxing.

From the start Ali was able to draw a strong line outside of boxing as well. His personal style put him in the spotlight. His verbal clashes with Howard Cosell were legendary.

Ali waded in, early in life and throughout his life into world situations. He was opposed to the American involvement in the War in Vietnam, and he refused induction into the military. That let to him being stripped of the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship. It also led to a court battle finally won at the Supreme Court.

After 911 in 2001, Ali stepped forward again issuing a statement.

“I am a Muslim.  I am an American.  As an American Muslim, I want to express my deep sadness and anguish at the tremendous loss of life that occurred on Tuesday.

Islam is a religion of peace.  Islam does not promote terrorism or the killing of people.

I cannot sit by and let the world think that Islam is a killing religion. It hurts me to see what radical people are doing in the name of Islam. These radicals are doing things that God is against.  Muslims do not believe in violence.

If the culprits are Muslim, they have twisted the teachings of Islam. Whoever performed, or is behind, the terrorist attacks in the United States of America does not represent Islam.  God is not behind assassins.  Anyone involved in this must pay for their evil.

Hatred caused this tragedy and adding to the hatred that already exists in the world will not help.  Instead, we should try to understand each other better.

Americans are warm, loving and hospitable people, and we share many of the same values.  I ask that churches and synagogues all across the nation invite representatives of the Islamic faith into their places of worship, to better understand Islam.  This could help us all respect each other more.

I pray that God blesses the people and families of those who were killed, and our great country.”

The world has lost more than a sports icon.


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