And boxing legend Muhammad Ali’s son, Muhammad Ali Jr., says he was questioned at a U.S. airport for the second time within a month—this time at the airport in Washington, D.C., where he was seeking to board a flight to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he lives. Muhammad Ali Jr., or Muhammad Ibn Ali, says he was flagged by TSA and then asked for his Social Security number, his place of birth and a U.S. passport to board the flight—even though he had already shown his U.S. driver’s license. Muhammad Ibn Ali was also stopped and questioned for over two hours about his name and his religion in late February when he flew into Florida from Jamaica, where he was honoring Black History Month. This is Muhammad Ibn Ali speaking on Democracy Now! after that first stop.
Muhammad Ali Jr.: “The first question they asked me was: What’s my name? The second question was: Where did I get my name from? And the third question was: What religion are you? And so, I answered, 'My name is Muhammad Ibn Ali.' And I said, 'I got my name from my mother and father. They raised me. They gave me the name Muhammad Ali from birth.' And I said, ’I’m Muslim.’ Obviously, I think they didn’t believe me, so they took me into another room, the room in the back, and asked me the same series of questions. And so, it really struck me as a surprise, shock and awe, because I’m an American citizen, so I don’t see why he even stopped me in the first place.”