Son of iconic boxer Muhammad Ali, Muhammad Ali Jr, was briefly stopped before boarding a flight on Friday afternoon, his lawyer said. Muhammad Ali Jr, who spoke with members of Congress about being detained at a Florida airport last month, arrived at Reagan National Airport in Washington on Friday for a flight to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, New York Times reported. He gave his Illinois identification card to an agent to get his boarding pass, said his lawyer, Chris Mancini, who was travelling with him.
Almost immediately, Ali was told that there was a problem and that the agent needed to call the Department of Homeland Security, Mancini was quoted as saying.
Ali was asked his date of birth, where he was born and his Social Security number. He was told that his Illinois-issued identification card was invalid for flying. “The same state ID from Illinois that he travelled to Washington on was rejected,” Mancini said.
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Ali then produced his passport, which was accepted and went through security and boarded the flight with his mother.
Earlier on February 25, he was detained for hours by immigration officials earlier this month at a Florida airport, and was repeatedly asked about his religion.
Muhammad Ali Jr and his mother, Khalilah Camacho-Ali, the first wife of Muhammad Ali, were arriving at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on February 7 after an event in Jamaica, when they were pulled aside while going through customs because of their Arabic-sounding names, reports the USA Today quoting Ali’s family friend and lawyer Chris Mancini.
Camacho-Ali was let go after she showed them a photo of herself with her ex-husband, however, her son was not so lucky as he was badgered for two straight hours, where he was repeatedly asked, “Where did you get your name from?” and “Are you Muslim?”
When Ali Jr. responded that yes, he is a Muslim, the officers kept questioning him about his religion and where he was born.