According to his lawyer, Muhammad Ali’s son was detained by immigration staff at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida who repeatedly asked him, “Are you Muslim?”
Lawyer Chris Mancini told the Courier-Journal news outlet in Kentucky that 44-year-old Muhammad Ali and his mother Khalilah Camacho-Ali, the second wife of the late boxer, were detained as they arrived at the airport from Jamaica on February 7th.
Mancini says officials questioned Mr Ali for nearly two hours, during which time they repeatedly asked him “Where did you get your name from?” and “Are you Muslim?”
After Ali, who was born in Philadelphia and holds a US passport, acknowledged he was Muslim, officials continued to ask him about where he was born.
The family consider it religious profiling as part of Donald Trump’s “Muslim Ban” and his suspended executive order banning citizens who were born in seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the States.
Mancini told the paper, “Imagine walking into an airport and being asked about your religion. This is classic customs profiling.”
US Customs and Border Protection said it “cannot discuss individual travellers; however, all international travellers arriving in the US are subject to CBP inspection”.
The incident comes after the prime minster of Norway was held for nearly an hour at Washington Dulles airport earlier this month, where he was questioned about a visit to Iran he took three years ago to speak at a human rights conference.