He was born in Philadelphia 44 years ago. He has no criminal record and frequently traveled to other countries and returned without incident. That is, until this past February. For the first time, soon after our new President was inaugurated, even this man—perhaps because of his skin color, perhaps because of his name, perhaps both—was unable to freely reenter the United States. He and his mother had flown to Jamaica for a Black History Month event, and while going through customs at the international airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, they were detained by federal agents.
The mother was released after showing a photo of herself with her first husband. Unfortunately, her son had no such photo. “What’s your religion?” he was asked several times. “Are you Muslim?” He said he was. Has that become a crime in Donald Trump’s America?
“This is an outrage,” Chris Mancini—a family friend and former federal prosecutor— railed to the Miami New Times. “What right does the United States have to inquire about somebody’s religion when they enter the country? We do not discriminate in this country based on religion. There was no other basis for a secondary inspection.”
Two hours later the son of arguably the greatest boxer of all time was released from custody. Imagine how things are going for Muslims not named Muhammad Ali Jr.