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C CAIR-FL In The News

Bay area Muslims honor Ali

By Marcus Grayson, For Local 10 News, On 13 June 2016, Read Original
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Today, memorial services were held all over the world to remember one of boxing’s greatest -- Muhammad Ali.

 

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Here in the Bay area, hundreds of Muslims dedicated their Friday prayer services to honor their champion. They came in droves to this Mosque. Some of Middle Eastern, African, Asian, and also European decent. Many here consider Muhammad Ali a unifier and believed he represented the beauty of the Islamic faith.

“The message of Muhammad Ali really knocks out the hate and bigotry that is being promoted against the Muslim community," says speaker Hassam Shibi, who preached the sermon today at the prayer services at the Islamic Society of New Tampa.

People came to pray and they came to say goodbye.

Cornelius Alexander says Ali inspired him to never be ashamed of his faith, saying, "Some things you can’t compromise with, some things are sacred. That was his message to me as a person a human."

“He was unapologetically black, and unapologetically Muslim, while being a proud American. The fact he is revered and honored in America, speaks a lot to who we should be as a society,” says Maryam Saleh.

He also gave a voice to the voiceless. 

“Muhammed Ali was our voice, our champion, and he represented the beauty of our faith," says Hassam Shibi.

“If you can tap into that spirit of greatness inside yourself you can keep it moving," says Cornelius Alexander. 

The Tampa Chapter of the Council on Islamic-American Relations (CAIR) says there is no better time to be courageous like Muhammad Ali. They say there has been a 500% increase in anti-Muslim hate incidents this past year alone.