Bikram Vohra Pays tributes to Mohammed Ali
In his youth, Ali’s faith and anger at American racism made him a controversial figure, speaking out against white Americans and saying things like:
Later in life, Ali mellowed, converted to a small sect of Islam called Sufi and even acknowledges other religions as containing some truth, saying: Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams – they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do – they all contain truths.
As a devout Muslim, Ali was deeply saddened by the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks in New York City and the subsequent anti-Muslim sentiment that swept the U.S. He made a statement saying:
Islam is a religion of peace. Islam does not promote terrorism or the killing of people…If the culprits are Muslim, they have twisted the teachings of Islam.
Ali has championed many issues relating to civil rights and racial equality. He also stood up against the U.S. war in Vietnam and refused to be drafted. The incident was highly controversial at the time and Ali even took his case as high as the U.S. Supreme Court where he was acquitted of all charges. He said:
I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong… No Viet Cong ever called me nigger.