(SL) -Muhammad was returning from a Black History Month event in Jamaica with his mother when he was questioned by customs at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport over his name and whether or not he is muslim.
Ali Jr., 44, who confirmed his Muslim faith, was detained about two hours, despite telling officials that he’s Ali’s son and a native-born U.S. citizen, said Chris Mancini, a family friend and attorney.
Him and his mother, Khalilah Camacho Ali were pulled aside and separated from each other on Feb. 7 at the immigration checkpoint. She was released after showing a picture of herself with ex husband, former boxing champ and Presidential Award if Freedom recipient Muhammad Ali. Muhammad Jr. didn’t have a photo so he was held longer.
It was the first time Ali Jr. and his mother have ever been asked if they’re Muslim when re-entering the United States.
Their attorney says, “From the way they were treated, from what was said to them, they can come up with no other rational explanation except they fell into a profiling program run by customs, which is designed to obtain information from anyone who says they’re a Muslim,” Mancini said in a phone interview. “It’s quite clear that what triggered his detention was his Arabic name and his religion.”