Two weeks ago, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously voted to refuse to reinstate Donald Trump’s Muslim ban. That hasn’t completely stopped arbitrary detentions at airports, and this morning, Muhammad Ali’s son Muhammad Ali Jr. revealed that he was detained for a few hours and questioned about his religion on Feb. 7 while returning to Florida from Jamaica.
According to the Miami New Times, Ali Jr. was held at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and asked a few questions about being a Muslim. Ali Jr. was flying on a United States passport. He has no criminal record.
“This is an outrage,” says Chris Mancini, a former federal prosecutor and friend of the family. “I don’t know what is going on with Mr. Trump’s claim that his ban is not religion-based. We do not discriminate in this country based on religion.”
Ali Jr.’s mother and ex-wife were also detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the airport. CBP declined to comment on the case, although they asserted their right to inspect travelers returning to the U.S. The family’s attorney, however, called bullshit on that claim, since the Alis were specifically questioned about their religion.
“What right does the United States have to inquire about somebody’s religion when they enter the country,” Mancini says. “There was no other basis for a secondary inspection. This is an instance where the ban has been enforced, even though it has been thrown out. The government is still trying to find grounds to keep Muslims out.”