FORT LAUDERDALE-HOLLYWOOD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - Muhammad Ali Jr. was detained by the Department of Homeland Security on Friday, weeks after he was detained at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz tweeted out, Friday.
Wasserman Schultz’s tweet read, “On way home on DOMESTIC FLIGHT Muhammad Ali Jr. detained AGAIN by @DHSgov. Religiously profiling son of ‘The Greatest’ will not make us safe.”
“His record was brought up by the gate agent, the counter agent. Apparently, they said, ‘Well, hold on. I have to call somebody,'” Wasserman Schultz said.
Ali and his mother traveled to Washington, D.C. to testify about the treatment they received at FLL after they were detained because, they say, they identify as Muslim. On the return flight to Miami, Ali Jr. was stopped again as he was boarding his flight.
The TSA released a statement that reads, “Upon arriving at the airline check-in counter, a call was made to confirm Mr. Ali’s identity with TSA officials. When Mr. Ali arrived at the checkpoint, his large jewelry alarmed the checkpoint scanner. He received a targeted pat-down in the area of his jewelry to clear the alarm and was cleared to catch his flight.”
Shortly after his flight arrived at FLL, just before 4 p.m., Ali spoke to the media. “They said that, ‘In order for you to get on the flight, I have to talk to security,'” he said. “I said, ‘What would I have to talk to security for? I mean, why y’all bothering me?'”
Ali said that airport employees told him he had to talk to government officials. “They said, “Well, I can’t let you board the flight until you talk to Homeland Security,” he said.
“Felt like I was being very harassed, and I felt abused, actually,” Ali added. “I think it has a lot to do with the ban on Muslims and Trump being in office and just this crazy mess.”
Wasserman Schultz said she’s worried the government is retaliating against Ali Jr. for his testimony. “This is just, there’s no question that this is religious profiling,” she said. “And also I’m concerned that this is retaliation for his testimony in Washington.
Ali said that terrorists are not really Muslims. “I mean, terrorists are not Muslims. Terrorists are not Christians,” he said. “Terrorists really don’t have a belief. To do something wrong, you can’t believe in anything to do something wrong. You can believe in the devil, but you know, all religions are peaceful.”
The circumstances surrounding the detainment are not yet clear.
Ali is happy that Washington state will sue over the new travel ban in federal account. The old travel ban was blocked after Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson sued.
“In our view, this new executive order contains many of the same legal weaknesses as the first and reinstates some of the identical policies as the original,” said Ferguson.
Trump has insisted it’s not a Muslim ban. The order won’t impact those with visas or American citizens like Ali.
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