Sunday, July 9, 2017

USA: Muhammad Ali’s Muslim Faith Is Being Scrubbed From His Legacy


“The Greatest” was one of America’s most famous Muslims, but you wouldn’t know that from his official social media accounts — and that's a problem. “To ignore Muhammad Ali as a Muslim is to ignore Muhammad Ali as a man.”

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: BuzzFeedNews
By Hannah Allam | July 8, 2017

Muhammad Ali, who died a year ago June 3, is remembered as a boxing legend, an Olympian, a civil rights warrior, a humanitarian, and a trailblazer for Parkinson’s disease awareness.

But one central part of his identity is missing from the official Ali Instagram and Twitter feeds: the proud, unapologetic Muslim.

Islam is conspicuously absent from the Ali brand, which is owned and managed by a New York–based licensing company that also owns the rights to Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and other American superstars. In 2013, Authentic Brands Group paid an undisclosed amount for Ali’s intellectual property, including troves of photos and videos, as well as trademarked slogans such as “Float Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A Bee.”

ABG, as the licensing company is known, runs the Ali social media accounts. With more than 2 million Instagram followers, 876,000 Twitter followers, and 11.8 million Facebook “likes,” the feeds are the main conduit for introducing Ali to a new generation of Americans coming of age after his death. His Facebook biography notes "his early relationship with the Nation of Islam," but the role Islam played in his life stops there. There are black-and-white photos of Ali visiting a hospital, embracing Nelson Mandela, and standing next to Martin Luther King Jr. But in the dozens of photos on posts dating back years, there’s not a clue that “The Greatest” was Muslim, an omission so glaring that it seems deliberate.



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