LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – A member of the Muslim American community has offered condolences to Muhammad Ali’s family at a prayer service for the boxing great, saying his death has taken something away “from the sweetness of life itself.”
Sherman Jackson says Ali belonged to everyone but was “an unapologetic fighter in the cause of black people in America – and not just the classes among black folks, but even more especially the masses.”
“Ali was the people’s champion, and champion he did the cause of his people,” Jackson said.
Jackson says Ali “did more to normalize Islam in this country than perhaps any other Muslim in the history of the United States,” exceeding the achievements of scholars and clerics because he demonstrated the religion’s generosity and power.
He said Ali put the question of whether you can be a Muslim and a proud American to rest.
“Indeed, he KO’d that question,” Jackson said.