Muhammad Ali Jr. reportedly detained, grilled on religion by U.S. customs agents

Muhammad Ali Jr., son of the late boxing great, reportedly was detained at the Fort Lauderdale airport and grilled about his religion upon arriving from a trip to Jamaica, USA Today reports.

Ali and his mother "were pulled aside while going through customs because of their Arabic-sounding names, according to family friend and lawyer Chris Mancini," the newspaper reported. 

Ali was questioned for about two hours during the incident Feb. 7. Khalilah Camacho-Ali, his mother, was let go after showing officials a picture with her late husband. The elder Ali died last year at 74 after decades of dealing with Parkinson’s disease.

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The incident follows the confusion and protests spurred by President Donald Trump’s hastily assembled and announced temporary ban on some immigrants and refugees, and travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Earlier this month, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals announced it will not reinstate the 90-day ban. The Trump administration had been seeking a stay of a temporary restraining order that halted the president’s executive order.

Acting Attorney General Sally Yates had directed Justice Department attorneys not to defend it, saying in a letter that Trump’s campaign calls for a “Muslim ban” were an issue, noting that a previous, in-house review did “not take account of statements made by an administration or it surrogates close in time to the issuance of an executive order that may bear on the order’s purpose.

“And importantly, it does not address whether any policy choice embodied in an executive order is wise or just,” wrote Yates, who was quickly fired by Trump.

Mancini, the Ali family friend and attorney, said Ali Jr.’s ordeal at the airport “is directly linked to Mr. Trump’s efforts to ban Muslims from the United States,” and said they are contemplating legal action.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection responded to USA Today’s query about the matter with this statement: “Due to the restrictions of the Privacy Act, U.S. Customs and Border Protection cannot discuss individual travelers; however, all international travelers arriving in the U.S. are subject to CBP inspection.”

Ali’s publicly accessible Facebook page doesn’t mention the incident.

I am stress free and happy allahu Akbar,” a post from Feb. 15 reads.

In January, he posted a message that paid tribute to his father and challenged others.

“Don’t let my fathers death be in vain black people,” he wrote. “Unite, trust each other, love each other, respect each other. Come Together and rise like Maya Angelou … free your minds and become free from the shackles that has kept you down for so long and rise a new human one that’s not held down by anything but making time for things that are important to better yourself and those around you that you love and respect.”