*When ailing Muhammad Ali has to put out a statement to set you straight, you know you done *&^%ed up, right?
The People’s Champ, one of the world’s best-known Muslims, didn’t have to mention Donald Trump’s name in his missive Wednesday, which sought to defend his religion as one of peace, while criticizing those who mischaracterize it for personal gain.
The statement was titled “Presidential Candidates Proposing to Ban Muslim Immigration to the United States,” a plan Trump proudly shared on Monday.
“We as Muslims have to stand up to those who use Islam to advance their own personal agenda,” Ali said in a statement first released to NBC News. “They have alienated many from learning about Islam. True Muslims know or should know that it goes against our religion to try and force Islam on anybody.”
In his Wednesday statement, Ali called on politicians to use their platforms to educate Americans on Islam.
“Speaking as someone who has never been accused of political correctness, I believe that our political leaders should use their position to bring understanding about the religion of Islam and clarify that these misguided murderers have perverted people’s views on what Islam really is,” he said.
Ali, who is battling Parkinson’s Disease, also denounced the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif.
“I am a Muslim and there is nothing Islamic about killing innocent people in Paris, San Bernardino, or anywhere else in the world,” he said. “True Muslims know that the ruthless violence of so called Islamic Jihadists goes against the very tenets of our religion.”