Muhammad Ali’s ex-wife: Airport detention was ‘first time I never felt comfortable in my own country’
Earlier this month, Muhammad Ali, Jr. and his mother Khalilah Camacho-Ali — respectively, the son and second wife of boxing legend Muhammad Ali — were detained for two hours at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport on a flight back from Jamaica.
During their detention, they claim they were asked questions about their religion, and Ali Jr. was initially denied entry into the country despite having an American passport.
Appearing on CNN Tuesday morning, Khalilah Camacho-Ali said she was appalled by how airport security officials treated her and her son, and she said for the first time in her life she didn’t even feel welcome in the United States.
“Going in there, we were humble and kind and polite, and that’s what we are supposed to do — be civil,” she said of her experience at the airport. “And as a mother and as a citizen of the United States, I was terrified. This is the first time I never felt comfortable in my own country.”
Earlier in the segment, Ali Jr.’s attorney, Chris Mancini, said that such aggressive questioning for Muslim American citizens is baldly discriminatory, and should be seen as unconstitutional.
“It’s a religious test,” he said of the policy. “The heartbreaking thing about this is, we are getting e-mails from people saying, ‘Should I deny being a Muslim so i can get through customs?’ So where are we now — are we getting to the point where you have to deny your faith?”
Watch the whole segment below.