Months before Muhammad Ali's death, the boxing legend slammed Donald Trump's proposal to ban all Muslim immigration to the United States, and condemned Islamic extremists in the wake of the terror attack in San Bernardino.
In a statement in December, Ali criticized the "misguided murderers [who] have perverted people's views on what Islam really is," and said the political class in the U.S. should "use their position to bring understanding about the religion of Islam."
Ali's full statement, titled "regarding presidential candidates proposing to ban Muslim immigration to the U.S.," reads as follows:
"I am a Muslim and there is nothing Islamic about killing innocent people in Paris, San Bernardino, or anywhere else in the world. True Muslims know that the ruthless violence of so called Islamic Jihadists goes against the very tenets of our religion.
We as Muslims have to stand up to those who use Islam to advance their own personal agenda. 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.
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."