Muhammad Ali Denounces Anti-Muslim Rhetoric

One of the most well-known Muslims in the United States appears to have joined the rising chorus of criticism of U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump over his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States.

In a short statement issued Wednesday titled "Presidential Candidates Proposing to Ban Muslim Immigration to the United States," former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali urged his fellow Muslims to push back against "those who use Islam to advance their own personal agenda."

Trump has been under fire since unveiling his proposal earlier this week in a written statement and a campaign rally in South Carolina, in response to a shooting rampage at a government center in San Bernardino, California that left 14 people dead.  The attack was carried out by a husband-and-wife Muslim couple investigators say had been "radicalized."

Although he didn't mention the leading Republican candidate by name, the 73-year-old Ali said political leaders who have openly denounced his religion "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." READ MORE OF THIS STORY ON VOA NEWS ONLINE

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