Paying Tribute to Muhammad Ali (January 17 1942-June 3 2016)
When most of us hear the name Muhammad Ali, the first image that crosses our mind is a Heavy Weight Champion. However, outside the boxing ring, Muhammad Ali was more than just a boxer. He was known for his wit, social justice, success, civil rights, and a voice for the voiceless. And that’s why today, at the ViewpointNews we would like to pay tribute and honour the man who spoke on behalf of many and inspired all.
Despite his influence, he was also seen as a controversial figure to others. One of the most popular moments in history for Muhammad Ali was when he stood up against the Vietnam war and refused conscription to the army. He said, “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?” Ali, February, 17, 1966. However, Ali stood up against war and it was influenced by his conversion to Islam. After the attacks in Paris, he reminded the world how Islam is against terrorism. He said, “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.” – Ali, 2015. Muhammad Ali was also very much against Zionism. According to the BDS South Africa and a news report , in 1948 Ali said,”the United States is the stronghold of Zionism and imperialism” at a press conference in Beirut. He was known for his humanitarian work abroad. In 1998, Ali presented local hospitals and clinics such as the clinic Juan Marquez in Havana, Cuba with boxes of medicine. Muhammad Ali was respected and honoured by many…even former President George W. Bush who presented Ali with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on November 9th 2005. That was just one of many deserving awards. He received the Liberty Medal on September 13, 2012 in Philadelphia. It is awarded to an individual who is courageous and strives to secure liberty for people wordlwide. And today, worldwide, Muhammad Ali is remembered by many. His family said through a spokesperson, according to the guardian , that the boxer died of septic shock after being in the hospital for several days with a severe respiratory illness.
And today we say farewell and rest in peace to the hero, to the legend, Muhammad Ali. May you continuously float like a butterfly, sting like a bee with the rest of the great legends in heaven.