Muhammad Ali responds to Donald Trump controversy: ‘Islamic jihadists are not true Muslims’

Republican Presidential candidate recently called for a 'shutdown' of Muslims entering the US

Former boxer Muhammad Ali has responded to Donald Trump’s recent call for all Muslims to be banned from the US.

Billionaire-turned-politician Trump recently added to an already controversial US Presidential campaign by claiming that all Muslims should be barred from entering the US “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on”. His comments were made following a series of terrorist attacks in both the US and Europe.

With the comments receiving widespread criticism, boxing great Ali has now issued a statement condemning Trump’s views. Although Trump’s name was not specifically mentioned, the title of Ali’s press statement read: “Presidential Candidates Proposing to Ban Muslim Immigration to the United States”.

In his statement, Ali – who converted to Islam in 1964 – wrote: “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.”

Ali called on Trump and other politicians to “bring understanding about the religion of 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.”

Despite recently claiming that he couldn’t think of a single Muslim athlete, Trump has met Ali several times. In 2007, Trump accepted a Muhammad Ali Award at a charity event hosted by the boxer.

Meanwhile, over 400,000 people have signed a petition seeking to ban Trump from the UK following his remarks.