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The Real Reason Muhammad Ali Converted to Islam

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tags: Islam, Muhammad Ali



Muhammad Ali's public conversion to Islam, in 1964, was among the most defining moments of his remarkable life. The decision enraged his critics -- his hometown newspaper continued to refer to Ali by his birth name, Cassius Clay, for years to come -- and led him to refuse to serve in Vietnam, a stand that cost him his title, his livelihood and, ultimately, cemented his status as an American iconoclast.

Ali, who died on June 3, 2016 at age 74, has offered a few different reasons for his embrace of Islam. According to the 1967 book, Black Is Best: The Riddle of Cassius Clay, by former Sports Illustrated writer Jack Olsen, Ali said his first encounter came from a street corner proselytizer in Harlem. He later told Olsen that it came at a Nation of Islam meeting in Miami in 1960 or early 1961, and he also said that his first meeting was in Chicago.

Now there is another version of Ali's story, which is arguably the most definitive of the bunch, appearing first in TIME.

Read entire article at Time Magazine


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