When we were Kings
I ask for a moments silence to respect the passing of a great but not perfect man. Of course I am referring to Muhammad Ali born Cassius Marcellus Clay
Why is Jesus White
The Nation of Islam
If you completed the above 6.5 minute video you will notice references to /Islam/ at about the 04:30 mark. Here Ali is referring to his "conversion' to The Nation of Islam (NOI) which has a number of significant, nay unbelievable differences from any known iteration of Islam that I or any Religious scholar could imagine.
The Nation of Islam, from my memory was the principle work of the charismatic Elijah Muhammad and Wallace D. Fard
Some of their beliefs IMHO are on an illogical and fantastical par with Scientology, Mormonism and Jehovah Witness. In particular NOI believe that a Black Scientist called Yakub created all white people by selective breeding 6000 years ago. Now I am not kidding. You need to read this, just to check:
Note many people from NOI converted out to other more recognised Islam such as Sufism and Sunni Islam.
And so, whilst I appreciate in the 1970's Muhammad Ali experience with segregation led him to a deep distrust of White Society, a society in which in America in his home town, having won an Olympic Gold Medal, Ali was refused service in a restaurant, only because he was black. A total disgrace, and I can see why the teachings of /The Nation of Islam/ which stressed self-reliance, clean living and the promise of a future in which blacks would no longer be second class citizens, would be attractive. IMHO a deeply flawed ideology but attractive nonetheless.
Ali was diagnosed Parksinsons disease in 1984. Parkinsons is a degenerative disease of the central nervous system. It is believed to be a genetic condition. This link Parkinsons made me rather upset when I viewed it. To Religious people, on this Sunday I would appreciate your explanation as to why a Kind and Loving God, a God who has created the best of all possible worlds has endowed Ali with such a disease. And please don't use the tired /Mysterious Ways/ cop out argument.
Back to Ali
Had Ali been a young man in 2016 I would have hoped that his intellect would have grasped the tenets that a secular outlook proposes. Indeed they are: self reliance, clean living and the promise of a future in which all races and sexuality are considered equal under the law. Secularism does not promote the superiority of anybody with a particular colour of skin, nor the superiority of a man over a woman, or vice versa.
To close I don't want to just shoot out almost /evangelical/ criticism from my enlightened 2016 viewpoint back just 40 years to a very different time for people of any colour.
So what I would suggest is an immediate viewing of the film When we were Kings, to me a documentary that captures the essence of the man, the very great man
Ali Soundbytes and Clips