Arizona Muslim Community Remembers Muhammad Ali

By Sarah Ventre
Published: Monday, June 6, 2016 - 6:55am
Updated: Monday, June 6, 2016 - 6:50pm
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(Photo by Sarah Ventre - KJZZ)
Community members pray for Muhammed Ali at the Islamic Community Center of Tempe.
(Photo by Sarah Ventre - KJZZ)
Imam Ahmad Shqeirat of the Islamic Community Center of Tempe leads attendees in a prayer in honor of Muhammad Ali.
(Photo by Sarah Ventre - KJZZ)
A community member talks about the importance of Muhammad Ali to her while wearing a butterfly print hijab in honor of "the champ."
(Photo by Sarah Ventre - KJZZ)
Community members leave words of remembrance for "the people's champion."

The Islamic community of Arizona gathered to remember legendary boxer Muhammad Ali Sunday night. Ali spent the latter part of his life in the Phoenix area, where he died on Friday night.

Imam Ahmad Shqeirat of the Islamic Community Center of Tempe led a prayer in English as part of the event. Other community members took turns leading prayers and speaking about what made Muhammad Ali so important not just in the world of sports, but also as an ambassador of Islam.

"He was unapologetically Black, and unashamedly Muslim," said community activist Angelica Lindsey-Ali. One of the event's organizers, Zarinah Nadir, spoke about the impact Ali had on her family.

"My father tells me that Muhammad Ali gave him strength to change his name when he converted to Islam," said Nadir.

The service concluded with evening prayers, as the holy month of Ramadan begins.

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