Sport  |  Boxing  

Ali for Muslim burial Thursday, inter-faith service Friday

By Editor   |   07 June 2016   |   12:49 am
(FILES) This file photo taken on January 14, 1999 shows Heavyweight boxing legend Muhammad Ali (L) kissing the fist of Mexican-American lightweight champion Fernando Vargas during the Mike Tyson-Francois Botha weigh-in at the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas. / AFP PHOTO / MIKE NELSON

(FILES) This file photo taken on January 14, 1999 shows Heavyweight boxing legend Muhammad Ali (L) kissing the fist of Mexican-American lightweight champion Fernando Vargas during the Mike Tyson-Francois Botha weigh-in at the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas.<br />/ AFP PHOTO / MIKE NELSON

Muhammad Ali’s body was returned on Sunday to his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, where the legendary boxer and humanitarian will be laid to rest and honoured in a traditional Muslim funeral on Thursday and an inter-faith service on Friday, a family spokesperson announced yesterday.

World political and religious leaders have set aside differences and come together to pay respects to Ali at his funeral, a true testament even after his death to how the “People’s Champion” lived his life.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and King Abdullah II of Jordan, as well as former U.S. President, Bill Clinton, are expected to speak at the service, held at the KFC Yum! Center, on Friday at 2 p.m., Ali family spokesperson, Bob Gunnell, said during a news conference.

Representatives from multiple religions, including Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism, Mormonism and Buddhism will also be present.

“The service will be open to the public and those who can’t attend can view a live stream at alicenter.org,” Gunnell added.

Ali’s wife, Lonnie Ali, and his daughter, Maryum Ali, will also speak at the funeral, in addition to actor Billy Crystal, sportscaster Bryant Gumbel, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

In addition to the inter-faith funeral service on Friday, a traditional Muslim Jenazah will be held at Louisville’s Freedom Hall on Thursday, Gunnell announced.

Freedom Hall is the location of Ali’s last fight in Louisville on Nov. 29, 1961.

People of all faiths are welcome to attend the Jenazah at Freedom Hall, which can seat up to 18,000 people, Gunnell said.




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