Muhammad Ali.
Photo by File/NBC News

Muhammad Ali hits at Trump and ‘misguided murderers’ sabotaging Islam

Updated

Like the champion fighter he is, Muhammad Ali took jabs Wednesday at “so called Islamic Jihadists” and those who would “use Islam to advance their own personal agenda.”

“I am a Muslim and there is nothing Islamic about killing innocent people in Paris, San Bernardino, or anywhere else in the world,” the former heavyweight champion of the world and peace activist declared in a statement to NBC News. “True Muslims know that the ruthless violence of so called Islamic Jihadists goes against the very tenets of our religion.”

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But the real target of Ali’s roundhouse was Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.

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“We as Muslims have to stand up to those who use Islam to advance their own personal agenda,” Ali said. “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.”

Here’s the champ’s full statement:

“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.

“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.”

This article first appeared at NBCNews.com

Donald Trump, Islam and Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali hits at Trump and 'misguided murderers' sabotaging Islam

Updated