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Was Muhammad Ali a hypocrite?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Tigerlily, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. Tigerlily

    Tigerlily Member

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    I watched some of the documentary about 'The Thriller in Manila' last night. It talked about something probably many of us already know, that Ali was a conscientious objector to the Vietnam conflict and refused to join the military on religious grounds. Later in the documentary it mentioned Ali having fun with his 'mistress' before his third fight with Joe Frazier.

    I Googled it and discovered he'd had his fair share of extra-marital affairs, but it doesn't mention whether he married these women Islamically before bedding them. After all, you're allowed 4 wives in Islam. Does anyone else know if he did?

    My partner - who I married Islamically, but legally we're due to marry this year - has always said that there's a severe punishment lined up for people who have sex outside marriage in terms of the afterlife.

    If Ali wasn't religiously married to these women he was going as much against his religion as he would've going to war. I strongly suspect he went over the limit of four at the very least!! This would make him a big hypocrite in my eyes.

    BTW, I have told my man if he thinks he's having any more wives, I'll kill him!! He says he has enough trouble with just one!

    I don't understand why Muhammad Ali is put so much on a pedestal. Don't even get me started on Marilyn Monroe!
     
  2. ChristinaM

    ChristinaM Member

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    Hi,
    For me religion and faith are there as a guidance....ideals for me to aspire to, not a rule that if I break will send me to hell.

    So he may have been a hypocrite, but we're all human and just do our best in life. The main tenet of all religions surely is love. Love is non judgemental and if I can aspire to that then I have followed the truth of my religion.

    Kind regards,
    Christina
     
  3. JoJo2504

    JoJo2504 New Member

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    Er he was a boxing legend!
     
  4. Fadette

    Fadette New Member

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    didnt he "quit" islam eventually? I was told he called it "a religion with prophets of war preaching hatred"??? am I mixing people, could well be..?

    on the affairs issue, to me, he was a testorone man (if that makes sense. sports addict plus into fighting), and that cant go along "one woman and no sex other than her".
     
  5. Tigerlily

    Tigerlily Member

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    Christina,
    You may not think you're going to hell for breaking certain rules and I would be inclined to agree, but I have met many Muslims who genuinely believe they would go to hell for certain things. Sex in Islam is a big, big deal, both inside and outside marriage. Men and women are kept separate at social gatherings and the main reason for dressing modestly is a sex thing.

    I couldn't subscribe to any of the main religions mostly because of the sex and homophobia issues. Most of us would be going to hell!

    It took courage to refuse to go to war, but obviously the issue I have is that he cited religion as the reason. His flouting of the rules to suit himself is not the action of a true convert to Islam.

    Jojo, yes I have noticed that he is regarded as a boxing legend, I understand his popularity, but I still don't understand the hero worship.

    Fadette, I hadn't heard that, that's very interesting. It would also show that Islam definitely wasn't the religion for him!

    Phew, been on my moral soapbox about this, sorry if I come across anti-Ali or anti-something else... I just hate unacknowedged hypocrisy!
     
  6. Tigerlily

    Tigerlily Member

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    Sorry, just wanted to add, to be fair to Ali, the mistress he had at the time of the Frazier fight was probably the one that became his second wife. But he was still naughty and there were lots of other women besides. No one can deny an interesting character.
     
  7. lemonelemi

    lemonelemi New Member

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    There's world of difference between sleeping around and killing someone! I don't see the connection here.
     
  8. Conspiritualist

    Conspiritualist New Member

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    Hmmm… tough decision,
    "make love with a consenting partner as our bodies are designed to do? … or do I go murder some strangers with uber-gruesome weapons?..."
    personally a no brainer I reckon :)

    So look, I know many many Muslims that break ‘the rules’ in one way or another, as I do many Christians, Sikhs & Jews etc…I don’t really see how you can get so worked up about it?;)

    Anyway, back to the question and I feel you’re being very clinical about it and not perhaps thinking about the reality of the situation as it would possibly be perceived by Ali at the time.
    Ali was not just a good boxer, he was probably (of known professional pugilists) the very best in the world (notwithstanding his bout with Cooper while still Clay) and certainly the greatest heavyweight of the time.
    Take this into account, and factor in that he was a Black American Icon in a time and country when blacks could not enter certain public places, sit on certain seats on public transport, drink from the same water fountains in public parks, attend certain public schools.
    A period when blacks were still being found hung from trees, beaten to death or burnt alive… all in what was supposedly a free, modern and democratic western society.
    :mad:

    This man (who still carried his patently slave derived name) ‘Cassis Marcellus Clay’ was a normal, feeling, compassionate and fairly intelligent human being too… Exposed to and aware of the troubles of those that he identified with, acutely sensitive to the disparity between the life that he enjoyed and that of the vast majority of his fellow African Americans.
    Throw into the mix that political terrain was at the same time become highly volatile with the rise of organisations like the African American Civil Rights Movement (ML King assassinated 1968) and (far more life changing for young Cassis) – The Nation of Islam (established by W. Fard Muhammad).
    And this is where your error (forgive me) begins, as a religion the Nation of Islam differs (or did at the time) very greatly from almost all other Islamic schools (believing for example that W. Fard Muhammad was actually God in the flesh!), to the point that it would be hard to associate it with Islam except for the same word being in the title of the faith!
    Your mistake is further compounded in that Ali refused to be inducted into the American Forces giving two (not one) reasons – one was his religious beliefs, the other was that did not support the Vietnam War, so, no; not a hypocrite, just a human, thinking and acting to try to improve the lot of those that he either felt compelled or obliged to represent. For this he was arrested and stripped of his title…

    With regard to sex outside of marriage in Islam, and your clearly stated view as a virtuous and devoted Muslim I do have to wonder why you don’t feel the need to question the existence of the laws for both ‘sighe’ or ‘misyar’ (temporary marriage)?
    And how they are being further bent out of shape and exploited by certain groups to enable them to treat (even very young) impoverished females as nothing more than one-night-stands or prostitutes … Now that is hypocrisy - is it not?


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  9. Tigerlily

    Tigerlily Member

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    Lemoneli, of course there is a world of difference between killing someone and sleeping around, I'm focusing purely on Islam where the connection is that both are deemed wrong. I think he made the right decision not to go to war, but I question his stating Islam as a reason.

    In general a good answer Conspiritualist. That's the sort of thing that makes sense to me.

    But let me clarify: judging from your last paragraph, you seem to assume I'm Muslim, which I am not. I've heard about the idea of a temporary marriage used just to get sex, which I find repugnant. I'm actually deeply offended that you think I agree with the darker sides of religion. This is at the crux of what I'm saying... the cherry-picking of religious rules is irritating to me. I think you're either in it or not.

    As I said above, which you clearly didn't read
    It was a simple question I raised to spark a moral debate, but apparently I'm 'worked up about it'. If I'm honest, I am now. You response was intelligent and well informed, but I felt you could have expressed it in a friendlier fashion. I felt it was personal.

    I'll be off now to sulk and burn up inside and have imaginary conversations until I go slightly mad.
     
    #9 Tigerlily, Jan 26, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 27, 2010
  10. Conspiritualist

    Conspiritualist New Member

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    :)
    Why thankeee maam, I appreciate your patronage.
    Guilty as charged, my apologies… mujhi maaf karo?:eek:
    In mitigation, unfortunately for me, there is a scarcity of information available on the life, thoughts and beliefs of Tigerlilly, whilst conversely there is a virtual cornucopia of information on Ali available to you at your finger tips.
    And yet, despite this lack of parity perhaps we are both guilty of the same mistake…
    &
    as you seem have assumed that Ali adopted a classical school of Islam when in truth his faith at the time was a mish-mash of strange ideas and concepts that at best can be loosely attributed with a connection to the genuine Muslim faiths… Otherwise why make the above points?
    I’m sorry that you feel “deeply offended”, let me put your mind to rest as you have misread or misunderstood my post, you’ll see that I never did think (or imply in any way) that you agreed with it, my point was that yours was a specific question about religious hypocrisy, namely Islamic… So I pointed at a far truer form of Islamic Hypocrisy and simply asked for your thoughts - as for “darker sides” don’t let that bother you hun… in my people there is a saying – that “even the mirror that shines the brightest has a darker side:)

    Which does kind of raise question, as you’ve made it plain that I was wrong to assume that you are a Muslim (and I hope you can see the logical reason for my curiosity) why you’d take part in an Islamic Marriage Ceremony?

    I'm sorry you took it personally, and yes I lack tact (always have) but I addressed you as it's you wrote the thread and posed the question, perhaps we should just agree to differ and I wish you peace, please don't sulk or burn up inside anymore on my account :wave:



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  11. Fadette

    Fadette New Member

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    O Tiger dont go mad!

    not worthy.

    :hug:
     
  12. Tigerlily

    Tigerlily Member

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    Thanks for the apology and the well-thought and nicely articulated reply, Conspiritualist.

    You're right to question why I would partake in an Islamic marriage ceremony. The simple answer is: I fell in love with someone who was brought up as a Muslim. So for his family, who have welcomed me and shown me love and acceptance, I went through this ceremony. I also did it because it was a marriage ceremony, I privately call him my husband, although legally speaking he won't be until a few months from now. So the hypocrisy I'm guilty of is that I have a Christian background which validates my marriage, but I'm not practicing! However, I cheated the system... when the Imam asked me if I believed in one God I said 'yes'. He didn't ask if I was a true Christian, because I'm not sure I could've sat there lying through my teeth. But here's more hypocrisy and imbalance: my man is allowed to marry a woman of Christian or Jewish background, but his sisters are only allowed to marry Muslim men. And on top of that he would be the first to admit he's hardly been the good Muslim himself.

    This is why I have so many bees in my bonnet about religion - the person I love is Muslim, my best friend and her husband are Muslim, there are many good qualities to the religion - for example, if everyone followed the main religions to the letter, then surely AIDS would slowly recede and possibly disappear and we woudn't have our hospitals filled because of drunken escapades on a Saturday night... I just feel uncomfortable with so many aspects of the main religions. This is part of my spiritual journey, I guess... learning to live with it, accept and understand it and bite my tongue a lot...

    I could never convert because I couldn't follow or believe in much of what the holy books say. This is why I have such a problem with people who loudly declare they are such and such religion, but then openly go against some of the doctrines at the core of it.

    I think that most of the replies here indicate that people entirely missed my point. I wasn't talking about the morals of war or promiscuity. If I wanted to give a flippant demonstration of what I was talking about it would be this: A Muslim works as a waiter. He tells his boss he can't work during the busy Friday lunch time because he has to go to prayers at the mosque. But then Friday night he gets drunk and has a one night stand. I've never met a true, practicing Muslim that has behaved like that.

    I met a young German convert to Islam. I couldn't understand him , but I did have admiration for him, because he went for it 100%. No girlfriend, no drinking, dressing modestly, praying 5 times a day.

    On the flip side of the coin re: war and promiscuity, my partner's father and grandfather fought in different wars, yet both had a monogomous marriage. Speaking of my father-in-law in particular, of course I can't prove that he's been faithful, but I would literally bet my life and soul that he has and judging from what I know of him, he simply wouldn't have had the time, anyway!. So his respect of faithfulness outweighed the fact that he fought in a war. Was that hypocrisy? I don't know, because I don't know what a 'just war' is in Islam, if I'm honest.

    I made a throw away remark about not understanding why people put Ali on a pedestal, and Conspiritualist put that in context for me by reminding me of the civil rights movement.. However, although I can understand why people love and admire him: he was the greatest boxer, a great entertainer and really charismatic - I can think of many, many people who deserve a much higher accolade for really doing good in the world and who deserve it much more than him. The real heroes in the world are the ones we probably never hear about.

    I feel really uncomfortable when you question the morals of a popular figure, be it Princess Diana or (as I mentioned earlier) Marilyn Monroe and people take it as direct an insult as if you'd said something awful about their mother. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

    Fadette, you are a real sweetheart!!

    I do wish I hadn't brought this topic, up though. Serves me right.
     
  13. Tigerlily

    Tigerlily Member

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    Just to add, Conspiritualist, I didn't know that Ali's religion was derived from Islam, I thought it was Islam, my big mistake. That's partly why I phrased the topic as a question... 'Was he...?' Because although judging from what I'd heard he was, I didn't actually know for sure, which is why I also asked if anyone knew if he'd married these women Islamically.

    As I said before, though, people completely misunderstood me and thought I was directly critising him: I was wasn't, I was merely doubting his religious convictions.

    Wikipedia claims he converted to Sunni Islam in '75 and then to Sufi in 2005. Perhaps this conversion in '75 led to the marriage of his then mistress.
     
    #13 Tigerlily, Jan 28, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2010

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