Muhammad Ali gave American Muslims permission to be authentically themselves

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Growing up as an American Muslim, Muhammad Ali was always the first example offered to me for why being “Muslim” and “American” were not mutually exclusive.

Ali’s legacy is a reminder that being truly American means not changing our names from “Muhammad” to “Mo,” or erasing Islam from our resumes. The best way to be Muslim in America, is to be like Ali: confidently, lovingly, respectfully, ourselves.

In the video above I documented some of the thousands of Muslims and non-Muslims who gathered in Louisville’s Freedom Hall for the janazah, or funeral prayer, of Muhammad Ali.