Canadian Imams plan service for ‘great ambassador of Islam’ Muhammad Ali

Former heavyweight world boxing champion Muhammad Ali prays on October 05, 1986 at the Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha or Alabaster Mosque in Cairo, Egypt. MIKE NELSON/AFP/Getty Images

CALGARY – A group of Canadian imams is remembering Muhammad Ali as “a great ambassador of Islam.”

The Islamic Supreme Council of Canada says its executive council held an emergency meeting on Friday night following word the legendary boxer died at the age of 74.

They’re planning a memorial service Sunday at the Green Dome Mosque in Calgary, and say all are welcome.

READ MORE: Muhammad Ali: A timeline of the life of the ‘Greatest of all Time’

Imam Syed Soharwardy, who founded the group, says in a news release that many Muslims aren’t aware how many people embraced Islam because of Ali.

Ali had fought earlier in his career as Cassius Clay, but changed his name after converting to Islam in the mid-1960s, and he embarked on a second career as a missionary for Islam when his boxing days were over.

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The council says Ali was not only a boxing champion, but was “a true fighter for human rights and social justice.”

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