Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Iran’s Zarif offers condolence over death of ‘Muhammad Ali’

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Iranian foreign minister Muhammad Javad Zarif issued a message of condolence on its Twitter account over death of Muhammad Ali Clay, the legendary boxer and the former heavyweight champion.

‘May the Almighty receive Muhammad Ali – The Greatest in the ring and in the fight for justice, dignity and peace – in His infinite mercy’, Zarif said on Twitter on Saturday.

Ali, who had long suffered from Parkinson’s syndrome which impaired his speech and made the once-graceful athlete almost a prisoner in his own body, died on Friday at the age of 74.

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Iran FM Zarif issued a message of condolence on its Twitter account over death of Muhammad Ali Clay (Photo Credit: Twitter.com)

As a boxer, he will be remembered as a three-time world heavyweight champion who won 56 bouts over a 21-year career.

Nicknamed “The Greatest”, the American beat Sonny Liston in 1964 to win his first world title and became the first boxer to capture a world heavyweight title on three separate occasions.

He eventually retired in 1981, having won 56 of his 61 fights.

Ali also made headlines outside of the ring with critiques of racism in the US, his conversion to Islam and a refusal to fight in the Vietnam War.

He spoke out against racism, war and religious intolerance, while projecting an unshakeable confidence that became a model for African-Americans at the height of the civil rights era and beyond.

As he is everywhere, Ali is revered in Iran. The people love him as a champion of sports, but also charity, and authorities have a deep attachment to him as representing their stated ideology of upholding Islamic values and lifting up the oppressed.

Muhammad Ali, considered one of contemporary Islam’s most beloved figures, was always a hero who transcended faith, race and borders. He never belonged to anyone, but he is part of everyone.

 

 

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