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I'm confused

Reader comment on item: Muhammad Ali v. George W. Bush

Submitted by Jim Flammang (United States), Nov 29, 2005 at 17:17

The charge that Ali joined Nation of Islam to avoid service in Vietnam seems odd. He joined Nation of Islam in 1964, announcing so the day after he beat Sonny Liston. The army didn't try to induct him until 1967.

In February 1964, when Ali announced his conversion, the Gulf of Tonkin incident hadn't even happened, and American involvement in Vietnam was still pretty low.

Ali risked jail in his fight against the draft. He could have run to Canada, or maybe gotten a position in the guard (if he had the connections). He didn't. Maybe you don't agree with his beliefs or his actions, but the facile charge that he avoided the draft by joining NOI doesn't make much sense to me.

I'd also like to point out that Donvan's comment that the goal of Islam is the violent overthrow of the US doesn't make much sense either. The goal of a religion founded in the 7th Century is to overthrow a country founded in the 18th Century? I don't think so. While it certainly is the goal of a small group of contemporary Muslims, I don't think it is "the" goal of the whole religion. I know some American Muslims. They like it here.

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