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Erdogan joins thousands at Ali's Muslim funeral service


An interfaith service will be held for the boxing legend Mohammed Ali later on Friday before thousands of people of all races and creeds.

On Thursday thousands had also gathered for a Muslim funeral service in Ali’s hometown in Kentucky, together with the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to pay their respects to a man who fought in the ring and sought peace outside it.

Imam Zaid Shakir presided over the service, which was conducted in both English and Arabic.

“Truly, those who say our Lord is God and are upright, the angles will descend upon them, saying, ‘have neither fear nor sadness, but rather rejoice in this paradise that you had been promised,” Imam Zaid read the summon.

Ali’s funeral was held at a convention space in Freedom Hall, the complex where the former heavyweight world champion defeated Willi Besmanoff on Nov. 29, 1961 in his last fight in Louisville.

Ali, known for his boxing prowess, showmanship and political activism in the turbulent 1960s and 1970s, died on Friday of septic shock in an Arizona hospital. He was 74.

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