Hilton Head doctor remembers Muhammad Ali - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Hilton Head doctor remembers Muhammad Ali

(Source: Dr. Jack Shaheen) (Source: Dr. Jack Shaheen)

As thousands of people prepare to make their way to Louisville, Kentucky to say their final goodbyes to one of the greatest athletes of all time, a Hilton Head doctor is remembering the boxer, not for his fight in the ring, but for his fight in society.

Dr. Jack Shaheen had the chance to participate in a round-table discussion about religious tolerance at the then-developing Ali Center, back in 2004. One of the guests on the panel was Muhammad Ali himself.

Ali, born Cassius Clay in Louisville, KY, was best known for being light on his feet and delivering a punch that packed some heat. Gaining notoriety for the phrase, ‘float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.’

The heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medalist did just that, but most people remember him for his battles outside of the ring.

"He was a man of God, humility; a man who respected different faiths; I mean, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, in particular. Leaders would have a lot to learn from Muhammad Ali about accepting and respecting each other's faith, instead of saying ‘this path is the right path, your path is the wrong path,” said Dr. Shaheen.

Ali's funeral will be held Friday at 2 p.m. A procession through the streets of the city will begin at 9 a.m.

Thursday, tens of thousands of people attended the Muslim prayer service, held ahead of his funeral.

Ali converted to Sunni Islam in the early 70s. 

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