Muhammad Ali: Conscientious Objector

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In 1955, the US Supreme court reversed the conviction of a member of the Jehovah Witness for not enlisting into the army, after he had been rejected to be correctly classified as a conscientious objector, a person who for reasons of conscience objects to serving in the armed forces. In 1967 Kentucky, however, the heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali was convicted by the Justice Department for not enlisting into the army, although he appealed to the court as a conscientious objector. Eventually, after several years, the Supreme Court finally reviewed the case and ruled in favour of Ali. By investigating the reasons behind Muhammad Ali's refusal to enlist, the conditions which may have affected the final rule at the time of appeal, and the…show more content…
However, with the conversion to Islam, he faced legal clashes as a result. Islam forbids any unnecessary warfare and a Muslim can only be engaged in a war if it’s for the sake of self-defence or for fighting oppression, and in spite of that, many set rules of war exist. Warfare is the last resort Muslims are to turn to if, and only if, all has been tried. Only the enemy's soldiers are to be fought without any mutilation to the bodies. No women, children, innocent civilians, animals, plants, or infrastructure are to be harmed during war…show more content…
Muhammad Ali’s argument consisted of three points: first, he was wrongly denied as a conscientious objector. Second, the fact that there’s racial disproportion in the Selective Service drafting board (with blacks being the minority), and third, due to the disproportion of the drafting Board, it was unconstitutional since blacks were underrepresented. Although all of Ali’s claims seem valid, the Fifth Circuit rejected his claims nonetheless, due to many “loopholes” found in his claim, and so it deemed the conviction valid. Muhammad Ali did not despair however, and appealed to Supreme Court as a measure of last resort in 1971, to be rightly classified as a conscientious objector. In the US, to be classified as a conscientious objector, there are three criteria one must fall

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