Muhammad Ali was memorialized in an interfaith service diverse enough to rival United Nations Peace Conferences.  Noteably at the KFC Yum! Stadium in Louisville, instead of divisiveness, there was harmony. World luminaries and world leaders come together to honor their hero, the most famous Muslim and peace activist in the world.

The very next day, just the other side of midnight, the deadliest mass shooting in US history ripped away the lives of 50 humans, injured 53 others, and rocked the world with grief and fear.

“This is an act of terrorism. This is an act of hate,” President Obama said of the shooting, which took place between the hours of 2 and 5 Sunday morning at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando.

To combat terror, divisiveness and fear, The Nation sports editor David Zirin writes, “the people who witnessed the Ali interfaith service need those lessons forward in a post-Orlando world.”

These lessons–witnessed by the 22,000 present and the millions watching on television and online–are especially poignant and uncanny in the face of deadliest attack on U.S. soil since September 11.

“Muhammad wants us to see the face of his religion, al-Islam, true Islam, as the face of love. It was his religion that caused him to turn away from war and violence,” his wife Lonnie said at the memorial.

“For his religion, he was prepared to sacrifice all that he had and all that he was to protect his soul and follow the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

So even in death, Muhammad has something to say. He is saying that his faith required that he take the more difficult road.

It is far more difficult to sacrifice oneself in the name of peace than to take up arms in pursuit of violence.”

She also noted that one of Ali’s lesser-recognized talents was his sense of timing.

“He had a knack for showing up at the right place at the right time that seemed preordained by a Higher Power.”

In his recent article, The Nation sports editor Zirin poses a rallying cry to our country:

“We need the memory and voice of Muhammad Ali now more than ever. We need to remember the person who understood the importance of using his own funeral as a last act of resistance.

We need the example of someone who said, ‘In war, the intention is to kill, kill, kill, kill and continue killing innocent people!’ That war has come home, not just in Orlando but amid the lives of innocent families across the Middle East.

We need, above all else, the example of someone who put it all on the line to resist this mindless violence, because that will be our task in the very immediate future.”

Peace, be upon us.

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