Muhammad Ali v Donald Trump: Legendary boxer takes on presidential candidate over comments towards Muslims

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The greatest: Ali said Isis were "misguided murderers" (Source: Getty)

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali has taken aim at Donald Trump's recent comments towards Islam and extremists who commit violence in its name.

In a statement addressed to "presidential candidates proposing to ban Muslim immigration to the United States" Ali claimed political leaders had been guilty of misrepresenting the religion.

Trump recently called for a "total and complete shutdown" of Muslim immigration to the US and questioned president Barack Obama for suggesting the country had many Muslim sports heroes.

Read more: What was Donald Trump thinking? The world reacts

"What sport is he talking about, and who?" Trump tweeted, despite the fact he received a Muhammad Ali Award from the fighter nicknamed "The Greatest" at a charity event in 2007.

In a statement, Ali said: "Speaking as someone who has never been accused of political correctness, I believe that our political leaders should use their position to bring understanding about the religion of Islam and clarify that these misguided murderers have perverted people's views on what Islam really is."

The 73-year-old who converted to Islam in 1964 and changed his name from Cassius Clay, also called on Muslims to stand up against those who "use Islam to further their own agenda".

"I am a Muslim and there is nothing Islamic about killing innocent people in Paris, San Bernardino, or anywhere else in the world," he said.

"True Muslims know that the ruthless violence of so-called Islamic jihadists goes against the very tenets of our religion.

"They have alienated many from learning about Islam. True Muslims know - or should know - that it goes against our religion to try and force Islam on anybody."

Other successful American Muslim athletes, including two-time NBA MVP Kareem Abbdul-Jabbar and NFL player Ameer Abdullah, have criticised Trump for his remarks.

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