June 9, 2016
Muhammad Ali: Louisville Police Set Out To Stop Scalpers From Selling Tickets To Memorial Service

Muhammad Ali passed away last Friday after a 32-year battle with Parkinson's disease, and the world has mourned. On Friday, June 10, an interfaith memorial service will be held in Louisville, Kentucky, at the KFC Yum! Center, at 2 p.m. EST. Fifteen thousand tickets were given away within one hour on Wednesday, but ticket scalpers are, unfortunately, trying to profit.

The Center seats 22,000. Shortly after the 15,000 tickets were released, some were listed on Craigslist for up to $100 each. Ali family spokesman Bob Gunnell weighed in on the illegal selling, according to People.

"It is deplorable that some people are trying to profit off of the solemn service as we celebrate the life of Muhammad Ali. I hope that those buying tickets or trying to buy tickets would stop those efforts by not purchasing. Muhammad Ali wanted this to be a free event, an event that was open to all."

Scalpers may not be aware that selling tickets is a crime punishable by a fine of $250 in the city of Louisville. Many of the Craigslist ads were removed, and other ads were posted warning people not to buy tickets.

For those who would like to pay their respects but who cannot attend the Friday service, there will be a live telecast on Muhammad Ali's website at 2 p.m. EST. ESPN will also broadcast the service at the same time.

Eulogies will be delivered by former President Bill Clinton, news anchor Bryant Gumbel, and comedian Billy Crystal. Will Smith, who portrayed Muhammad Ali in the film Ali, will also attend. Other attendees will be ex-heavyweight champions Jerry Ellis and Lennox Lewis. Jimmy Ellis, the brother of Jerry Ellis, will serve as a pallbearer.


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On Thursday, June 9, a Muslim funeral and prayer service will be held for Muhammad Ali in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. This service will be open to the public, according to WDRB.

Thursday's Islamic funeral service is known as a "janazah." It will be held in the North wing of the Kentucky Expo Center, and an overflow crowd will watch the service from Freedom Hall. Fourteen thousand tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Haleh Karimi, Executive Director of Interfaith Path to Peace, said Muhammad Ali was symbolic of what it means to be a true Muslim, added WDRB.

"He was a global symbol for peace."

Karimi mourns Ali and stated that now that he's gone, others will need to step in to fill the void.

"It's going to be done by the whole wide world."

A spokesman for the Louisville Islamic Center, Mohammed Wasif Iqbal, commented that thousands of Muslims, including kings and presidents, are expected to come to the Thursday service.

"I think, by far, this might be the biggest Muslim gathering that Louisville has ever seen."

The service, however, won't be a traditional Muslim one. Iqbal explained that it is customary to lay a Muslim to rest within 24 hours after he has died. He also said that because of Ali's stature in the world, it would be difficult to follow this protocol.

"We can sit here and say 'hey, he needs to be buried the next day.' But obviously there's a lot more to it because of who he was. There's things and justifications to let them go, and I would say because of who this individual was. That's justification on why it's delayed."

An imam (Islamic leader) will give instructions to those in attendance and lead the prayer.

Iqbal said, "There's no prostration, there's no bowing."

The prayer itself is short and straightforward.

Muhammad Ali's funeral service will be attended by many who aren't familiar with the Islamic faith, a testament to his ability to bring people from diverse backgrounds together.

[Photo by David Goldman/AP Images]