Why did we love Muhammad Ali so much?
Because he is a boxer?
Because he is a champion?
I don't think so.
We loved Muhammad Ali, because he spoke the truth, he stood by his word, struggled, endured and resisted even if it meant he had to pay a price for it.
We, as a nation, as an ummah, always loved and continue to love the oppressed, but we loved Muhammad Ali not only because he was oppressed, but because he was a proud oppressed.
Muhammad Ali was sentenced to prison and his championship title was taken from him and had his license cancelled because he criticized the US's Vietnam War.
Defending Islam with all his might as a world champion gained him plenty of enemies.
If he had given up, if he had kept quiet or stepped back, the Muslim world and primarily Turkey, would not have gotten out of bed in the early hours of the morning throughout the 1970s to watch his matches, become emotional with his punches and shed tears of joy with his victories.
No athlete or champion's passing ever shook the Muslim world as much as his. Had he resigned from stating the truths for the sake of his championship title, he would not have billions of Muslims praying for him today.
Muhammad Ali was a legend, because he reminded us at a time when the Muslim world's confidence was at its lowest that being Muslim meant being resistant, enduring, patient, standing upright and being proud, that it required stating and defending the truth without being shaken up.
Muhammad Ali's and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's stories overlap at many points.
What has made Erdoğan legendary today, not only in Turkey and the Muslim world but in the hearts of the oppressed worldwide is his upright stance behind the truth and his resistance, presenting the truth, plain and simple, just like Muhammad Ali.
Let us leave aside the "one minute" incident or in other words, his sincere support for the Palestinian cause, his questioning of the global system by saying "the world is bigger than five" and go back to the day before.
The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) realized another of its bloody acts in Istanbul on the second day of Ramadan. Eleven more innocent people including six police officers lost their lives.
Certain circles in Turkey and their international partners once again accused Erdoğan and not the bloody PKK terrorist organization in accordance with the scenario written in July 2015 before the Suruç events.
Lies and slanders along the lines of "He turned into a dictator, he is becoming autocratic, he supports Daesh, the Palace's soldiers and police are committing massacres, he is killing to become president," which cover up terror and are almost used to legitimize terrorism, have long been in circulation.
Every act from the Gezi Park events to the Gülenist Terror Organization's (FETÖ) December 17 and December 25 coup attempts, from PKK terrorism to the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party Front (DHKP-C) attacks, are being planned and applied to bring Erdoğan, hence Turkey which has regained its confidence and Muslims to their knees.
The attacks are increasing as Turkey remains standing tall and strong under Erdoğan's leadership.
Is reconciliation, submission or stepping back a solution? Could it be a solution?
Will giving up its claims and goals make Turkey's enemies step back?
What would have happened if Muhammad Ali had taken a step back? Would they have given back his championship title, sports license and freedom if he had apologized, given up his claims and did not stand tall?
Would they have had mercy on a black Muslim who bravely defended the truth?
Muhammad Ali knew well that just as he would not be able to win back what he lost the moment he surrendered, he would also lose his honor. He did not bow down and also took back everything he had lost and became legendary in the eyes of Muslims.
Erdoğan also knows that the moment he gets down on his knees, bows down and gives up his claims, he will not be able to win his country or people and on top of it the ummah's confidence will be shaken. He sees very well that the moment he steps back, these enemies will have no mercy.
Muhammad Ali's trainer had told him to “dance champion, dance for the poor, the jobless.”
A vast geography calls out to Erdoğan in a similar way today: “Keep going Erdoğan, keep going for the oppressed, the poor…”