Amir Khan's dream boxing match faces hurdles amid Islamophobia
Boxing sources said there is a reluctance to promote Khan ahead of a fight in the U.S. due to his faith
Promoters in the U.S. are reportedly reluctant to promote British-Muslim boxer Amir Khan ahead of a high-profile fight in light of the Islamophobia that ensued the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) beheadings, the Independent reported.
The British boxer is high on Floyd Mayweather’s options to be an opponent in a December match, the Independent said. However, boxing sources in the U.S. told the British daily that there is a reluctance to promote Khan due to his faith.
“Any Muslim fighter would be a hard sell to TV audiences in such a high-profile fight, especially should the situation escalate,” one promoter told The Independent.
“There is so much Islamophobia around here following the hostage killings that it might be considered too great a risk,” the source said.
Khan has repeatedly condemned the atrocities committed by ISIS and says he has not noticed negative reactions result of his choice of faith.
The Briton however has experienced several complications with U.S. immigration.
Khan was stopped from boarding a flight to Las Vegas to watch the Mayweather fight. He did manage to get on the plane only after Downing Street made a call to the U.S. embassy in London.
In 2011, four months before a White House dinner he was invited to, the Independent said immigration authorities in Los Angeles detained Khan after arriving from London.
He tweeted about his detention, saying, “Landed in LA safe, but the customs took the **** again because I’m Muslim. Kept me in some holding room for over two hours. They were so arrogant and unprofessional.”
“His name is Khan; he is a Muslim; between visits to the United States, he visits Pakistan; and goes to another Muslim country, Egypt, on holiday. All these things are taken into account by U.S. Homeland Security,” Asif Vali, Khan’s former business manager, is quoted in The Independent as saying.
Khan has also experienced problems in his home country. The boxer was booed while entering a boxing arena in Wembley Stadium before a match in May and is subject to racist abuse in the internet, the British newspaper said.