Mustafa Ali is trying really hard to change the way Muslim professional wrestlers are portrayed. Gone are the days of Muhammad Hassan, 2019 is a new day, and Ali represents that.
Recently, he appeared on an episode of Secret Life of Muslims and then spoke to Uproxx about his mission to change the way Muslims are viewed. Below are some highlights:
Mustafa Ali on fans learning from his appearance on Secret Life:
“The thing with WWE is that I’m portraying a character that’s involved in a storyline that involves everybody else too, so it’s not really about me. But Secret Life is about the man behind Mustafa Ali, you know? The prejudice, the discrimination, and the preconceived ideas that I had to battle while chasing my dream. What my hope is, is that people see that I’m more than just a Muslim. The whole idea of Secret Life of Muslims is that we’re just ordinary people. We’re your neighbors, we’re your coworkers, we like coffee, you know? We’re everyday normal people with hopes and aspirations and fears. We have feelings; we have emotions. The idea is to just somehow be a little more relatable to someone who might not be as open to talking to a Muslim.”
Mustafa Ali on his WWE Championship match at Fastlane:
“I would say I was told about an hour and a half, maybe, before that match went on. So the pay-per-view had started, and I still didn’t know that I was competing in that match. So yeah, talk about getting ready really quickly and having your mind in a whirl. Watching the show, I kind of went in expecting more of what’s happening with Kofi — and I’ve got all the love and respect in the world for Kofi Kingston — but I knew what I was going up against coming out that night. Obviously, it’s one thing to get thrown into a championship match last minute, but we always have to stay ready. And I was ready, I went out and gave it everything I had.
But I knew as soon as I walked out, they were not going to be happy to see me, because they wanted to see Kofi right now. And that’s been the story of my entire life! People have a negative reaction towards me, I get put in a really tough spot, I get thrown into a really dark spot, but somehow some way, my light will shine. Somehow I still can overcome. And at the end of the day, yeah I walked out to boos, but when I walked out of that arena, they were cheering.”