‘Being a Muslim American, I always felt alienated, like I don’t belong': WWE star Mustafa Ali
"Being a Muslim American growing up, despite being born in this country, I always felt a little alienated, I felt like I didn't belong."
Despite hanging around the company for almost seven years, Mustafa Ali has never won a WWE Championship. It surely is an undesirable record but the superstar's fate can change at the WWE Night of Champions at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where he challenges Gunther for the Intercontinental Title, although the odds of that happening seems minimal.
A belt wrapped around the waist or hung on the shoulder while making the grand walk to the ring is appealing and Ali too desires for the same. However, there is one title that he desires the most and the 36-year-old in an interview with hindustantimes.com said he's a “firm believer that as long as I hold on, even if it's a little bit longer, it'll happen.”
So what exactly it is? It is the United States Championship, which is currently held by Austin Theory. It's not that Ali didn't get a shot at the title, he did that too against the current champion Theory, however, it was an unsuccessful one.
But why the United States Championship? Well this has a lot to do with Ali's ethnicity, who is born to a Pakistan father and Indian mother.
"As far as Austin Theory and his United States Championship reign nothing would make me smile more then to take that championship off him and raise it high over my head. I'm in the belief now, I'm in the comfort zone now, what is going to be will be.
“Every time I see the United States flag and every time I see anything red, white, and blue I think of the United States Championship and the reason why I think about it is that I'm bigger than my backstory. Being a Muslim American growing up, despite being born in this country, I always felt a little alienated, I felt like I didn't belong. And I don't know why but I feel like winning that championship will solidify it, like being announced as the United States Champion Mustafa Ali. And not just for me what it would do for other people from all different backgrounds that have ever felt like they don't belong. It's a testament that yeah it took me 20 plus years to do it but I've won this championship and now you have to call me the United States champion Mustafa Ali. There's a lot of weight that comes with that and I think in a good way,” said Ali.
This is not the first time Ali opened about feeling isolated in the country. In a video shared on Twitter in December last year, Ali had revealed an incident when he was picked at school because of his religion.
He shared an incident involving the 9/11 attacks, which claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people after two hijacked planes crashed into the the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and a third plane crashed into the Pentagon.
“The teachers thought it would be best to let the students talk and express their emotions," Ali is heard saying in the video.
"I remember raising my hand and saying, 'I can't believe this happened to us.' The kid in front of me turned around and he said, 'Us? What are you talking about? Your people did this.' I looked around at the class, I looked at the teacher. I was hoping someone would say something to help me or defend me. No one said anything.”
‘Seth Rollins deserves to win World Heavyweight Championship’
The Night of Champions will also see WWE reintroduce the Heavyweight Championship, which was retired almost a decade ago. Seth “Freakin” Rollins and AJ Styles will square off for the gold and when asked Ali to share his predictions he backed the former Shield member.
"I'm personally very excited for World Heavyweight title coming back. I think it was necessary just because of the current situation with Roman (Reigns) holding both titles, the United States Championship became the top title of Monday Night Raw. What happens is the rest of the card get affected if that title gets booked up to top spot, there's no real championship for the rest of the card to compete with that are in the singles division. So by introducing the World Heavyweight, the United States Championship now becomes more available. I'm excited because at the end of the day it means more opportunity, more stakes, and more things are on the lines.
"As far as who's gonna win, I don't know personally, who I hope wins is Seth "Freakin" Rollins. My man deserves it. He's on every PLEs, on their live event tour, at every Raw and I see the work he's putting in, he's got the respect of everyone in the back. I think you've got the respect from all the fans because they can hear them singing his song all night long. I think so someone, the office, the boys in the back, the girls in the back, and the fans can probably call a champion."