Mustafa Ali Recalls the Event That Made Him Stop Using a Foreign Heel Gimmick

– Mustafa Ali spoke during his appearance on The Secret Life of Muslims about playing a stereotypical Middle Eastern heel, deciding to turn face and more. The video is below, plus highlights per Wrestling Inc:

On his heel run as Prince Mustafa Ali in the indies: “Several of my friends in the industry kept saying, ‘You know, now is the time – you should try out doing an evil character’…I remember seeing a young boy, maybe six, seven years old, and as I approached the guard rail, he jumped out of his chair and he put his hands up. And I remember looking into this kid’s eyes and I remember seeing hate. And right then and there it hit me. I was like, ‘Did I just teach this kid to hate people that look like me?'”

On deciding to portray a non-stereotypical Muslim character: “Mustafa Ali is who I wanted to see when I was growing up. I’m not wearing anything on my head. I’m not saying anything in Arabic. I’m just gonna come out as Mustafa Ali.”

On changing fans boos to cheers during his match in Paris after the November 2015 terrorist attacks: “I remember taking a moment to realize this is what you’re doing, you’re changing peoples’ minds. There are no limitations, there are no barriers. Nothing can stop you and nothing can define you but you.”

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