Interview with Edwin Pope
QUESTION 15
MADISON DAVIS LACY:

You were saying in pre-interview that you didn't think that Ali's refusal to be inducting--inducted had anything to do with his religion--

EDWIN POPE:

I felt that, ah, Ali used, ah, the religious issue just to keep from going to Vietnam. I must say I considered it a pretty natural reaction. Nobody wants to be shot at, and, um, I just didn't think the religious issue was, that he was genuinely refusing induction because of that. Ah, people, other people were taking off of, what he did was, just a little variation on what other people were doing. They were taking off for Canada and, ah, dodging the draft that way. Ah, I've never been sure of exactly why Ali didn't go in the service. I'm inclined to think I was overly harsh in my assessment of it.