Boxing legend Muhammad Ali is criticizing Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump's proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States, and calling on Muslims "to stand up to those who use Islam to advance their own personal agenda."

Ali, one of the most famous Muslims in the world, says "the ruthless violence of so-called Islamic Jihadists goes against the very tenets of our religion."

He says U.S. political leaders should help educate people about Islam and "clarify that these misguided murderers have perverted people's views on what Islam really is."

Ali's statement Wednesday, first reported by NBC News, does not identify Trump by name but is directed at "presidential candidates proposing to ban Muslim immigration to the United States." He says they have "alienated many from learning about Islam."