Former WWE Star Muhammad Hassan (Marc Copani) spoke with Syracuse.com about his time in the WWE and the character he once portrayed from 2004 until his release in 2005.

After his exit, Copani announced his retirement from wrestling, although he did return in 2018 for a match.

“I was heartbroken,” Copani said. “I put everything I had into the WWE, and had it all taken away from me. I just withdrew from wrestling all together.”

He release came after WWE aired a controversial SmackDown segment in which Hassan prayed on the ramp and five masked men, dressed in black, attacked Undertaker with a number of weapons. This aired unedited in the U.S. and Canada just after suicide bombings took place in London’s public transport system during the morning rush hour.

Mainstream media picked up on the story with plenty of backlash that came afterwards. UPN (the channel carrying SmackDown at the time) pressured WWE to keep Hassan off TV, effectively ending his character.

“The character got more radicalized, and after the incident with the London bombings everyone got upset,” Copani responded. “Hassan became too controversial for wrestling.”

He continued that the character’s portrayal of Arab-Americans had become “unfair, inaccurate, and biased” and didn’t think it would be created in WWE today. In regards to getting back into the ring again, that chapter is over for him.

“I’m never doing it again,” Copani said.

This summer, Copani became the new principal at Fulton Junior High School.

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