Ibtihaj Muhammad will be the first woman from America to compete in the upcoming Olympics wearing a hijab or a headscarf. However, things were not smooth for the 30-year-old fencer as she checked into South by Southwest (SXSW), the annual interactive media festival in Austin, Texas. Ibtihaj was asked to remove her hijab by one of the security personnel in order to receive her identification (ID) badge.
The SXSW has since come forward to issue an apology for the incident and has stressed on the fact that it was in no way involved with the matter. The personnel responsible was a volunteer and has been removed for the duration of the event.
It was on Saturday when Ibtihaj tweeted regarding the incident citing that she was asked to remove her hijab while taking a picture for her ID card. After she rejected the proposal citing religious belief, the official went on to insist her doing so.
“I was just asked to remove my hijab at SXSW Registration for my ID badge. I can’t make this stuff up. Even after I explained it was for religious reasons, he insisted I had to remove my hijab for the photo to receive my badge.” Ibtihaj wrote on her Twitter account.
She went on to claim that after receiving the badge it came to her notice that the credentials on the ID was written incorrectly. Her tweets have since been retweeted over 4,000 times on social media, according to International Business Times.
The SXSW organization has since come forward to apologize for the incident. They have also stressed on the fact that their volunteer shouldn’t have taken such action.
“We are embarrassed by this and have apologized to Ibtihaj in person, and sincerely regret this incident.” SXSW said.
Ibtihaj Mohammad started her fencing career at the age of 13 and has a number of corporate sponsors under her belt, including the likes of Visa. She is set to compete in the Rio Olympics as a part of Team USA.
Photo courtesy: Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikipedia.org