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SXSW ’embarrassed’ by Muslim fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad incident, Report
SXSW 'embarrassed' by Muslim fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad incident

SXSW ’embarrassed’ by Muslim fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad incident, Report

The SXSW organization issued a statement apologizing for the incident and explained that the person responsible for checking in Muslim Muhammad was a volunteer who was acting in error.

“I was just asked to remove my hijab at SXSW Registration for my ID badge. I can’t make this stuff up,” Ibtihaj Muhammad tweeted from the Austin, Texas, event.

She continued, “Even after I explained it was for religious reasons, he insisted I had to remove my hijab for the photo to receive my badge.”

But, Muhammad said, she didn’t even receive the correct badge — and was instead given the badge of someone with a similar-sounding name.

“From now on my name is Tamir & I work for Time Warner Inc,” Muhammad tweeted with a photo of her badge.

SXSW said in a statement to PEOPLE that it was “embarrassed” and that the incident was the work of “one volunteer who made an insensitive request and that person has been removed for the duration of the event.

“We are embarrassed by this and have apologized to Ibtihaj in person, and sincerely regret this incident.”

Muhammad is training for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro where she could become the first Muslim U.S. woman to compete at the Olympic Games in a hijab. “When most people picture an Olympic fencer, they probably do not imagine a person like me. Fortunately, I am not most people. I have always believed that with hard work, dedication, and perseverance, I could one day walk with my U.S. teammates into Olympic history.” Muhammad says that fencing has taught her “how to aspire higher, sacrifice, work hard and overcome defeat. I want to compete in the Olympics for the United States to prove that nothing should hinder anyone from reaching their goals — not race, religion or gender. I want to set an example that anything is possible with perseverance.”


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    One comment

    1. Meanwhile in **insert one of any number of islamic countries here** women are sentenced to death for being raped, stoned for looking at a man not in their family, muslims are thrown off buildings for suspicion of homosexuality, blown up while at the market simply because markets are easy to blow up……

      …oh and in the USA, a NON-islamic country, somebody asked a muslim to follow the same guidelines that EVERYBODY else is asked to follow, and it is the worst thing ever requiring a public apology and a total re-evaluation of our worth as a society.

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