Muslim U.S. Olympic Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad Told To Remove Hijab at SXSW

The definition of where the secular world should end and the religious world begin continues to be a muddy one as evidenced by Ibtihaj Muhammad’s recent experience at SXSW

UPDATE 3:00PM PT, 3/12/16: SXSW said in a statement: “It is not our policy that a hijab or any religious head covering be removed in order to pick up a SXSW badge. This was 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.”

Ibtihaj MuhammadIbtihaj Muhammad used her Twitter profile to explain what happened when she checked in at South by Southwest. Ms. Muhammad is the first woman to ever represent the U.S. in a hijab and is scheduled to appear on a panel at SXSW on Saturday.




Ibtihaj Muhammad seems to have taken the experience in stride, but her experience does serve to remind us the the secular and non-secular worlds continue to collide in the 21st century.

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