SXSW Apologizes After Asking U.S. Olympic Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad To Remove Her Hijab

03.13.16 8 months ago • 14 Comments
2016 Team USA Media Summit - Portraits

Getty Image / Sean M. Haffey

South by Southwest (a.k.a. SXSW) is in apology mode after an embarrassing incident where fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad was asked to remove her hijab to obtain an ID badge.

Muhammad, who is set to become the first U.S. athlete to wear a hijab at the Olympics, was participating in SXSW’s The New Church: Sport as Currency of American Life panel. The incident occurred before the panel and she addressed the moment of cultural insensitivity at the event. Muhammad noted that the request to remove her hijab wasn’t a one-off in her life.

“I had a crappy experience checking in,” she said. “Someone asking me to remove my hijab isn’t out of the norm for me. … Do I hope it changes soon? Yes, every day.”

The 30-year-old fencing star also expressed her frustration on social media. In her tweets she revealed that not only was she asked to remove her hijab, but the info on the ID wasn’t even correct.

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