Muslim American Olympian, Ibtihaj Muhammad, was detained by US customs for two hours.
Muhammad, a world class fencer, is the first American to compete in the Olympics in a hijab. She attended the MAKERS conference on Tuesday and during an interview with Popsugar talked about whether the recent United States of America travel ban had affected her or anyone that she knows. The ban, which suspended the Syrian refugee program and also stopped all entry into the United States of America of citizens from several Muslim majority countries, has been accused of being anti-Muslim. According to Muhammad, since the ban went into place, she had been detained by U.S. customs for two hours.
“I personally was held at Customs for two hours just a few weeks ago. I don’t know why,” explained Muhammad. “I can’t tell you why it happened to me, but I know that I’m Muslim. I have an Arabic name. And even though I represent Team USA and I have that Olympic hardware, it doesn’t change how you look and how people perceive you. Unfortunately, I know that people talk about this having a lot to do with these seven countries in particular, but I think the net is cast a little bit wider than we know. And I’m included in that as a Muslim woman who wears a hijab.”
Muhammad admitted that she wanted to cry during the ordeal but resolved not to so as to prove a strong example for others.