Ibtihaj Muhammad is the first American to ever compete in the Olympic games with a hijab, a veil that some Muslim women wear which covers their head and chest.
- Muhammad is a fencer, and has brought the spotlight to the under-publicized sport after becoming a star when she qualified for the games earlier this year.
- Because the uniform is similar to wearing the hijab, it allowed her to adhere to the tenets of her religion, which is part of the reason she began fencing.
- Muhammad said, “I feel like it’s a blessing to be able to represent so many people who don’t have voices, who don’t speak up…It’s just been a really remarkable experience.”
Muhammad is a young American hero. At a time when anti-Islamic views are growing more common, she is a great role model for young women so they can feel confident about who they are if they choose to wear a hijab. Her brother Qareeb said, “Despite the adversity she’s faced; being a Muslim, being an African-American, being a female, she’s still confident in her ability to be successful. She’s my hero.”
She is inspiring many Muslims around the world. Below is one example of many tweets over the past week by other women who wear a hijab who believe in Ibtihaj Muhammad and what she represents:
So proud of Ibtihaj Muhammad for making it to the cover of Time Magazine MashaAllah! Such an inspiration!… https://t.co/bSiOQGggQh
— Haleh Banani (@HalehBanani) May 5, 2016
After a strong start in the sabre tournament, she was just defeated by Cecilia Berder of France. But, she isn’t done yet. She will be coming back later in the week for the team competition.
Opening Ceremonies! One of the best days of my life! #TeamUSA?? pic.twitter.com/nbV1kEWO9g
— Ibtihaj Muhammad (@IbtihajMuhammad) August 6, 2016