Rio Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad Detained at US Border

Rio Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad Detained at US Border

U.S. Olympic Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad was recently detained at the border, she told PopSugar at the MAKERS conference.

The 31-year-old Olympian was held at customs for two hours and then left the encounter in tears, according to Mail Online.

Muhammad was the first Muslim-American to win a medal for team U.S.A. after she brought home a Bronze for the team round in Sabre Fencing and also the first U.S. Olympian to wear a hijab.

When asked about effects from Trump’s recent Muslim Travel Ban, Muhammad gave PopSugar some emboldening words:

“Well, I personally was held at customs for two hours just a few weeks ago. I don’t know why,” she said. “I can’t tell you why it happened to me, but I know that I’m Muslim. I have an Arabic name.”

Muhammad elucidated that the ban doesn’t discriminate based on actions or beliefs — the executive order solely preys on superficialities, like appearance:

“Even though I represent Team U.S.A. 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.”

Despite her agitation with the situation, Muhammad plans on using her platform to stand up for the voiceless and effect change.

“I’m one of those people who feels like I have to be strong for those people who may not be able to find that strength. I feel like I have to speak up for those people whose voices go unheard,” she explained. “I try to remember to be positive and to try to leave all these situations, even if they may be very difficult, with love.”

She left the MAKERS panel alongside Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas with one short message: even minorities will find justice in the darkest of times.

“I think that we will come out on top as women, as people of color, as Muslims, as transgender people, as people who are part of the disabled community — I think that we’ll come out on top.”

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Rio Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad Detained at US Border
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