U.S. Olympian who wears hijab offers riposte to Trump

By: Patty Winsa, News reporter
Toronto Star | March 15, 2016

When fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad goes to the Rio Games this summer she will make history as the first U.S. Olympian to compete wearing a hijab.

But as she blazes a path on the world stage, she is worried about her security — at home. She fears it is being compromised by presidential hopeful Donald Trump, who has called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S.

“When you incite hateful speech and rhetoric like that, the people who say it never think about the repercussions and how that affects Muslims,” Muhammad said in a recent Time magazine article. “Specifically Muslim women who wear their religion every single day. So then you start to think, am I going to be safe?”

. . .

“In the U.S. you’re having this whole discussion around Islamophobia and Muslims,” says Amira Elghawaby, communications director for the National Council of Canadian Muslims, “and there you have it — this young woman who is representing the United States at the Olympics who wears the hijab, who is proudly American and proudly Muslim.

“That sort of speaks to the myths of what being a westerner looks like, or should look like.”

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