Ibtihaj Muhammad Calls Out SXSW For Trying to Make Her Remover Her Hijab

Ibtihaj Muhammad might be the first U.S. Olympian to sport a hijab this summer in Rio but that doesn’t stop her from being treated unfairly. Muhammad was asked to remove her hijab for a security photo while at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.

Muhammad wears the head scarf for religious reasons and the fact that she was asked that was out of line. Seeing that she wouldn’t be taking the hijab off while out in the festival, it shouldn’t have caused a problem! 

Muhammad tweeted her experience and how her photo was placed on the wrong badge.   

SXSW put out a statement, “It is not our policy that a hijab or any religious head covering be removed in order to pick up a SXSW badge. This was one volunteer who made an insensitive request and that person has been removed for the duration of the event. We are embarrassed by this and have apologized to Ibtihaj in person, and sincerely regret this incident.”

Muhammad is 30-year-old and ranked No. 7 in the world and second in the U.S. in saber fencing. She was at the festival to speak on the panel “The New Church: Sport as Currency of American Life.” We hope this didn’t stop her shine because she is a star and we can’t wait to see her try to snag the gold in Rio.


Brittany Taylor

Social Media Editor

Los Angeles native with a passion for Oreos, traveling, devouring books and maintaining a devout love for television.

  • Mary C.


  • mememe123

    For ID purposes the hijab should be removed. Like drivers licences.