5 International Muslim Women Athletes

Muslim Women Athletes

Many times when society thinks of Muslim females, they think oppressed woman cowering in a corner covered from head to foot.

First, women are oppressed everywhere, not just in Muslim communities. Second, oppression can be based on perception. Just because someone maybe covered in public, doesn’t mean they’re timid or weak. Muslim women can kick ass like anyone else. Some just choose to do it with their heads covered… or not. Here are five international Muslim women athletes who defy convention and odds.

Five International Muslim Sportswomen:

  1. Sania Mirza – Although she chooses not to cover up, Mirza still identifies as Muslim. A world ranked tennis player since 2003, she earned her position of No. 1 in the World Tennis Association Women’s Doubles rankings. She just earned a position in the WTA semifinals with partner, Martina Hingis, continuing to defend her No. 1 ranking.
  1. Dalilah Muhammad – She won the first ever gold in the 400 meter hurdles for the United States in Rio this year.
  1. Ibtihaj Muhammad – She became the first American woman to compete in hijab at the 2016 Rio Olympics and managed to come away with the bronze.
  1. Kimia Alizadeh – Another Rio Olympics competitor, she became the first Iranian woman to earn a medal when she won the bronze in taekwondo. At only 18, Alizadeh said, “… I hope to get more medals, the best medal, gold medal, and I want to give this to Iranian girls.”
  1. Sarah Attar –Although she didn’t win a medal, Attar ran a marathon in the Rio games completely covered from head to foot, proving that it is possible to be a true athlete and true to your religious beliefs at the same time.

These athletes not only represent diversity among women athletes, but they represent diversity among Muslim women. Some Muslim women athletes cover up and practice religion, and some do not. They serve as a reminder that Muslim women can be and are whatever they choose to be.

For more, check out www.sameenakmughal.com. Also, check out Shaherazade;s Daughters and The Siddiqui Brothers in Cairo, both available on www.Amazon.com.


Sameena Mughal

Sameena K. Mughal is an author, blogger, and educator living in West Chester, Pennsylvania, who is passionate about literature. Her debut novel, Shaherazade's Daughters was a feminist homage to the classic 10001 Arabian Nights. Her second book, The Siddiqui Brothers in Cairo follows the adventures of eccentric scientists who, ironically, are too forward- thinking for a time that is known for its forward- thinking, the Golden Age of Islam. She also writes sociopolitical commentary on her Behind and Beyond the Veil at www.sameenakmughal.com