SXSW Apologizes To Olympian Asked To Remove Her Hijab

Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images.
Ibtihaj Muhammad is about to be the first hijab-wearing Muslim-American woman to compete for the United States at the Olympics in Rio this summer. She's already received a shoutout from the president and was invited to be a speaker at a SXSW panel in Austin this weekend. This didn't protect her from an indignity many Muslims across the globe have faced, however. As she documented on Twitter, the volunteer taking her SXSW ID badge photo asked her to remove her headscarf.
Advertisement
"Even after I explained it was for religious reasons, he insisted I had to remove my hijab for the photo to receive my badge," she added.

To add insult to injury, she was given the name and affiliation of someone else with the same last name.

"I had a crappy experience checking in," she told the audience at her panel, The New Church: Sport as Currency of American Life, according to the Chicago Tribune. "Someone asking me to remove my hijab isn't out of the norm for me...Do I hope it changes soon? Yes, every day."

SXSW organizers apologized in 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," the statement said. "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."
Advertisement

More from Global News

Actress Emma Watson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sat down Wednesday to talk about gender equality. The Harry Potter star was in Ottawa ...
The bill lowers the age at which children can receive a prison sentence from 14 to 12, for involvement in “acts of terror,” which are described as “murder...
In case you had gone too long without remembering that women are unreasonably punished for not being amenable and interested in men at all times, here's an...
I want to continue to support female activists, and hope that by starting with a small, singular task like refusing straws, I can encourage each one of you...
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may be everyone's favorite woke bae, but there's a tiny royal who was not exactly impressed by him last weekend. ...
A ruling last month by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated that Iranian women could not ride bicycles because it "attracts the attention of men and exposes the ...
“It’s a special school for me because I was a student there. But I don’t think I can see a way back there now,” she said
(Paid Content) 2016 is shaping up to be the hottest year on record. How many thousands of studies will have to be published before everyone is on board ...
For many refugees, the struggle to survive doesn't end after fleeing war-torn Syria. With the help of 17-year-old Khaldeya, we're taking you straight to ...
Here's your daily cry: A little boy from New York is inviting a Syrian child his age to come and live with him in safety. “We will give him a family, and ...
Natasha Maimba, 14, and Minahil Sarfraz, 15, do a lot of the same things any teen girls do. Maimba plays the guitar. Sarfraz likes to mug for the camera...
Emma Watson addressed the U.N. General Assembly again Tuesday, delivering a powerful speech calling for the reform of campus sexual assault policies. ...
Michelle Obama appeared at one of Broadway's landmark theaters Monday, taking the stage along with some of the industry's biggest stars. No, FLOTUS isn...
International human rights lawyer Amal Clooney and her client Nadia Murad are teaming up to sue ISIS. Murad, a Yazidi woman who says she prayed for death ...