She brought home the hardware, and now she’s having all sorts of trouble coming home.
Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad, the New Jersey fencer who won a bronze medal for the United States during the Rio de Janeiro Olympics was detained shortly after Trump signed his Muslim ban.
Muhammad told POPSUGAR, “I personally was held at customs for two hours just a few weeks ago. I don’t know why. I can’t tell you why it happened to me, but I know I’m Muslim. I have an Arabic name.”
She went on to say that she feels the ban is not as narrow as Trump has said that it is, “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.”
While in Rio, Muhammad told the Daily Beast that she often feels unsafe while at home in New Jersey; that after training in New York City, she had been followed home and had had people report her to the police.
In the face of overwhelming bigotry, and what seems presidential endorsement of hate, Muhammad says that although “my human response is to cry … at the same time, 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.”
And if you are one of those people, lost and frightened and unsure how to be brave in the face of fascism, Muhammad reminds you “how resilient we can be as human beings. Even if we’re facing bigotry or racism, we can still be successful.”