Ibtihaj Muhammad was due to speak at SXSW on a panel for ‘The New Church: Sport as Currency of American Life,’ but before she could take her place on the panel she needed to get a photo ID. In order to obtain her ID, festival organizers asked her to remove her hijab for the photo.
Muhammad Tweeted after the incident: “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 eventually would receive her ID, although it was definitely the wrong one:
SXSW released an official 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.”
A member of the USA World Fencing team, Muhammad, born in New Jersey, was the first Muslim woman to compete for the United States in international competition.