American Hijab at Olympic Games

Afro-American fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, a hijab-wearing Muslim woman, would be making history by representing United States at the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 5-21, 2016.

The 30-year-old athlete is a devout Muslim from Maplewood, New Jersey. She is a double graduate from Duke University and have also studied at Rabat University in Morocco. She is winner of six Gold Medals at Pan American Championship Teams.

Barack Obama met and lauded Ibtihaj Muhammad’s achievements during his visit to Baltimore County mosque on February 3, 2016, which reminded Jewish Lobby his attending a Muslim madrassa in Indonesia.

Ibtihaj Muhammad runs Louella by Ibtihaj Muhammad, modern modest clothing business (here). In an interview last year, she spoke of being a role model for Muslim Americans. “People are just appreciative that there is someone that they can show their kids. It’s OK for you to wear hijab and participate in sport,” Ibtihaj said. Watch the interview below.

I do believe that Islam instilled values if hard work and patience. Allah (swt) loves that if one does a job he perfects it. I challenge myself everyday to be a better Muslim, daughter, sister, and athlete. For me, my hijab has become an integral part of who I am as a person. It is extremely important to be confident in yourself and in your faith. Never allow someone else’s misconceptions about you hinder you from reaching your dreams,” says Ibtihaj.

In 2011, Pakistan-born weightlifter from Atlanta, Kulsoom Abdullah, was barred from entering the US Senior National in Iowa because she insisted on wearing Hijab during the competition.

In 2011, FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke, an Israeli poodle banned Iranian Women Football team over wearing Hijab.

The debate around Muslim women athletes’ clothing is far from over. Those in favor of banning the hijab remain skeptics, disbelieving that this fabric can signify more than a political or ideological struggle. These detractors cannot accept that the hijab can be a woman’s choice, despite the fact that many Muslim women themselves proudly defend their right to wear it. The right to veil and the right to unveil should go hand in hand,” says Mariam Morshed, a researcher on women’s rights and Washington-based lawyer.

Islamic modest fashion clothing industry is over $96 billion internationally, and western designers cannot keep their fingers out of this pot of gold any longer.

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