Generation Change

Ibtihaj Muhammad: Hijab and triumph at the Olympics

The fencer speaks about being the first US Olympian to compete wearing a hijab, and winning in the face of prejudice.

Why is the hijab such a divisive issue in sports?

Iman Amrani sits down with Ibtihaj Muhammad – the first woman to compete for the United States at the Olympics wearing a hijab – to discuss her journey in fencing, and her struggles as a minority woman of faith.

In 2016, as anti-Muslim rhetoric was gaining momentum and the US was contending with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposed “Muslim ban”, Muhammad stood up as an advocate for female empowerment.

Despite growing prejudice, Muhammad went on to win the bronze medal with her team in the Rio Olympics.