Ibtihaj Muhammad is a fencer on the USA Olympic team. She’s also the first American Muslim woman to compete in the Olympics while wearing a hijab. And this brave Olympian has some harsh words for Donald Trump.
Donald Trump has made xenophobia a corner stone of his campaign. He has repeatedly attacked Muslims in the most divisive way. But when American Muslims come forward to rebuke and respond to Trump’s vitriol he always responds by becoming unhinged and doubling down on the attacks.
As we saw over the past week and a half, Trump can’t control himself even when facing criticism from a 5- Star family. He has absolutely no respect. He went after the Khans with several different attacks, including false accusations about their Muslim faith. He also has no respect for women or African Americans.
So when an African American Muslim woman speaks negatively about the thin-skinned Republican nominee, you know the retaliation can’t be far behind.
30 year old Ibtihaj Muhammad is an Olympian who competes in the sport of fencing. She was born in New Jersey, is a graduate of Duke, and now lives and trains in New York. She is proudly representing her religion by being the first American Muslim to compete in a hijab. And she has something to say about Trump’s rhetoric and immigration plan.
Last week Muhammad told CNN,
“When these types of comments are made, no one thinks about how they really affect people. I’m African American. I don’t have another home to go to. My family was born here. I was born here. I’ve grown up in Jersey. All my family’s from Jersey. It’s like, well, where do we go?”
“I’m hopeful that, in my efforts to represent our country well as an athlete — that they change the rhetoric around how people think and perceive the Muslim community.”
And she also talked to the BBC. She said,
“I am excited to challenge the stereotypes and misconceptions people have about Muslim women. I want to show people that we can not only be on any Olympic team, but on the U.S. Olympic team which is the strongest of the world’s teams. As a global community, we have to work harder to change our current situation. It is an unhealthy one.”
I say bravo to Ms. Muhammad. She has not allowed Trump’s divisive vitriol or fear mongering silence her voice. She is standing up to an ignorant bully. And I for one find that not only brave but also inspiring.