Ibtihaj Muhammad, the U.S. sabre fencer who became the first Muslim American to compete at the Olympics in Rio while wearing a hijab, said she feels “unsafe” in Trump’s America.
“I had someone follow me … accusing me of carrying a bomb,” Muhammad said on Thursday at TheWrap’s Women Power Breakfast in New York City.
Muhammad also said that a hijab is part of her wardrobe — and compared not wearing it to someone going out without pants on. She feels comfortable in the Muslim head covering, but thinks that times are changing because of the current political climate.
She went on to say that people get uncomfortable when she says she feels unsafe, and Muslim parents will have to reconsider if their children should wear a hijab these days.
“I feel unsafe … when we say we feel unsafe, when we say we’re afraid, I feel like you should believe us,” she stressed.
Muhammad said one thing she can appreciate about the Trump administration is that it has unearthed some negative realities about America.
“If we don’t talk about them, if we don’t acknowledge that, that the racism and bigotry exists then we will not be able to change it,” she explained.
The Power Women Breakfast series brings together influential women of entertainment, media, technology and brands in key cities to network and connect. TheWrap has built a broad community of professional women who are decision makers and mothers, leaders and wives, innovators and activists.
The franchise is now in four cities Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
Thursday’s breakfast was hosted by TheWrap founder Sharon Waxman, film and TV producer Laura Wagner and Shelley Zalis, CEO of the Female Quotient and founder of The Girls’ Lounge.