An American Muslim fencer says she doesn’t feel safe in the United States because of the country’s increased anti-Muslim rhetoric.
Ibtihaj Muhammad, 30, who is United States’ first Olympian to wear hijab, is currently in Rio de Janeiro preparing to represent the country in sabre fencing.
After missing the 2012 London games because of a hand injury, she is now gearing up for her first Olympics. Muhammad is currently ranked eighth in the world.
She has expressed concern over the anti-Muslim sentiments that prevail in the United States.
“[I feel unsafe] all the time. I had someone follow me home from practice and try to report me to police, and this is right on 28th and 7th in New York City,” she told the Daily Beast.
“I’m very vocal about these things because I want people to know I’m not a novelty, I’m not special in any way. I’m a woman who wears hijab and these are my experiences."
The Muslim athlete added that the United States is at a point where it needs to change its dialogue after Donald Trump’s recent attack on a Muslim family who spoke at the DNC about their son who died in Iraq.
“I want people to know that as hard as [these incidents] are on me, they don’t come even close to things we’ve seen like the shooting in North Carolina or the rhetoric around the Khan family at the DNC. It’s ridiculous and we as a country have to change and I feel like this is our moment,” she said.