Ibtihaj Muhammad, a Muslim-American fencer who won a bronze medal for the US during the Rio Olympics, says she thinks more work is needed so that the country becomes more inclusive, and that the US is moving in the wrong direction at the moment.
Speaking on the red carpet at Friday night’s ESPN Super Bowl party in Houston, Muhammad said America’s greatest strength was in its diversity.
“I think to remember what makes our country great, and it’s diversity. That's what our nation was built upon, and I think that we have to remember our strong suit as a nation and to want for one another what we want for ourselves, and that's safety,” she said.
On President Donald Trump’s executive order that banned visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, the Muslim-American fencer said she sees protests against the ban as a start, adding that she feels optimistic the situation will improve.
Trump’s order has sparked outrage across the US, with many protesters gathering at airports last weekend to denounce the new president’s decision. A federal judge temporarily blocked the ban on Friday.
“I am hopeful that we could move toward a more inclusive accepting community, not just here in the (United) States, but on a global scale. I think that we are moving in the wrong direction as a nation, and I hope that we work toward a more inclusive space very soon.”