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Fencer With Headscarf Is a Cut Above the Rest

31 July 2011 General 10 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

Olympic hopeful Ibtihaj Muhammad will compete this weekend.

Olympic hopeful Ibtihaj Muhammad will compete this weekend.


When Ibtihaj Muhammad fastens her headscarf, or hijab, around her chin, one of its purposes is to deflect unwanted attention.

But when she wears a hijab in a sporting arena, it often has the opposite effect.

The New Jersey native is currently ranked 11th in the world in women’s sabre, a discipline of fencing. Only one American ranks higher: Mariel Zagunis, the two-time Olympic and world champion.

Both women will compete this weekend at a World Cup fencing event at the New York Athletic Club to earn points toward qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic Committee do not track athletes’ religion, but if Muhammad makes the Olympic team, she would likely be the first practicing Muslim woman to represent the U.S. at the Games.

When she competes, photographers often zoom in on the name Muhammad on the back of her fencing jacket. Her mother, Denise, recently saw such a photo and said, “I realized: my God, she’s representing all of us.

>> Continue reading: Fencer With Headscarf Is a Cut Above the Rest


  1. oh my god its fencing jihad!

  2. lol corey

  3. please do not lose the word Jihad losely
    it offends us

  4. hey corey, no humor allowed. and watch everything you say “us” is easily offended. but anyways her mother says ““I realized: my God, she’s representing all of us.” does she mean the US?


    a blue devil, now that’s impressive.

  6. Hey mike the “islamic scholar”…The mother meant that her daughter represent.. ISLAM and USA
    It is time for you to get use to the idea…THE MOOOOOOSLIMS THERE HERE!!!
    Although the muslims have been to the usa for centuries now, it looks like people like you, have not yet graps with the idea of that reality or don’t want to let go of some old tired prejudices!!! WAKE UP BOOODY!!

  7. sahra,

    i was just being a smartass, maybe a jackass in some people’s book. i know she meant that she is representing all muslims, sorry i keep using the wrong spelling appearently, mooooooslems. but strange because i just read what a wise person recently said on another article on this very websight, “because the ummah is way to huge and way to diverse for that.” so when is it ok to say this muslim, damn i keep forgeting, mooooooslem represents the ummah and when is it not ok.

  8. mike the “Islamic scholar” you’re missing my point, where did you saw in my comment saying that she represent all muslims worldwide? obviously NOWHERE.
    I said that the mother probably meant that her daughter represent ISLAM and the USA, i mean isn’t she an american muslim after all, isn’t she playing for her country after all, so therefore she is representing her fellow country men/women and as well as her muslim american indentity, who has been stigmatized by bigots islamophobes who somehow wants to stripe us off, out of their hatred toward us, our western muslim identities. Of course she doesn’t and can’t represent the worldwide Ummah, that’s silly and impossible, have you studied how huge and diverse the worldwide ummah is, i mean we cant even agree most of the time on what date to start the ramadan for Allah sake…
    LOL. One thing is for sure she doesn’t reprensent the taliban style of muslim identity, nor the bigoted twisted version by islamophobes style of a muslim woman identity!!
    As for your “expertise” on Islam scripture, you’re the one posting verses of the Qur’an, as if we, the rest of us are “missing” something and are supposed to “understand” your own “flavoured codes” of it..And the last time i checked, only the self descriped “islamic schlars” islamoplobes like spencer and co. ,who hate islam anyway and the crazy extremists like al-qaeda and co., who somewhat think having a “flavoured code” of it, will awake some muslims in combating imperialism and hegemony!! SO therefore you must be one of those….
    Otherwise, why post verses that you obviously cannot interpret the meaning of it, because of lack of years of education and khowledge in that field…Hey but anyway, you go ahead and “flavoure away” all you want, but dont complain when someone calls you a “scholar” or maybe an “extremist”!! your pick….

  9. sahra,

    sorry i took represtenting islam, as equivalant to representing the followers of islam, muslims or the ummah. yes i’m aware there is a great diversity among the ummah. yes she obviously represents all americans. that’s why they put a USA bagde on the uniform. that’s what it means to be on the national team, you represent the nation and all it’s people. so why say she represents all of us, upon seeing her name on her uniform, “muhammad”. anyways it’s of no consequence, like i said i was just being a smartass, it was an understandable comment of a mother showing pride in her daughter.

    i don’t get all this vitriolic reaction to verses of the koran? so no one should read the koran without first taking years of koranic studies?

    like i said you can call me anything you what. i just don’t think it’s right for you to assert claims to me that i never made. but now i see you are a willing to take it a step further and claim to know my motovation. “And the last time i checked, only the self descriped “islamic schlars” islamoplobes like spencer and co. ,who hate islam anyway and the crazy extremists” – i guess you need to check again. i’m just a guy reading the koran. plus how can i “flavour” anything, i don’t even comment when i post the 7 verses. also, what is with all these “quoted” words anyway? did i miss something, did they change when to use quotes?

    so is that’s a no, from you to retracting your claim that i claimed to be an expert?

  10. sorry to misquote you, “flavoure”. are you british?

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