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Muslim Olympian Fencer Sends Message to Trump

NEW YORK – American fencer and Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad wrote an open letter to President Trump in which she criticized his “campaign of terror” against American ideals.

“The climate of fear and hatred fueled and perpetuated by your campaign is gaining momentum through your actions in office,” Muhammad wrote in the letter originally published on on Monday, March 20.

“Since your election, I have been ‘profiled’ at the airport, accused of looking ‘suspicious’ and, on the streets of New York, I have been told to ‘go back to my country,’” she added.

Muhammad is the first Muslim woman to wear a hijab when representing the United States at the Olympic games.

Earning a bronze medal for her country in Rio Olympics, she went on to highlight the important contributions that America’s Muslims have made to healthcare, education and all aspects of life in the country.

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“We do not have a refugee terrorist problem. It simply doesn’t exist. But, I do fear a not-so-subtle campaign of terror now being waged on our American ideals of justice and equality,” she wrote.

“Overcoming obstacles was my challenge as an athlete. It is now my challenge as a citizen. I once represented you. Now you represent me. I urge you to do so with the humility, thoughtfulness and kindness befitting your sacred office.”

Muhammad rose to fame after her participation in the 2016 Rio Olympics as a sabre fencer. She is now one of the most well known Muslim American athletes in the country.

“I was the first Muslim woman to represent the United States in the Olympic Games wearing hijab. I was blessed to win an Olympic medal alongside my team at the Rio Games. I was a black Muslim woman in a little known sport. And on the world’s biggest stage, I defied labels and showed the world that being Muslim was also being American,” Muhammad wrote.

“And yet, when I listen to you, I feel that the story you tell paints another picture entirely. You seem to see refugees fleeing terror as terror’s root, rather than refugees as terror’s victims.”

The letter was widely shared on Twitter, with many voicing their support to Muhammad and others thanking her for speaking up.

Mohammad’s letter comes in the wake of Trump’s now-frozen second travel ban, and on the same day as news of his government’s plans to prohibit specific electronic devices inside planes arriving in the US from at least eight Muslim majority countries surfaced.