Muslim-American Olympian says she was detained by Customs

A Muslim-American Olympic medalist says she was detained by Customs for nearly two hours without explanation after President Trump's travel ban was instituted a few weeks ago.

Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, who won a bronze medal during the 2016 Olympics as the first U.S. athlete to ever compete while wearing a hijab, said that she was "upset and disheartened" by the incident, according to Popsugar.

"I personally was held at Customs for two hours just a few weeks ago. I don't know why," Muhammad said in an interview published Thursday.

ADVERTISEMENT

"I can't tell you why it happened to me, but I know that I'm Muslim. I have an Arabic name. And even though I represent Team USA and I have that Olympic hardware, it doesn't change how you look and how people perceive you," she added.

Muhammad attributed her detention to anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S., adding that Trump's controversial immigration ban likely applies to more than just the citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries.

"Unfortunately, I know that people talk about this having a lot to do with these seven countries in particular, but I think the net is cast a little bit wider than we know. And I'm included in that as a Muslim woman who wears a hijab," she said.

Muhammad did not specify the exact date or other details about the incident.

Muhammad said during the Olympics last summer that she felt unsafe “all the time” in the U.S.

“I had someone follow me home from practice and try to report me to the police,” she said at the time. "And this is right on 28th and 7th in New York City.”

Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.) on Thursday said that he is "sickened" to hear that the athlete was detained without explanation. 

"Sickened to hear that Ibtihaj was detained at U.S. Customs for two hours WITHOUT EXPLANATION," the lawmaker tweeted.