A Muslim Olympian who is representing the U.S. at the Summer Games says she fears for her safety at home.
“[I feel unsafe] all the time,” fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad said Thursday in Rio de Janeiro, according to The Daily Beast.
Muhammad, America's first Olympian to wear a hijab, said she blames rising anti-Islamic sentiment.
“I had someone follow me home from practice and try to report me to the police,” she said. "And this is right on 28th and 7th in New York City.
“I want people to know that as hard as [these racist 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 [Democratic National Convention].”
Muhammad, who was born in Maplewood, N.J., said she wants to bring light to the issues facing female Muslims in America.
“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,” she said.
“I’m a woman who wears a hijab, and these are my experiences. It’s ridiculous and we as a country have to change and I feel like this is our moment.”
Muhammad laughed off a question about GOP presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE. "Who? I’m sorry, what did you say?” she said. "I don’t know him.”
Muhammad on Wednesday said she has deep concerns about how Trump’s rhetoric is influencing perceptions of Muslim Americans in the U.S.
“I think his words are very dangerous,” she said on CNN. "When these types of comments are made, no one thinks about how they really affect people.
“I’m African-American, I don’t have another home to go to. My family was born here. I was born here. It’s like, where do we go?”
Muhammad will compete in the women’s individual and team fencing events in Brazil next week. She ranks No. 2 in the U.S. and No. 8 worldwide.