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Rio 2016: Meet America’s first Olympian to wear a hijab

Ibtihaj Muhammad is Team USA’s first Olympian to wear a hijab.

The 30-year-old is gearing up to represent her home country at the Rio Olympics in the sabre fencing competition.

Muhammad has captured attention since qualifying for the games in February and was voted second by her fellow American athletes to carry the flag during the Opening Ceremony.

Muhammad’s participation in the games comes at a time of increased anti-Muslim rhetoric in the US and other Western countries. The rhetoric even entered mainstream politics last year when Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called for a temporary ban against all Muslims entering the US. Since then, he has made a number of disparaging remarks about Muslims, most recently towards the Muslim mother of a deceased Gold Star soldier after she and her husband made an appearance at the Democratic National Convention.

Muhammad has been vocal about the increased anti-Muslim sentiments in the US.

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