Ibtihaj Muhammad says she was held at U.S. Customs for two hours recently

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Olympic gold medal skier would turn down visit to White House
1:14 | Olympics
Olympic gold medal skier would turn down visit to White House
Thursday February 9th, 2017

Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad spoke out against Donald Trump's immigration ban and revealed that she was recently held at U.S. Customs for two hours, she says in an interview with Pop Sugar.

Trump's order banned travel from citizens of seven countries in which the population is predominantly Muslim—Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Sudan and Somali—from coming into the United States. The ban sparked protests from citizens in major American cities.

“Well, I personally was held at Customs for two hours just a few weeks ago,” Muhammad told Pop Sugar. “I don't know why. 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. 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.”

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“It's really hard,” she added. “My human response is to cry because I was so sad and upset and disheartened — and just disappointed. At the same time, I'm one of those people who feels like I have to be strong for those people who may not be able to find that strength. I feel like I have to speak up for those people whose voices go unheard.”

Muhammad made history at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro by becoming the first U.S. Olympian to medal and compete in a hijab.

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