By: Sakina Adeyinka, Olatunde Fasanya with Agency report
ISLAM as a religion has empowered women from all walks of life. This is contrary to the stereotype held by many about the position of women in Islam as being oppressed and inferior.
One of such women who have proved one of the wrong myths about Islam is America-born Ibtihaj Muhammad.
She just made history as the first American Olympian to compete while wearing a hijab.
Narrating how that became possible, Hillary Clinton wrote on her Facebook wall that, “In Rio, fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad became the first American Muslim athlete to compete at the Olympic games while wearing a hijab.
“In her youth, Ibtihaj searched for a sport that allowed her to dress in accordance with her Muslim faith—and found her calling in fencing. Today, she’s a three-time NCAA All-American, the second-ranked woman fencer in the United States, and the twelfth-ranked woman fencer in the world.”
Although, Ibtihaj competed in the women’s individual sabre, she was knocked out of the Round of 16.
She is however expected to participate in the team competition, which will kick off on Saturday, August 13, as the United States takes on Poland in the quarterfinals of the women’s team saber competition.
31-year-old Ibtihaj Muhammad
was born in Maplewood, New Jersey and
attended the Duke University where she received a scholarship.
Ibtihaj is ranked Number 8 in the world ranking of fencers and also owns a clothing line.
Fencing traces its roots to the development of swordsmanship for duels and self defense.
Fencing, also called Olympic fencing, is a sport in which two competitors fight using ‘Rapier-style’ swords, winning points by making contact with their opponent.
There are three forms of modern fencing, each using a different style of weapon and different rules, and as such the sport is divided into three competitive scenes: Foil, Épée and Sabre. Most competitive fencers choose to specialise in only one weapon.