Olympian ordered to remove her hijab at US festival

Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad was told to remove her headscarf at the SXSW festival Credit: Reuters

An American Olympic athlete has expressed outrage after she was told she had to remove her headscarf to enter a festival in Texas.

Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, who will make history at the Rio Olympics as the first woman to represent the US while wearing a hijab, was ordered to take off her head covering at the South by Southwest festival.

She was apparently told that she could not have her photograph taken to get her festival accreditation if she did not do so.

Organisers at SXSW told Reuters they had offered a personal apology to Ms Muhammad after the altercation yesterday.

The volunteer involved has also been removed from his role for the rest of the event, they added.

Ms Muhammed said that even after the row over her photo ID was resolved, her woes were not over as she was then given a card with the wrong name.

The 30-year-old athlete has previously said that she feels duty-bound to counter anti-Muslim rhetoric in the US.

"I feel like I owe it to people who look like me to speak out," she told reporters earlier this week.

"When I hear someone say something like, 'We're going to send Muslims back to their countries,' I say, 'Well, I'm American. Where am I going to go?"