American Female Muslim Athlete Inspires Girls in Dakar
From Voice of America
by Jennifer Lazuta
“Growing up, especially at this age, we all want to be liked by our friends; we all want to fit in with our friends. But as a Muslim woman, because I cover, I always had to change the uniform. So if I played tennis, if I played soccer or if I ran track, and my teammates wore shorts or short sleeves, I would always have to wear long sleeves or long pants, and it was hard for me as a kid, because I didn’t feel like I fit in,” said Muhammad.
It was her mom who urged her to try fencing – a sport where competitors must wear full body, head and even hand coverings.
“I find that in sport, once I put my mask on – that’s the beauty, I feel, of my sport – it almost becomes an equal playing field. People look at me as an athlete, and solely as an athlete, as opposed to being a woman or a Muslim or being black. And I love it,” she said.