South by Southwest officials apologized to Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad after an incident on Saturday afternoon in which she was asked to remove her hijab in order to take a photo for her ID.
“I was just asked to remove my hijab at SXSW Registration for my ID badge.. I can’t make this stuff up,” the 30-year-old fencer tweeted. “Even after I explained it was for religious reasons, he insisted I had to remove my hijab for the photo to receive my badge.”
To add insult to injury, Muhammad said, the ID badge had the wrong name.
“Thennnnn I was given the wrong ID! From now on my name is Tamir & I work for Time Warner Inc,” she tweeted out along with a picture of her ID.
Her tweets were retweeted thousands of times, and SXSW officials took notice and issued an apology.
“It is not our policy that a hijab or any religious head covering be removed in order to pick up a SXSW badge,” the statement read. “This was one volunteer who made an insensitive request and that person has been removed for the duration of the event. We are embarrassed by this and have apologized to Ibtihaj in person, and sincerely regret this incident.”